Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tower Issue...Messer Malpractice...Sue Him?

At the bottom of the 2012 lease between the City and Divine Word is a very important statement and signature.

Legal in Form and Valid as Drawn

/s/ Jim Messer
City Attorney

Did Jim Messer commit malpractice in not reviewing the legality, zoning, case law surrounding the lease of the Longhollow tower??

Back when I was on City Council and opposed Messer's appointment as City Attorney I made direct inquiries regarding the malpractice insurance carried by the Messer Law Firm.

From Inweekly Article

His tenure as Mayor Ashton Hayward’s first appointed city attorney began with controversy. Council President Maren Deweese and blogger Derek Cosson worked hard to derail the appointment, waging a four-week campaign trying to convince the Pensacola City Council to vote against the mayor’s recommendation to hire Messer.

In her memorandum to the council, Deweese criticized the proposed contract because it was with Messer’s law firm and not an individual. She believed the city should have advertised for law firms that offered a “broader range of talents.” Deweese also questioned whether the Messer law firm had adequate malpractice insurance to cover the city.

Despite her protests, the council approved an interim agreement with the Messer law firm. Later in the year, they voted for a three-year contract for Messer, which expired in December 2014.

Link to Inweekly Article

It is funny to me that what was a valid question and concern then, portrayed me as the crazy cat lady.


Is the $1 million policy limit enough?

Hate to tell you I told you so...BUT!


Anonymous said...

Dear Crazy Cat Lady:

When someone makes a boo-boo, attorneys will vehemently sue anyone and everyone who carries insurance. In this case it is probably better for us that the city hired a law firm rather than an individual. At least there is an insurance policy that will help to ease the pain that will fall upon city taxpayers when this thing goes to court.

But here's the bad news. The court will allow part of that $1,000,000 to be paid to Messer's attorney to defend him. The city will be lucky to get $600,000 in retribution for Messer's malfeasance. Lawyers for all parties will skim the cream off the top and will be paid first. That is the way the system works. Lawyers invented the system. Our legislative branch is made up of lawyers. The judicial branch is made up of guess what? Lawyers.

Messer's lawyer, Gene Church's lawyer, and the city's outside law firm will make a bundle of bucks. Gene Church will walk away with a bundle. The city taxpayers will take it in the shorts. This is the price we pay for electing an incompetent and corrupt city government.

Anonymous said...

What does 'legal in form and valid as drawn' actually mean? Sound to me like it just meets the legal requirements to be a valid contract (signed, dated....), not necessarily that the legal substance of the contract terms have been reviewed and approved.

Billy Eddins said...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That's right... Lawyers= a juris doctorate. They practice, you know, the law. If you're going to be condescending, at least speak with the knowledge that even juris doctors get to make $ comparable to that of their qualifications.

It's not always about skimming or scamming- people hire attorneys for a specific skill set that they are not able to navigate themselves.