The Commonwealth of Virginia has defaulted on a lawsuit.Read the entire story with links at The Publisher's Notebook.
You read that right. The commonwealth, along with James Madison University, has defaulted on a tortious interference case in New York. We’ll know next week how much it’s going to cost you and me.
Here’s what happened: A guy named Matthew Brady was the men’s basketball coach at Marist College in Dutchess County, N.Y., for four years. He had a contract with Marist that ran through 2011.
He took a job with JMU. According to the lawsuit Marist filed, JMU and the commonwealth tortiously interfered with that contract. Also, Brady went after some of the kids he had recruited for Marist, which was an alleged breach of fiduciary duty to Marist, “intentionally induced” by JMU, according to the suit.
Procedurally, Marist filed in state court, the case was removed to federal court, where JMU and the commonwealth answered and filed number of pleadings to get the suit kicked. The suit was remanded to state court. Marist moved for default a few months after the suit was back in state court.
Odd thing is that during the period of time when Cuccinelli's office was supposed to be defending James Madison University against this lawsuit, Ken Cuccinelli was instead sending JMU a letter telling them that it was not okay for Virginia's public universities to have non-discrimination policies that protected gays from discrimination. The long and short of it is that Ken Cuccinelli has been playing politics instead of doing his job.
How serious is it to have a default judgement? For the defendant, a default judgement may not be all that serious: a default can often be set aside by the court. For the lawyer or lawyers who caused the default, it could serve as the basis of a claim of malpractice. Ken Cuccinelli has clearly been too distracted by playing politics and not paying attention to his job. Maybe this incident will cause the attorney general to reconsider where he focuses his attention going forward and stop neglecting the actual duties of his job.