David and Goliath in Aspen
August 27, 2018
A lawsuit against the FAA to delay the expansion of the Pitkin County airport might begin with the creation of a tax write-off entity that could crowd-source funds from the thousands of locals wealthy enough to write off their donations. These funds have to be enough ($100,000 minimum?) to retain the services of a transportation-specific law firm in Washington, D.C.
Bodies of law and administrative regulations are built by accretion and there may be contradictions that were overlooked. Thorough and imaginative research, used as legal atom-smashers, has found chinks in the armor of many bodies of "settled law." In our case (Aspen/Pitco vs the FAA), the goal is to avoid a contemptuous dismissal of our suit and put it into appeals at the administrative level that lead to appeals at the three Federal juridical levels that would delay the airport expansion for years and force a redesign.
Aspen needs a new class of environmental activists. It would be wealthy people who thought that retiring to Aspen would bring them peace and quiet. Who will be our champions? Practicing and retired lawyers who know enough to hire the right legal talent? Let them rejuvenate themselves with the fervor they had before they made partner. They could achieve post-retirement fame. The headlines in the New York Times and Bloomberg News could read: "A small town fights back" and "David and Goliath in Aspen." There are less than 30 days remaining in the public comment period. Let them step up.
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