Today’s hearing was brief at only 20 minutes. Attorneys for the City/A’s and S4SJ/Giants made their cases to Judge Joseph H. Huber. Quick rehash: City/S4SJ requests a deposition of the lawsuit petitioners (S4SJ and 5 individuals) to determine if they have standing. S4SJ/Giants believe that because of CEQA law, standing is already there. A secondary argument is whether or not the business relationship the Giants have with S4SJ represents a conflict of interest.
Judge Huber will decide if the deposition request will be granted. The decision will be made in the next couple of days. Regarding the business relationship, the judge noted that many cases involve outright competitors even if a legal challenge was first made on non-competitive grounds. I suspect that he’s leaning to allow the case to move forward without narrowing the scope to just CEQA issues. As for the deposition, we’ll just have to wait for his ruling.
Again, I have to question the wisdom of the City striking the discounted land deal with the A’s. If the land option were granted at “fair market value” S4SJ wouldn’t have been able to add that issue to the case. Assuming that the redevelopment land transfer legality matter were resolved in the near future, that would’ve left only CEQA and the referendum question as the main tenets of the case. As it stands it’s a muddled mess, with the judge wondering what the next steps are as there are no additional hearings or procedural items scheduled at this point. The wheels of justice only turn so swiftly.
Side note: The attorney for the City/A’s mentioned that one of the lawsuit petitioners actually supported the A’s move to San Jose during a previous hearing. Curious.