Saturday, February 14, 2009

6th Circuit Court of Appeals tells AiG and CMI to go to arbitration

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Creation Ministries International and Answers in Genesis to settle their dispute with private arbitration, the outcome sought by Answers in Genesis and affirming the trial court's ruling. CMI had hoped to force the U.S. dispute into the Australian courts, where a second lawsuit is ongoing and has its next hearing in April. This decision opens a route for AiG to stop the Australian proceedings in favor of the private arbitration that has been ordered in the United States.

The court's decision is here (PDF).

It appears to me that CMI is going to be held to the agreements that its previous board of directors signed, however foolish, irresponsible, or unethical it was of them to do so. As those previous board members resigned in return for indemnification, it doesn't appear to me that CMI is likely to obtain any remedy for the wrongs it alleges have occurred. It looks like AiG operated within the bounds of the law in its actions.

4 comments:

Ktisophilos said...

Since AiG is evidently taking the view that whatever is legal is moral, one wonders if they can any longer write credibly against legal things they disagree with, e.g. abortion, for example, without blatant hypocrisy.

Mrs said...

You wrote: "This decision opens a route for AiG to stop the Australian proceedings in favor of the private arbitration that has been ordered in the United States."

The district court "declined to issue a foreign antisuit injunction to halt the Australian litigation", and the Federal court "affirm[ed] the judgment of the district court in its entirety", stating the lower court "did not abuse its discretion in declining to issue an antisuit injunction based upon the facts as they now stand".

If I understand correctly, then AIG could still be held accountable in Australia.

Jim Lippard said...

Mrs: That is correct, the court declined "to issue a foreign anti-suit injunction," but the decision also says that "Should the status of the Australian litigation [currently suspended] change following the issuance of our opinion, AiG may renew its motion for an injunction before the district court. At that time, the district court may apply the Gau Shan factors to the then-present facts and make a new determination" (p. 17). See the bottom of p. 16 for a quick summary of those factors (in general, not in this particular case); the suggestion is that if CMI is using the Australian venue in "attempting to evade [an] important public policy of this forum," then such an injunction could be issued. The court declines to speculate on the details.

Nathan Zamprogno said...

This URL:

http://creation.com/dispute-settled

claims that the dispute has now been settled. CMI's uncharacteristic terseness in this announcement strongly suggests that one of the clauses was an ultimatum to "shut up". If so, the continued presence of a number of documents at AiG's version of the "dispute" website (and which AiG pointed many supporters to as presenting "their side"):

http://66.42.196.216:50050/

is worth remarking on.

This announcement is irrelevant. There is no way that the personal animosity between Carl Wieland and Ken Ham is likely to have abated, and the conduct of both sides over the last four years has done immeasurable harm to the reputation of both organisations.