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For the Love of the Dog

Judge Jones on Baron the Collie Custody Fight – “This is a Mess!”

There was a recent order from the Honorable Judge E. Jones regarding Baron the Collie.  Apparently Andrew Ostrowski, representing Miles Thomas, asked for immediate release of Baron due to the conditions Baron is being kept in at the Harrisburg Humane Society.  It was denied.

But he did not make a final decision on the case.  He sent it back to both parties to continue working towards a resolution.  Back to Square One.

The document PDF is HERE.  If I were either lawyer involved in this case, I’d be hiding my head in shame.  Judge Jones ripped both sides a new one.   I direct to you to Footnote 2 on Page 2.

While we refrain from placing blame for the failed settlement on any party in particular, we note that repeatedly, counsel for the parties have not conducted themselves in keeping with the highest traditions of the legal profession. Zealous advocacy and collegiality are not mutually exclusive. The practice of law is entirely stressful under normal circumstances, but it becomes unbearable for all involved when the obstinance of opposing counsel stifles any hope of resolving a case that should otherwise reach settlement. The abject aversion to conciliation displayed thus far is both astonishing and disheartening. Quite simply, this Court expects those who practice before it to display more professionalism and dignity than that which has been revealed to date in this case.

I personally, am annoyed that both sides can’t come to a mutual agreement.  So, I give the Harrisburg Humane Society and Andrew Ostrowski (for Miles Thomas) an Open Letter:

Both of you have the power to resolve this.  I beg you to resolve this.  No more motions, injunctions, filings, testimony, subpoenas, witnesses, appeals, comments, diversions, tactics…whatever! Get together, pool your money for lattes and danish, and hash out an agreement on returning Baron to Miles Thomas.  Both sides can agree on something.  This isn’t rocket science.  Don’t sweat the small stuff – just do it.  Yield a little, both of you.   This man has nothing else in his life except for his dog.   Help him have his dog back!  You will both be the winners. There won’t be any losers – except Baron.

If this pissing contest continues, Judge Jones will make the decision and I guarantee you, someone will be hurt.  And the real tragedy is while all of you argue and nitpick and thumb your noses at one another, Baron languishes alone in a shelter.  I agree with the Judge, and he says it quite eloquently…

We strongly urge all parties to redouble their efforts to settle this case. Candidly, we are embarrassed for counsel and the parties that they have conducted themselves in a fashion that has allowed this case to persist and spin so wildly out of control. We remind them that as they posture and, dare we say, over-lawyer this case, Baron the collie sits in confinement, aging far more rapidly than they.

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