Shard Villa Update, My version
all rights reserved 2009
Shard Villa update
I won’t go into the specific facts because I don’t know all the minutiae but I know when a case settles only moments before trial, that somebody’s scared, somebody’s giving in, somebody doesn’t want something to come out, somebody was strutting and now they are groveling, somebody’s sad.
Usually both sides lose something but they will tell you they gave up everything.
The bottom line is somebody will be able to breathe again like the residents who gained what amounts to a welcome reprieve. The relatives who sat on pins and needles knowing legal remedy is an oxymoron. The staff who were checking the paper for jobs and smiling to their beloved residents. People like me who feel that the Villa is a magical place for people who have to live away from their original home. People like the spirit of Columbus Smith who knew how the last minute dealings in conference rooms outside of court can be where the rubber meets the road, before rubber was on roads.
If you don’t understand what I am saying, you have never had to be in one of those little conference rooms listening to someone threaten your existence to get you to sign the paper giving it all away. The alternative route is they will take it all away from you.
I told you it is a snarly place.
The details are expensive but not really important. The details are washed away by the signing of a stipulation agreement. The ABA’s preferred method for settling cases.
It saves the lawyer’s the embarrassing surprises when their clients get on the stand.
It save’s the lawyers participating in their client’s lies their clients believe in.
It produces the illusion that the courtroom just wasn’t necessary. “Settled out of court” sounds so tidy. Don’t be fooled. It is as bloody as it gets.
Congratulations to Shard Villa for maintaining the 100 year plus promise to care for elders and disabled in a castle with amenities and fabulous caring staff.
Wish them luck with me in being successful at fund raising and gaining new residents to carry on Columbus Smith’s mission.
The last day in court I felt he hovered over us, watching these lawyers perform, and all he could think of was, "let me speak…my mission…my place…it is in memory of my children, myself, my wife. Don’t let us go. Watch out for our wishes. We are history. We are the Villa. We will haunt every mother’s sons of the dissenters."
At least I had hopes that was what he was thinking as I zoned out on the boring testimony of lawyers who didn’t want to discuss the one pertinent fact. Columbus Smith was a lawyer and if they undo his wishes, they go against their own and that is truly haunting. They would be inviting everyone in the future to contest 100 year old legacies. Their nightmares are that they appear in court and their opponent cites The board vs. Columbus Smith…
Lawyering. What a bizarre profession.
No longer a mystery to me and probably never was to Mr. Smith.
Mrs. Smith looked out the window alone when her husband was in England lawyering and she wondered if this was worth it all. What a hard life for a woman alone in the wilderness of Vermont as it was in the 1800’s. Yes this couple paid their price.
Wish them the best going forward.