Saturday, January 2, 2010

Is Settlement on the Horizon?

USCF's attorneys in the Texas case have filed a paper with the court curiously entitled NOTICE TO THE COURT OF TENTATIVE, POSSIBLE, PARTIAL SETTLEMENT. (I am not sure guys, but could you put a few more qualifiers in that title?) The settlement would resolve all claims in the TX, CA, and IL actions except USCF v. Gregory Alexander (formerly in CA, but transfered to Texas) and Polgar v. Sloan (in Texas). The settlement would not have any effect on the Alexander criminal case. The document does not discuss terms.

For information about settlement, we need to turn to a bizarre filing by Sam Sloan. While Sloan's filing itself is hardly a reliable source of information, the emails between Sloan and the mediators indicate that the parties are agreeing to a mutual dismissal of the claims, without payment by either party. An email to Sloan from the mediators states:

You'll be surprised, and hopefully pleased, to know that the USCF & Susan Polgar have agreed to settle all of the current cases. Basically, both sides agreed to walk away & provide mutual releases back and forth.

Sam, in his inimitable fashion, has reacted to a proposed settlement by throwing a public snit fit. A less charitable mind than mine might form the opinion that Sam was trying to cause trouble in the hopes that one side or the other would pay him money to shut up and go away.

As to the settlement terms, as far as known, do not seem unreasonable under the circumstances. USCF has claims against Polgar which, if reduced to a judgment would be, at a minimum, very difficult to collect. Polgar's claims are flimsy and unlikely to prevail. Of course, the precise details of the settlement are unknown at this point.

There has been some speculation about possible settlement terms that do not strike me as reasonable. Sloan has claimed that Polgar and Truong would be restored to the board. Not bloody likely. First of all, I don't think the EB has the power to do that. Secondly, from USCF's point of view, the entire goal has been to eliminate potential liabilities arising from the FSS affair. Restoring Polgar and Truong to the Board would completely frustrate that goal. I just don't see any reasonable scenario where that could fly.

Some have made a claim about our FIDE affiliation. I don't see that as being realistically involved. Our FIDE affiliation is not ours to give. FIDE's affiliation belongs to FIDE, and FIDE can give it to whoever it wants to.

In all, it would prove to be a tragic waste of time, money, opportunity and potential, but, at least, it would all be over.

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