David Coppedge Trial: Winding Down?

This thing just won’t end. In our last three posts on the subject, we were examining the latest bunch of pleadings filed after the trial by David Coppedge, the creationist who claims he was wrongfully demoted and later fired by his employer because he was promoting Intelligent Design (ID) on the job. Coppedge used to work as a computer technician for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is part of Caltech. He also maintains a creationist website:Creation-Evolution Headlines — which was recently moved here.

When the trial ended, the judge told JPL-Caltech to write up a final decision document that rules against Coppedge on all counts, and Coppedge is objecting to that proposed order. We reviewed most of his latest pleadings; perhaps we’ll never get to the last two. Our most recent post was David Coppedge’s Last Stand, Part 3.

Now we’ve learned that there are yet more post-trial pleadings that have been added to the archive maintained by our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), located here: NCSE’s Coppedge archive. They’re all pdf files, and they’re scans of the originals so we can’t cut and paste.

Okay, let’s look at the new stuff. The first is from JPL-Caltech. They’re responding to Coppedge’s recent blizzard of pleadings. It’s captioned Reponse to Plaintiff’s Objections to Defendant’s Proposed Statement of Decision. We note with supreme relief that it’s only four pages long. It says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Plaintiff [Coppedge] has used his Objections to Proposed Statement of Decision (“Objections”) as an attempt to retry his case after the Court has ruled against him following a six-week trial and extensive post-trial briefing. This is not a proper or acceptable use of Objections to a statement of decision.

Then they cite and quote from the rules regarding a proposed statement of decision and objections thereto, and they say:

[Coppedge] had a right to file objections. However, Plaintiff’s “Objections” are not objections; they are a re-trial on paper, in which Plaintiff attacks virtually every finding of fact and conclusion of law in Defendant’s Proposed Statement. Simply put, what Plaintiff wants is not clarification of Defendant’s Proposed Statement, but rather, for the Court to change its mind and rule in his favor.

That’s pretty much how we see it too. The pleading ends with this eloquent statement:

Defendant [JPL-Caltech] respectfully requests that the Court disregard Plaintiff’s meritless and burdensome Objections, and enter Defendant’s Proposed Statement of Decision and Proposed Judgment.

Very well said indeed! And now we come to the other new pleading. It’s from Coppedge, dated two days after and responding to the foregoing. It has a wonderful title: Plaintiff’s Objection to Defendant’s Objection to Plaintiff’s Objections to Defendant’s Proposed Statement of Decision. It’s ten pages long, and says:

Defendant’s [JPL-Caltech’s] mischaracterizing Plaintiff’s Objections to Defendant’s Proposed Statement of Decision as an attempt to retry the facts is mere sophistry.

Sophistry! Skipping some technical argument about the rules, Coppedge continues:

Defendant’s howls do little to disguise the deficiencies in it’s Proposed Statement. Practically every proposed finding of fact and conclusion of law proposed by Defendant shows Defendant to have omitted material facts or stated them in such a way as to draw confusion.

What follows is an example — a discussion of what a catastrophic, horrendous, and monumental event it was to remove Coppedge from his position as Team Lead of the computer maintenance section. Then he continues:

Because practically every proposed finding is defective, it would be impossible to explain their defects comprehensively here.

But despite the impossibility, he gives a few more examples. These were all discussed in depth in Coppedge’s prior batch of pleadings, so we won’t bother with them. Skipping a page or two we come to this:

The final point within this mysterious cluster of facts is that Coppedge tried to defend himself. The evidence shows the DVDs concerned the topic of intelligent design. The written warning specifically identified the DVDs as objectionable (without specifiying a reason). This fact is only relevant to show that Coppedge sought to disabuse his supervisors of their ignorant assumption that the DVDs contained objectionable material. What is Defendant’s purpose for asserting it? No clear answer comes to mind.

Could the answer be — gasp! — prejudice by Big Science against intelligent design? O the injustice!

The pleading wraps up with a justification for all that Coppedge has been filing lately:

With as many factual and legal issues asserted in Defendant’s Proposed Statement of Decision, Plaintiff could not in good conscience risk waiver for appellate review by failing to pinpoint alleged deficiencies in the Proposed Statement of Decision so the Court could focus on the facts and issues Plaintiff contends were not resolved or the resolution of which is ambiguous.

So there you are. Coppedge is doing this as a matter of conscience. Perhaps now the court will sign the decision document prepared by JPL and then this mess can proceed to the appellate phase. At some point in the distant future, it will all be over.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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34 responses to “David Coppedge Trial: Winding Down?

  1. Coppedge (actually his attorneys) sound like that old pet rock where each side says “turn me over.”

    Will this actually head to an appellate court and waste more taxpayer money, or does the Coppedge side end up paying court expenses?

