Friday, August 8

Schultz Trial Trudges Along

Thursday marked the final day of paperwork in the preparation for the Howard Schultz v PBC trial and the former owner's lawyer got in one more bit of arguing before Judge Pechman adjurned to decide on how to proceed.

The PI's Greg Johns reports that attorney Richard Yarmuth contended that if Clay Bennett and his "Axis of Evol" really want a rapid resolution to the case, they should support his client's motion to split the trial. After all, Yarmuth argued, if they're innocent, just what the heck do they have to worry about?

In essence, Yarmuth would like to split the trial in two phases; the first phase would decide whether or not the PBC committed fraud, and the second phase would decide a remedy if there was indeed fraud.

It's a fair argument. Yarmuth's proposed plan of action would commence in May 2009, with the second phase, if required, beginning in September 2009. Bennett's plan, which would condense both parts of the trial into one, would start in June.

And yet, Bennett's argument against the split trial is that it's lengthiness would cause "undue harm" to the NBA and the PBC. As Yarmuth argued on Thursday, if Bennett is as innocent as he claims, wouldn't he rather get this thing over with in May, rather than have it drag into the summer?

Tough to disagree with Yarmuth's logic. Johns notes in his article that Judge Pechman is expected to render her decision on how to proceed with the trial in the next few weeks.

Also of note from Thursday, Jayda Evans at the Times reports that only seven of the more than 100 Sonic employees have relocated to Oklahoma City.

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