Recently, the law firm of Wetzel, Wetzel, Bredeson & Holt sent a letter to the Bayview Chamber of Commerce and two individuals, threatening litigation for alleged "Defamation of Character."
While it is and should be, an egregious act to defame another, tempers do flare, and things are said that are out of place. The law firm demanded a public apology, and last night at the Chamber meeting, they got it. That should have ended it, and perhaps we should too.
One thing that bothered me, was that after reading the letter, it appears that this firm is without mentioning names, is pursuing the same methods. An excerpt from this letter follows:
"Your organization, as well as other groups and individuals in the Bayview Area, have, for years now, made unsubstantiated attacks upon our client, Waterford Park Homes, and Mr. Holland, personally. This law firm has represented hundreds of clients throughout the decades of it's existence. The accusations made against Mr. Holland since Waterford first became involved in Bayview have either been half-truths without the benefit of all the facts, or, in most cases, downright mean-spirited lies. The false accusations against our client have piled up one on top of the other to the point where no good deed, no matter how selfless, could possibly overcome the reputation heaped upon him by small minded, bitter people who need no proof to throw stones. It has been our habit, and the habit of our client, to rise above the petty insults cast about by the venomous minority in Bayview."
After examining this letter, and certainly not endorsing rude behavior by anyone, we noticed that the language here tends to be equally inflammatory, toward what is referred to as," the venomous minority in Bayview. We, having access to the "man on the street," so to speak, find two things wrong with this. One, although not mentioning names, other than the two named in the complaint, this law firm has castigated an entire community. Believe me, this is not a bitter minority. In our opinion, it is a backlash, or an attempted defense from an unwelcome invasion that is turning this area on it's head to no one's betterment other than Waterford Park Homes, LLC. While many rumors have floated about, one can't control the thoughts and minds of an entire community. Two many egregious violations of codes and fish kills have left this once proud little village in survival mode. There is an old saying that might be applicable here. "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
A nasty letter will not make peace with the Idaho Department of Lands, nor keep them from holding Mr. Holland's feet to the fire, either. This is my opinion ...
Oh, and did I mention that as a legal issue, you and your client are public figures, and as such are not likely to win other than a bullying contest. Trying to intimidate an entire community is tasteless and beneath you.
Photo by Taryn Hecker Thonpson.
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