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The NJ Court has ruled for USA Equestrian

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  • #21
    and indeed that is the only poem that I learned in my youth that I can still recite from memory

    always have loved it

    -- and it seemed to fit here rather well, at least to my optimistic thoughts
    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


    • #22
      Isn't that a great poem? It's become such a part of our family since my kids were little that we use it for every occasion:

      the Nastiest Cat On Earth swipes & slices her mother (who is known as the frumious Bandersnatch): the vorpal blade went snicker-snack.

      Our boisterous collie definitely came "galumphing back" to us while playing.

      We have a really fat cat who thinks he's an awesome hunter (he couldn't catch a cold). He somehow became the Jubjub bird, with sarcastic reference to his prowess with "the jaws that bite, the claws that catch," and of course the happy penultimate stanza has symbolized rejoicing to many besides us!


      • #23
        Portia, I'm not an attorney but have live in NJ and am an expert witness in two areas in Superior Court. I can tell you an appeal would be a lawyers dream and a waste of money. Very rarely do the Appelate Courts overturn the Superior Court rulings especially in a case like this where NJ law is clear - well I wouldn't even proceed with an appeal.

        Regarding the whole mess - OUR SPORT LOSES on this BIG TIME IMHO. But the USET has been asking for trouble with their refusal to release financials to people - which is required as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Plus as someone who started out as an Accountant - I'm personally concerned about some practices I've heard through the grapevine about spending, perks, etc. This could be a Pandora's box. Somebody better check the dumpster!!!!


        • #24
          Boy, if a winning Plaintiff can't get attorney's fees after a ruling like this one, when will a court EVER award them?

          Fascinating stuff. What is the USET trying so hard to hide?????
          "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

          Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


          • #25
            Thanks for the insight, Ilona. I've noticed through the years that there are a many reported NJ Superior Court opinions, where in many states (like Texas) the state district court opinions are never published, only the appellate opinions. I guess that's an indication of the respect the appellate courts in New Jersey give to the judgments of the Superior Court judges.

            Pam, it is very hard for parties in business disputes to get an award of their attorney's fees and costs. Courts tend to think of them as just another cost of doing business.

            In this case, the statute allowed for, but did not require, an indeminfication (reimbursement) to a board member or trustee who had to bring an action for the benefit of the corporation. The issue for that was motivations in bringing the suit rather than the merits of the claims. The court was very much aware of the NGB dispute since that was what the USET was using as its excuse for not providing the information requested. According to her opinion, she considered this action a corollary to the USOC proceeding, and she decided that Mr. Balch had brought the action more for the ultimate benefit of the AHSA than for the benefit of the USET, and therefore denied the reimbursement request.
            "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


            • #26
              Having been trained in fine arts and the more philosophical subjects I am very grateful for all of you with the expertise to put these things in perspective.

              It is what I think the USET did not count on. They presumed we were all so lacking in knowledge and experience that we wouldn't care and they were entrenched in their superiority of being the only ones who knew what to do.

              I am also grateful we are a country of "LAWS". In spite of the weaknesses in the system it is still the best system on earth to resolve differences and protect the general good.

              I hope that they will not be able to get a stay, or that they will not bother to appeal and let this whole thing die of it's own weight and controversy.

              It is time it was over and that we could all move on to what's really important for the future of this sport. I hope that all of you that have sent supportive emails to the USA Equestrian have also sent your thoughts to the USET.
              http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


              • #27
                here here to that Snowbird
                Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                • #28
                  There are some new things posted on the USA Eq web site.

                  Most recently is a copy of a letter dated today from Alan Balch to the other USET trustees asking for an end to the challenge and for the parties to work out a solution. (The fed sent out an e-mail notice with the link).

                  There is also a section of documents posted at the direction of the USOC, including a public notice of the hearing set for New York for Sept. 24, 25, and 26. The date on the notice is August 20, so it looks like the USOC is going forward with the hearing (which I suppose isn't really surprising, since it has gone this far).

                  The USOC also directed the parties to post the USET's Amended Challenge documents and USA Eq's answer (without the exhibits to either of them), so those pleadings are now available.

                  All of them are here:

                  USA Eqeustrian -- Governance, USOC
                  "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                  • #29
                    methinks the financials must be very interesting
                    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                    • #30
                      I hope they get published. Wonder when everyone on the team finds out how everyone else got paid!

                      I also wonder if their bookkeeping is as creative as that of the NHJC. And, just think how cooperative all the people who know how despensible they are to the Board of Directors will react when they get back to the meetings. It seems to me that there will be a lot of discidents at those meetings from now on. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                      • #31
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Anne FS:

                        Can't wait to read Armand Leone's response. Should be quite the entertaining spectacle.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                        Anne FS, you are quite right: the following spectacle - with not ONE contact person, but THREE (???) - was emailed to me this evening. Obviously they didn't have much to work with...

                        IlonaE, I've heard that Standish has a shredder in his office and it has been running every night before he leaves the office since 1997.

