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[TowerTalk] city council horror

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Subject: [TowerTalk] city council horror
From: (Fred Hopengarten)
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 10:56:22 EDT
Fred Hopengarten  K1VR               781/259-0088
Six Willarch Road
Lincoln, MA 01773-5105
permanent e-mail address:

On Wed, 24 Jun 1998 a TowerTalker wrote:

>  Get the Friggin' government out of our lives.

K1VR:  This is a worthy political statement and, in my opinion, a good
reason to vote one way or another on matters which come to a vote. 
Curiously, it is a sentiment that is exclusive to neither the left
(abortion) nor the right (property rights). But see below.

> I sure as hell wouldn't pay the $62 without a fight.  And I would 
>spend a lot  more than $62 challenging those SOB's..... then I'd sue
them for 


        As an attorney who helps people put up towers, I charge rates on
the very low end of the scale around here, $130 per hour. Therefore it
can be a very rational decision to get on with one's life and settle for
$62, as it is very difficult to get costs out of a government body.

        In a state court matter such as the one under discussion, absent
fraud or bad faith, almost impossible.  Here's a parallel.  In general,
if you are arrested but found not guilty (a side note:  defendants are
never found "innocent" by a jury -- the choices are only guilty, or not
guilty), you will never get the costs of defending yourself. Yeah, I know
that the tower permit matter is civil and the parallel I've drawn is to a
criminal matter, but you don't know just how wide and deep is the
protection of government and its officers when acting in the course of

        As an attorney, I've seen the ravages of litigation -- and only
the strong survive intact, able to sleep well at night. So here's my
advice, worth every penny you are paying for it.  If you can settle
cheap, settle. It's smart. If you must, insist on a letter saying that
you concede nothing. If you want war, please call me -- I'm looking for a
source of money for new amplifiers and transceivers.  I love litigation
because it is so remunerative.  The problem with litigation is that it
may not always be in the client's best interest when viewed

        Don't  confuse your own life with a political cause.    But
be sure to vote.

        Now, if you don't believe me, go rent "The War of the Roses" (the
video), and listen to the opening speech by Danny DeVito, acting as a
lawyer, wherein he explains why it is always wise to settle.  He then
relates the story of the Rose family as an exemplar.    

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