John S. Hausman of The Muskegon Chronicle has issued the following report:
Rocker Ted Nugent's lawsuit against Muskegon Summer Celebration over the festival's cancellation of his scheduled 2003 performance has survived yet another attempt to have it thrown out of court, this time on a technicality.
After a hearing Monday, 14th Circuit Judge Timothy G. Hicks denied a "motion for summary disposition" by the festival's lawyer, based on failures last summer by Nugent's lawyers to meet deadlines for filing various documents.
While conceding that festival lawyer Craig Noland was legally correct, Hicks decided to keep the lawsuit alive anyhow, accepting what he called "common-sense arguments" by Nugent's lawyers against scuttling the lawsuit.
Essentially, Nugent co-counsel Gary A. Peters argued that the deadlines were missed because the rock star's chief lawyer, Cindy Rhodes Victor, was in the middle of changing law firms at the time; that the case also was changing venues from Jackson County to Muskegon County in the same period; and that the documents eventually were filed, although late.
Hicks cited case law that he said gave him discretion to keep the case alive despite the technical violations. The judge said dismissing a case on such grounds, though legally justifiable, would be extremely unusual.
The case is scheduled for a pretrial settlement conference March 18, with a jury trial scheduled for March 22 if no settlement is reached.
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