  2. DavidK asks: “does the Coppedge side end up paying court expenses?”

    I donno. It depends on the statutes involved. Some civil rights statutes provide that loser pays. This is a state court case in California, so it depends on their employment laws, plus whatever else Coppedge included in his complaint.

  3. Further reply to DavidK: I looked at JPL’s Answer to the 2nd Amended Complaint. At the end of it they asked for costs and attorney’s fees. So maybe that’ll be part of the final order.

  4. Why can’t you cut and paste a pdf?

    You don’t know about Acrobat’s OCR function? Or for that matter, the OCR in Microsoft Office Imaging.

  5. I finally understand why the court decision has been so slow coming. If I were the judge, I too would want to procrastinate on dealing with this kind of nonsense.

  6. Shameless plug: What a fine birthday present for old Doc Bill! Thank you! You’re too kind! Really, I’m so unworthy! Have some cake and champagne!

    Becker writes:

    The final point within this mysterious cluster of facts…

    It’s a cluster alright but not of facts!

    In a previous incarnation of complaints Coppedge goes on for pages and pages how important the Team Lead position was. Why, it was so grand JPL didn’t even have a job grade classification for it. Why, it was so grand that JPL just knew that the honoree would refuse remuneration and, therefore, it was an unpaid position. Why, it was so grand that it was too grand to merit some tacky accoutrement like an office or a personal assistant.

    It was that grand a position. Beyond description. Verily, an emperor would kneel at the feet of a Team Lead in respect, awe and humbletudeness.

    Or so we are led to believe by former Team Lead Coppedge.

    In actuality being Team Lead was a go-fer: attend meetings, pass out notes. I’m surprised JPL didn’t dress up Coppy in a Daffy Duck bellhop outfit. “Candygram for Mongo! Candygram for Mongo!” When Coppedge was relieved of duty you can imagine the other SA’s ducking behind their desks as the Eye of Sauron swept over the cubicles looking for a replacement. I assure you, old Coppers wasn’t Team Lead for 9 years because he was so cracking good at that job! In fact, it probably got old Coppers out of their hair for a good part of the day so he didn’t screw up something.

    It’s like the accounting supervisor in my old company who was related to an Executive. Lousy accountant. Lousy supervisor. Nobody had the stones to fire the guy so he bounced around from one special assignment team to another. He finally met his Waterloo or, perhaps, Lulu Belle, when he was caught bonking her under a trampoline in the company gym. UNDER the trampoline? That’s what I thought, too! I’m sure they got him for lack of imagination as much as anything.

  7. Happy birthday, docbill1351!

  8. Diogenes asks: “You don’t know about Acrobat’s OCR function?”

    It’s a paid upgrade, and I don’t need it except for stuff like this, so I never got it. I’ll just keep struggling along.

  9. Happy birthday doc! May you postpone senility for yet another year… 🙂

  10. Charley Horse

    ….UNDER the trampoline? That’s what I thought, too! ….

    Best laugh this week! Thanks for that and happy birthday!

  11. Although Lulu Belle (not her real name. No, seriously, not her real name. I think her real name was Jessie, but it was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.) – anyway – Lulu had a “history” in the company, all rumor and gossip so it must have been true, of sleeping her way up the ladder of success and became the Athletic Director by going along to get ahead, if you get my drift. So, scumbag accountant promised Lulu to introduce her to the Executive sweet, er, suite if she could teach him a few tricks on, or under, the trampoline – nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Unfortunately, in the end the only bouncing he got was out the door. What, you say, “he” and not “they?” That is true. Apparently until the day she retired some 20 years later, Lulu (not her real name; see above) was a better record keeper than bounced-out-the-door scumbag accountant and had records, dates, times and names, otherwise known as the Low Down of the managerial conquests she had wrung, er, rung on said ladder. Thus, she spent her remaining “career” with her hands in the Executive sweets, er, suites and she had a Happy Ending after all.

  12. Pete Moulton

    Happy birthday, doc! I look forward to a good many more years of your wit and wisdom.

  13. Hey, docbill1351: Don’t expect me to calendar this to remember your birthday next year. You’ll have to remind us — if you can remember it.

  14. And the next article will be called

    Defendants Objection to Plaintiff’s Objection to Defendant’s Objection to Plaintiff’s Objections to Defendant’s Proposed Statement of Decision.

    Also known as WTF???

  15. doodlebugger

    Coppedge has created and is living in his own personal lake of fire. Oh for the ability to actually reason. What a waste ….

  16. doodlebugger

    Doc! I love happy endings! Speaking of which, .,,,,,,,2Happy Birthday!

