VVM Responds to Latest Court Ruling in Bay Guardian Case

January 14, 2010

Once again the Bay Guardian has ignored the facts in favor of making a gesture.

Its satisfaction that New Times has “lost another court ruling” is misplaced.

As we made clear in our statement of January 12, we expected to lose our request for a temporary stay of the charging order. We took that procedural step in order to clear the way for a formal appeal of the charging order, a ruling that goes far beyond what the law would allow.

The San Francisco court’s charging order says the Guardian can attempt to pocket any cash distributions New Times receives from its publications as a limited partner or member of the company. But New Times is a holding company, and those monies simply don’t exist.

We also have previously addressed the question of an appeal bond. The absurd amount of the judgment in the Guardian‘s predatory pricing lawsuit means that an appeal bond would have to be secured with a staggering $30 million in assets. Neither of the two remaining defendants in the suit, SF Weekly or New Times Media, has assets even approaching that amount.

We are not “relying on our complex corporate structure” to avoid paying the judgment. Rather, we have taken the perfectly natural step of appealing the judgment to the California Court of Appeal.

Instead of aiding in an expeditious appeal, the Guardian has repeatedly sought to delay that process, asking for extensions of the deadline by which it must file its brief. In the meantime, it has produced a flurry of other legal documents as part of an effort to immediately collect the judgment, and has also attempted to damage our business by waging a public relations campaign that has included outrageous threats to seize and sell our newspapers.

We will continue to consider all of our legal options with regard to this case, and we will wait with interest to see if the Guardian misses yet another filing deadline in the appeals process. Its next deadline is January 21.

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