The Contra Costa Times Lisa Vorderbrueggen reported today that the bitter family lawsuit over the estate of the late State Sen. John A. Nejedly has come to a close, at least in Contra Costa County Superior County.
Dropped Lawsuit No. 1: La Russa versus Twitter
Tony La Russa, Walnut Creek’s favorite Major League Baseball team manager and Animal Rescue Foundation guru, officially dropped his questionable lawsuit against social networking site Twitter. La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, sued Twitter over that annoying practice of people appropriating celebrities’ names to create fake profiles. According to La Russa’s complaint, the faux La Russa tweeted comments that the real La Russa found demaging to his reputation, comments that touched on La Russa’s 2007 DUI arrest and made light of the deaths of two Cardinals players.
As annoyed as La Russa might have been, he didn’t have much of a legal case, or so say most experts in media law and First Amendment. As the site, Techdirt.com, pointed out, the profile was obviously fake, intended as satire, and even included a fake bio.
Actually, when I saw headlines today that La Russa, the former Oakland A’s manager, had dropped the lawsuit, I thought, what, didn’t this case get settled already?
As Techdirt.com reports, it turns out that the Associated Press got some facts wrong when it reported last month that La Russa and Twitter had reached a settlement over the case. The AP just went with La Russa’s claim that Twitter had agreed to pay legal fees and donate money to La Russa’s foundation. Twitter said, oh no, we didn’t settle anything, even calling La Russa’s suit “an unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous.” Media law experts agree that if anyone was liable for La Russa being offended it was the creator of the fake profile, not Twitter.
Here’s an image of the court document showing that La Russa voluntarily dropped the case June 26 and that each party will bear its own legal costs. Oh, and the image above left is La Russa’s mugshot from his 2007 arrest.
Dropped Lawsuit No. 2: Nejedly versus Nejedly versus Nejedly Piepho
Nejedly’s oldest son, John T. Nejedly, a Contra Costa Community College trustee, has dropped his lawsuit against brother, Jim Nejedly, and sister, Mary Nejedly Piepho, the county supervisor. John T. Nejedly had accused his siblings of coercing their ailing and elderly father, who died at age 91 in 2006, of disinheriting him.
The case grew bitter when close friends and family said the senator shut his oldest out of his will because he was heartbroken over his son’s struggles with “cocaine and alcohol abuse” and “serious” marital troubles.
It seems that John T. started to earn a bit of a reputation in his youth. My mom recently told me that he was described as a bit of a “smart aleck” by her friend, who had been the secretary at the old Del Valle High School on Tice Valley Road, where John T. Nejedly was a student. This secretary also lived down the street from the grassy, oak-covered, multi-acre Nejedly family estate, which the senator’s main asset and which was at the center of the lawsuit.
Both Jim and Mary Piepho expressed relief that the suit was over, and Piepho told Vorderbrueggen that she wished her brother the best as he “moves on with his life.” I take this statement to mean that the three siblings and their families won’t be getting together for Thanksgiving or other major holidays.