HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

LA JOLLA SEALS THREATENED BY ATTORNEY

San Diego -- A San Diego attorney who has received over one million dollars fighting to remove the cute seals at the so-called Childrens' Pool in La Jolla, wants still more money.
Lawyer Paul Kennerson won a court order on September 19th requiring the City of San Diego to dredge the ocean-side pool. That will restore the famous beach to its 1931 configuration as a "bathing pool," rather than a sandy beach where harbor seals have historically rested and gave birth annually to their seal pups.
Kennerson was in court on September 30th seeking an Order to have the seals dispersed immediately, before the dredging. And, he was able to accumulate more billable hours at the unusual hearing.
"There's nothing in the court's September order that says the seals have to be despersed now," before the dredging, said attorney Bryan Pease of the Animal Protection and Rescue League of Hillcrest. The APRL has been in the forefront of efforts to protect the seals in La Jolla.
The dredging, however, cannot be done until the City first obtains state and federal permits, according to Pease.
"Kennerson hates the seals and thinks they create a nuisance for swimmers and prevcents people from using the beach, Pease added.
But, lawyer Kennerson isn't happy with that. He is threatening to do away with the seal ASAP.
Kennerson, by the way, represents a Venezuela citizen - Valerie O'Sullivan - who lives in New Zealand, not in La Jolla.
Representing his absentee client, Kennerson tried a legal procedural device on Tuesday (9/30) that would - if successful - re-write the court's September 19th Order and force the City to begin dredging immediately.
He tried to get an ex-parte court Order to accomplish his campaign to force the seals off the beach. If successful, that would have meant no seal pups this year, because their critical pupping season doesn't begin until December.
Ex Parte court Orders, however, are restricted to emergency situations where, unless the Court acts without hearing the case fully on its merits, irreparable injury would result. Obviously, that condition didn't apply here.
So, on Tuesday September 30th, Superior Court Judge Yuri Hoffman thwarted attorney Kennerson's odd procedural move, and ordered full briefings by both sides (Kennerson and the City), and set a hearing on the merits for Oct. 21st.
"If the court re-writes its Order (of Sept, 19th), it will be a pretty extreme thing. But, I wouldnt be susprised," Pease remarked in an interview.
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Copyright 2008 by journalist Leo E. Laurence, J.D., leopowerhere@msn.com (619) 757-4909

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