  17. … Because practically every proposed finding is defective, it would be impossible to explain their defects …

    Impossible! Wow, it’s must be designed or something.

    Happy Annular Solar Circumnavigation to Doc Bill!

  18. retiredsciguy

    Hey, Doc, not only is it your birthday, It’s also the date of Earth’s perihelion (most years, anyway.) Seems strange to most people in the Northern Hemisphere that the Earth is actually closest to the Sun in January, but that’s a fact. Not hard to believe if you’re in Australia, though.

    On other matters not related to this string, but important to this blog — just heard on the local TV news here in Hoosierville that our Representative in Congress, Todd Rokita, has just been appointed Chairman of the House Committee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. This is the same Todd Rokita who told me, face-to-face last summer, that just because the Supreme Court has ruled that teaching creationism in public schools is unconstitutional doesn’t necessarily mean it is unconstitutional. Have fun with that, Curmy. I must have caught him at an unguarded moment.

  19. This reminds me of an episode of Star Trek where Mr. Data was trying to beat an arrogant alien at the game of Strategema eventually he changed his strategy to trying to achieve a draw rather than a win. It is now obvious there will be endless appeals, for the only bane of the creationist is to slink quietly into irrelevance where at some point deep pockets become sealed and they are relegated to the dust bin of history.

  20. SC said … ” At the end of it they asked for costs and attorney’s fees. So maybe that’ll be part of the final order.”

    This could explain Coppedge’s continuing hysterical melodramatic screeching over the judge’s ruling. That is, above and beyond the usual reasons creationists routinely behave this way.

  21. What is the judge up to?

    Can’t he stop Coppedge’s slow-motion suicide? How long does it take to make a ruling? For this deluded moron’s sake, if not for the judge’s own.

    Perhaps he like the lulz. How many cases could be get that are this amusing? The original filing included its own screenplay.

  22. Last year I drove through Dover, Pa. and took my picture in front of the high school. Dreary place. That sets the stage for why Dover didn’t appeal Kitzmiller: the bums got voted out and the new school board paid the fees and moved on.

    Freshwater is still pending and if the Ohio Supremes vote against him I wouldn’t be surprised if he re-molded his case around a First Amendment violation and petitioned SCOTUS.

    Professional nutball Orly Taitz has apparently filed and lost 95 suits against Obama with no end in sight even after being fined by the court.

    As long as there is a lawyer willing to file motions for Coppedge he will pester the courts and provide us with great entertainment.

    And, finally, I thought it was interesting in the latest draft of nonsense that Coppedge is still trying to make an issue out of the content of the DVD’s when it was demonstrated by JPL that it was the nature of Coppedge’s behavior that was the problem. Oh, sorry, that finding is obviously WRONG because Coppy says so! My mistake.

  23. docbill1351 says: “Coppedge is still trying to make an issue out of the content of the DVD’s when it was demonstrated by JPL that it was the nature of Coppedge’s behavior that was the problem.”

    I suspect that if he had been let go because he was running through the halls nude, pinching all the girls on the fanny, he’d still be claiming he was a victim of viewpoint discrimination over intelligent design.

  24. I suspect that if he had been let go because he was running through the halls nude, pinching all the girls on the fanny,

    I actually did that. Turns out there was nothing in the Employee Handbook that said I couldn’t. In retrospect, I should have done it in July, not December, to prevent this from happening.

  25. At my office we had an employee come in drenched from a bike ride who hung his BVDs on an oscillating fan in the IT development area to dry them off. He was let go for undisclosed reasons. As far as I know, he didn’t sue.

  26. retiredsciguy

    @Paul S — Now that’s funny! Great material for a sitcom. Maybe he was let go because they didn’t want any employees who were crazy enough to ride a bike to work through pouring rain — or was he standing there naked waiting for his jeans to dry as well?

  27. Paul S says: “At my office we had an employee come in drenched from a bike ride who hung his BVDs on an oscillating fan”

    That shows the injustice that prevails in the workplace. A female employee who did that wouldn’t be fired.

  28. He had a change of clothes, but the IT area was later dubbed The Ball Room

  29. retiredsciguy

    Paul S: “The Ball Room”

    Oh, you really should be writing a sitcom!

  30. Paul S. writes: … an employee … who hung his BVDs on an oscillating fan in the IT development area … As far as I know, he didn’t sue.

    He didn’t sue?. You would think he might at least file a brief.

    After this incident, I bet the ladies just couldn’t wait to get their Hanes on him.

    I hear he’s found a new job now, as a professional boxer.

  31. Tomato Addict, you’re certainly feeling jocular today.

  32. My cup runneth over.

  33. “narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

  34. Well I certainly hopes so!