                        Leone's quote in the following USET release regarding the USOC's decision is wishful thinking at best - they will likely move to drop their association with an organization - on the record now - for not being exactly forthcoming with their financial information - especially after what went on with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee!

                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                        Contact: Marty Bauman, (508) 698-6810, uset.pr@verizon.net
                        Joanna Smith, (908) 234-1251, jsmith@uset.org


                        Gladstone, NJ-August 21, 2001-As a result of a ruling by the Superior Court
                        of New Jersey stemming from a lawsuit filed by American Horse Shows
                        Association (AHSA) President Alan F. Balch against the United States
                        Equestrian Team (USET), the USET is being required to re-conduct its 2001
                        Annual Meeting.
                        In granting Mr. Balch's request for USET financial and other information,
                        the court questioned Mr. Balch's motives, stating "As abhorrent as Mr.
                        Balch's effort to secure documents from USET may be to that organization and
                        in spite of the fact that his true motivation may be the advancement of
                        interests of AHSA of which he is the president, New Jersey law is crystal
                        clear respecting his absolute and unfettered right to have copies of the
                        documents he has requested."
                        The Court also found, in response to Balch's complaint, that the newly
                        adopted by-laws that appointed various ex officio trustees from other
                        equestrian organizations (e.g. National Hunter-Jumper Council, National
                        Disability Sports Alliance) were not in strict conformance with the
                        Certificate of Incorporation and has required that those appointments be
                        The Court did, however, make clear that "notwithstanding the foregoing, the
                        suggestion that [Balch] pursued this course out of concern for the USET is
                        without any merit. In point of fact, each of the parties has pursued the
                        course it has chosen as a corollary to the dispute before the USOC. . . The
                        Court finds that plaintiff's [Balch's] suggestion that he acted only out of
                        a concern for USET to be meritless."
                        "The USET will comply fully and promptly with the ruling of the Superior
                        Court of New Jersey," said USET Vice Chairman Armand Leone, Jr. "The USET
                        had reservations about the type of individualized information that Mr. Balch
                        was requesting, but in view of the Court's order, the USET will supply Mr.
                        Balch with any and all information he seeks, even though the court has cited
                        his personal motivation and lack of good faith. Ultimately, however, Mr.
                        Balch's attempts to derail the challenge before the United States Olympic
                        Committee (USOC) will fail and the USOC Hearing Panel will render a decision
                        based on the merits and the best interests of equestrian sport."
                        The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization that selects,
                        trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest possible standard to
                        represent our country in major international competition, including the
                        Olympic Games and the World Championships. To accomplish this the USET seeks
                        out and nurtures the development of talented athletes - riders, drivers and
                        horses - and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain
                        their fullest potential. For more information on the USET, please call
                        (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

                        Meg B. Schermerhorn
                        Classic Communications
                        38 Mechanic Street, Suite 101
                        Foxboro, MA 02035
                        (508) 698-6810 - phone
                        (508) 698-6811 - fax


                        • #32
                          mmmm, funny. No mention in the USET release of the invalidation of the by-laws

                          Don't see any mention of the findnng that the USET membership was disenfranchised by an improper requirement that only those who donated at least $100 can vote.

                          Anybody see any mention of how they have to renotice the annual meeting with proxys for all the members to vote?

                          And I think they left out that part where the court said:

                          "As Mr. Balch points out, it is the duty of the Trustees, including Balch, to ensure that the organization acts in accordance with its Certificate of Incorporation. and its by-laws and to safeguard the organization and its members from acts in violation of those governing documents. In this regard, the suggestion by USET that the damage is absent or insignificant if of no moment; the suggestion of USET that the steps taken could be remedied by resort to adoption of a new Certificate of Incorporation which would permit the admittedly improper adoption of by-laws is irrelevant. The simple fact of the matter is that in its zeal to protect the organization's USOC challenge from Mr. Balch, the entity has undertaken to engage in ultra vires actions and he has quite properly demanded the relief that his position as a trustee requires that he demand." (emphasis added, citation omitted)

                          By the way, the Court did not find, nor did it suggest, that Mr. Balch acted in bad faith or in violation of any duties to the USET.
                          "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                          • #33
                            Hmm - don't you just LOVE spin doctors.

                            co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


                            • #34
                              cross your fingers - hope - pray - use a little voodoo - light candles and incense.....

                              for the USOC to act as reasonably and fairly as the New Jersey courts
                              Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                              The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                              • #35
                                If you or anyone you know was denied a copy of the USET financials - now would be the time to send a letter requesting copies.


                                • #36
                                  re financials

                                  the detailed reports are -by court order- being released to any uset TRUSTEES that request them

                                  I don't think that we will be seeing any of the paperwork on the nitty gritty of the running of that organization
                                  Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                                  The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                                  • #37
                                    for a letter writing campaign.

                                    I am going to send a nicely worded request, with a copy to the USOC, for the USET accept to the olive branch of mediation which has been offered them and to sit down in good faith to work out a way for the two organizations to work together.

