Published on Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (http://gata.org)

Howe Lawsuit Survives Hearing On Dismissal Motions

By Administrator
Created 2001-11-06 08:00

MANCHESTER, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 2001--The following statement was released on Monday, Nov. 5, 2001, by Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer, Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.:

"The case of Howe vs. Bank for International Settlements et al. -- I like to call it Howe vs. All the Money in the World -- was roughed up a little today but survived its first day of hearing in federal court in Boston.

"During 2 1/2 hours of oral argument, U.S. District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay dismissed two counts of the lawsuit involving securities fraud charges against defendant J.P. Morgan/Chase, and ruled that the plaintiff's method of serving lawsuit notice papers against the BIS -- by mail in English instead of by personal service in German -- was insufficient.

"But the two dismissed securities fraud counts were secondary to the lawsuit's substance, and the problem with the lawsuit notice probably can be fixed by a pricey translator if the lawsuit is allowed to proceed.

"The judge took the remainder of the case back to his chambers for drafting a written decision on the plaintiffs' motions to dismiss the rest of the lawsuit. That could take weeks or months.

"The case was called at 2:30 p.m. in a beautiful and huge courtroom in the opulent new U.S. courthouse just across Fort Point Channel from gleaming downtown Boston. About 30 people sat in the audience section at the back of the courtroom, some of them GATA supporters, including a few who had come quite a long way to watch.

"Plaintiff Howe sat alone at the counsel's table on the audience's left. At the counsel's table on the right sat his opponents, nine lawyers representing the BIS, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan/Chase, Citigroup, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Behind them in the gallery were still a few more defendants' lawyers. The defendants' lawyers seemed to be smirking over their having had to come all this way just to confront a mere pro-se litigant, but they seemed to be smirking less when it was over.

"About two-thirds of the hearing consisted of Judge Lindsay's questioning Howe about the case and its likely weaknesses. The judge was exceptionally well-informed about both the legal technicalities and the broader issues behind them. While he sought to move the hearing along, he also was pretty indulgent in letting Howe explain things.

"The hearing wasn't really about whether the gold market is manipulated. It was about whether there is any basis in law for the suit. Thus it turns on legal issues and technicalities that will interest few of the partisans of gold and free markets -- issues like the very limited circumstances under which the government and government officials may be sued for official acts. But a few observations from this partisan may be of interest:

"When it was over, the courtroom cleared out quickly, and Howe was left alone at the counsel table packing his books and papers into his briefcases. Forgive the editorializing, but I couldn't help but think of the scene at the end of the trial in that wonderful movie, "To Kill a Mockingbird," when Gregory Peck, playing the quietly heroic defense lawyer, Atticus Finch, does the same thing, seemingly alone -- and yet he is not alone, but rather watched by the oppressed people in the gallery with awe, admiration, and respect for standing up against the most hateful and vicious power. What I saw today was really not so different.

"I won't guess what will happen with this case; anything can. Maybe the essence of what has happened today is that we could have lost the whole case but didn't. (I spent some time later with Howe and his business associate, Bob Landis, and, analyzing the day clinically, almost as a sport, they seemed ready to be hopeful.)

"We still may lose the case on the technicalities in a few weeks and should be prepared for that.

"But two things:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Source URL: