The Pellucid Perspective - January 2013 - (Page 8)

Golf course litigation Sharp Park wins But, what if this happened to you? By Harvey Silverman T he Perspective has reported on and much has been writ- San Francisco is bluer than blue. In December 2011, the Board ten in the golf media about a lawsuit filed against Sharp of Supervisors passed an ordinance to close Sharp Park and Park Golf Course and its owner, the City and County of convert it to a frog and snake sanctuary. This was vetoed by San Francisco. To many people, this lawsuit by several environ- Mayor Ed Lee, who happens to also be a golfer. mental groups was the first salvo in a planned conspiracy to rid The City and SFPGA were pitted against a cauldron of nonthe landscape of golf courses; that by winning this lawsuit the profit environmental organizations, led by the Wild Equity Inenvironmentalists would march across the country and iden- stitute (“wild equity” – that’s what we all had in our houses at tify infractions of the Endangered Species Act at other courses one time, isn’t it?). Other co-plaintiffs included the Center for and force them to litigate, mitigate, or shut down. There may be Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, National Parks Conservasome hyperbole associated with that fear, and that’s not what tion Association, Surfrider Foundation, and Sequoia Audubon. will be discussed here. Rather, we sought to learn in order to All have substantial means, staff, and strategies to prevail in cases like this. warn our readers what might be faced if this happened to you. We obtained a record of the 28-page court docket to see just As the title indicates, Sharp Park and San Francisco won how complex a case like this might be. Reviewing the docket when the case was dismissed “without prejudice” after the U.S. was mind-numbing and made our eyes Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) found that golf at Sharp Park is “not likely to Our question was, what cross with the listings of motions, declarations, stipulations, exhibits, orders, joinjeopardize the continued existence of the California red-legged frog or San Fran- did it take to get to that ders, replies, conferences…and on and on. cisco garter snake (how many snakes are point in terms of legal The point of this was to determine how named for one of the most famous cities in much such a defense might cost the priresources; and how the world?).” The FWS issued an Incidenvate golf club owner if faced with a simital Take Statement, approving continued much might it cost for lar predicament. We turned to Edward L. golf and related maintenance activities Smilow, Esq. of Golf Course Law in La a private golf course subject to FWS restrictions on pesticides, Quinta, CA for some insight. He wrote: golf carts, water pumping, and other prac- owner to defend himself “My review of the court docket inditices. (San Francisco Public Golf Alliance cates a great deal of time and energy spent against such an action? in the legal arena from the preparation for press release, 12/7/2102). Our question was, what did it take to the initial pleadings, application and opget to that point in terms of legal resourcposition to a motion for preliminary ines; and how much might it cost for a prijunctive relief, court ordered settlement vate golf course owner to defend himself against such an action? procedures, case management conferences, cross-motions for Two local gentlemen, both avid golfers and attorneys, took summary judgment, and the motion and opposition to a moup the cause to save Sharp Park. Richard Harris and Bo Links tion to dismiss. Matters not reflected in the court docket would (yes) marshaled resources, funds, public and political support include informal and written discovery, depositions, legal rewhen the lawsuit was filed in March, 2011. They became the search, expert consultations, attorney conferences, client conferadvocates, and maybe the only hope, for the thousands of golf- ences and phone calls. This could easily have cost each side half ers who play 50,000 rounds a year on the Alister MacKenzie- a million dollars in legal fees or even more, given the number designed, oceanside Sharp Park course. They formed the San of attorneys involved and number of interested organizations.” Francisco Public Golf Alliance. The SFPGA was represented He goes on: “The lesson to be taken from the Sharp Park by the Morrison and Foerster law firm, and successfully won case is the old adage about an ounce of prevention. Thinking of status as an “intervenor defendant,” in order to work alongside potential consequences before action or inaction is taken is vital the City of San Francisco legal staff. This was a major victory, as to assessing the risks of doing so, especially in this watchdog the court recognized that Sharp Park’s golfers deserved a voice litigious society. Golf courses throughout the United States in the proceedings as well. must be vigilant in an attempt to remain compliant with the And it wasn’t just legal work that prevailed in the victory. law. Yearly audits and reviews should be conducted with expeThe SFPGA also had to fight the local political establishment, rienced legal counsel to minimize the potential risk of lawsuits. which in San Francisco is as far left of Albuquerque as one can When changes are contemplated in course management and go. Like the old Tide commercial that it’s “Whiter than White,” operations, legal counsel should be included in the planning 8 The Pellucid Perspective January 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - January 2013

The Pellucid Perspective - January 2013
Contents
A Pellucid Preview of the 2012 State of the Industry
Boom times for golf course brokers
Show time: Happy days are here again?
Sharp Park wins
Private owner launches another attack on municipal course tax exemptions
December golf weather impact: 2012 a year for the record books!
Goofy had company in Orlando course developers
Dallas negotiating for construction of new championship course
“Customer co-production” worth looking into for golf

The Pellucid Perspective - January 2013

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201008
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com