Earlier this week the appellate court met in Monticello to hear oral presentations. Lynne Dahl Fleming was good enough to send me an update. Well, the update really consisted of – it happened. Now it’s up to the court to rule on the issue, which they need to do in the next 90 days.
What I didn’t realize, since my law knowledge mostly consists of several seasons of Boston Legal, is that the Court of Appeals opinions can either be published or unpublished. If it’s unpublished they are not intended to be used as precedent and can be cited in arguments before the courts of the state only in limited circumstances. Opinions are published for cases in which when the decision establishes a new rule of law, provides important procedural guidelines in interpreting statutes and/or involves significant legal issues. The appellate judges in this case did not state whether the opinion would be published or unpublished but did say that they will provide an opinion within 90 days.
There have been a lot of lessons learned through the Monticello ordeal. Lynne said it best when she said, “I feel most sorry for all of those Monticello citizens who voted YES (74%) at the referendum. Now they too have to wait for FiberNet services which should have been available to residents by this time had the lawsuit not been presented by Bridgewater/TDS Telecom.”