                                    I am going to point out that the continued pursuit of the legal challenge is serving only to damage the sport in the eyes of not only participants and the public, but also sponsors and potential advertisers. Adding fuel to the fire by pitting athletes against athletes in an us vs. them scenario is pointless and abusive.

                                    There are always many sides to a story such as this one, but I have yet to see or hear any reasonable explanation for why the USET staff cannot become the High Performance Division of the AHSA/USAE. Those with skills and contributions to the development and performance of our international and up and coming riders will only be more successful if they have the additional support and resources that would result from a merged organization.

                                    Of course, there will be objections from those who currently enjoy their "control" of a portion of our sport. I can even understand that given their contributions to the sport and their level of interest and identification with the Team and its current structure, that they may feel that they are entitled to that level of command and control. However, the greater good of the sport is more important than any one person's (or group's) interests and agendas.

                                    Perhaps, just perhaps, a flood of reasonably worded letters and requests would help convince these people to put aside their personal issues and take the higher road of cooperation - so that we can refocus our precious resources on improving our team and its performance and development, instead of wasting them on lawyers.

                                    (no offense, Portia... I have family members who are attorneys!!)
                                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                    • #38
                                      I do think that reasonable people will accept the reality of the situation and for the general good will not be available for either a transition or to join.

                                      Aferall, it was successfully accomplished for 50 years no reason why gentlemen can't agree to disagree and then shake hands and put the pieces together.

                                      I read Sarah Cavanaugh's version of things in the new issue of the HDV before the court decision was given. Two points were very clear and pleasant "A ruling against the USET, which
                                      has already had to change it's by-laws three times to conform with USOC requirements of an NGB, could
                                      complicate things, perhaps swaying the USOC toward the AHSA if the hearing panel is divided on the matter".

                                      That's a concession if ever I read one. and a big IF which they've never conceded before, "Should the USOC, after its
                                      September meeting decide that the AHSA will continue as NGB, the association, under it's new name, will have to
                                      put into effect a crash program to raise the funds necessary to field teams, a sum which runs to over $7 million
                                      That's pretty close to a concession to me. They've always implied that since they always did the job there was no
                                      way the USOC wouldn't approve them.

                                      On the other war front "that's because Sue Pickney, our Executive Director, has an office in the HITS headquarters
                                      in New York, and the HITS flies her out to Indio and gives her quarters there",
                                      quote from Struzzerri.
                                      "I'm too busy to deal with Council problems across the continent but if Sue's right there I can spend an hour or two
                                      with her,"
                                      Struzzerri said.

                                      Best line of all "If this sport takes a couple of steps back, it's on Alan's shoulders", said Struzzerri, "I will not serve
                                      again. It's a preposterous waste of my time. I'm shackled by a man I don't respect. A lot of energy and volunteer
                                      time is being wasted...."

                                      "Right now, we couldn't beg anyone on our board to be president",
                                      said Struzzerri."

                                      Well I guess we better start to mobilize for new Zone Committees that don't have a conflict of interest. I hope that's a promise from Mr.Struzzerri because what we don't need is to have personalities be more important than the issues and our mission to make this sport mainstream.
                                      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                      • #39

                                        I'm having trouble following the context of your quote from Tom Struzzerri....where is that particular statement in its entirety? I must be missing something.
                                        Come alive in 2005!


                                        • #40
                                          Two lead stories:
                                          Mediation fails to resolve dispute, setting stage for showdown picture Armand Leone

                                          Summary of current deadlines and suppositions. Obviously before the Court Ruling became public. I think it indicates their frame of mind. Not much in it about if the Court had ruled in favor of the USET. My interpretation "they knew they could lose this round".

                                          The quote refers to what is ostensibly a news article but obviously the current view from the USET.

                                          the later quote from the same issue article:
                                          Hunter/Jumper leaders losing heart in struggle to be free pictures left to right Alan Balch, Tom Struzerri, Leo Conroy.

                                          This appears to be in response to the issues that have been raised by members under their right to know if Sue Pinckney is an employee of HITS or NHJC. And, the recent debate about the need for
                                          a statement to certify a lack of conflict of interests. HDV also published the reply statement from Alan Balch. I think it is quite clear that since the NHJC receives from the Federation $500,000 annual to support them that explanations of how the money is spent is warranted and even the suspicion of an incestuous business relationship between members of the controlling body is negative.

                                          Nevertheless, the USAEq has gone out of it's way in this time of crisis to make sure that there are no errors that can be utilized by anyone to suggest that it does not comply with the Ted Stevens Athletes Act, and even more that there are no violations of the status since they are a non-profit corporation.

                                          Clearly, the NHJC has not the same status as an independent association that is simply affiliated since it is directly funded by membership money.

                                          This is the context of the statements by Mr. Struzerri in that they are offended to be required to warrant that they have no conflict of interests in any judgments they make for us.
                                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org