Docket 0414-3 Amicus Brief


Update (2014-04-18):

I might as well describe what happened back in February when I filed. Let the reader be warned: even I find this boring.

  1. I shipped the required physical copies of the brief on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. (The date of the PDF is after 5 pm because I had to correct a hyperlink within the electronic copy. This has no bearing on the printed copy.)
  2. As of Saturday, February 22, I confirmed via the USPS website that the brief had been delivered the day before.
  3. I sat down to send one electronic copy of the brief as a PDF to the Judicial Council Secretary as well as identified interested parties and persons as of January 2014. (This was based on a written communication from the Judicial Council Secretary.) As I went through this communication, it said that the copy for the Judicial Council should be in Word or Wordperfect format. I didn’t think sending the brief as a PDF would have been a big deal — I had read the Rules of Practice and Procedure updated 10-25-2013 through page 5 — but I figured I’d send it to the Judicial Council as a Word document anyway. And so I removed the Judicial Council Secretary from this e-mail.
  4. I clicked send. Nothing happened for a long time. (I do remember one of those “spinning” icons while I waited for the website to indicate something.) Finally, the website put me back in my inbox. No warning or error message. I assumed that the message had been sent.
  5. I went ahead and sent a message to the Judicial Council Secretary with my brief as a .doc attachment. I also certified that I had just sent a copy to all interested parties and persons. I sent this message.
  6. That’s where things stood as of March 28. As of that morning, there were only two messages in my “Sent” mail for February 22. (The other message was unrelated to the Judicial Council.)
  7. Not only did I confirm that my message of March 28 showed up in my Sent folder, but I also received an Auto Reply from another amicus curiae.

That’s my boring account of what happened.

Update (2014-04-24):

My use of “certify” in my e-mail of March 28 was in keeping with Rule V. E. of the Rules of Practice and Procedure Revised July 2012. It is arguable whether I constitute an “interested party”; however, this is the usage I intended.

In other words: my usage of “certify” or “certification” in the March 28 e-mail is not relevant to any claims made in my brief proper.


Docket 1013-11 Amicus Brief


For others who are submitting briefs for this docket item, I am happy to accept them at [REDACTED 2014-02-22. See below]. (This e-mail address will expire after the Fall Judicial Council Meeting.)

UPDATED 2013-08-09

I am about to leave on a week-long vacation from the internet. I’ve had time to reflect on the above filed brief:

  1. It’s possible that the filed brief could have more of a “church nice” tone. (I am also aware of how unpleasant I sound.)¬† These realities do not vitiate my argument.
  2. Imagine a secular voluntary association sponsored by member donations that experienced (a) a chapter breaking the confidence of an executive session, and (b) a constitutional officer responsible for that chapter ignoring basic procedures. I believe that any argument such as the one presented in my brief would in such a secular context sound positively restrained. I fail to understand how an analogous situation involving a religious association requires a much more strained “church nice” tone.
  3. Res ipsa loquitur has to have some relevance in my characterization of the facts. If I’m wrong — which is possible — it should be trivial for someone to present a characterization of the facts demonstrating the deficiencies in my account. Complaining about me or my tone is not by itself an adequate answer.
  4. I think of The United Methodist Church as essentially a gathering of several different Inner Rings. That’s the biggest reason why I’ve posted this brief “publicly.” I have done nothing to promote this blog beyond allowing this blog to be scanned by search engines. If others wish to promote this blog post, I give full permission for them to do so. I doubt this brief will “go viral” — it is much too long to qualify. I also realize that it does not have to “go viral” to be heard.
  5. Right now for many reasons I am not interested in engaging with the arguments in my brief. I will limit my role to providing “a copy of the brief to all parties and amici curiae” (Rule V. D. of the Current Rules of Practice and Procedure).

UPDATED 2014-02-22

Decision 1244 was the result of Docket 1013-11.

The e-mail address that used to be above (and distributed by the Secretary of the Judicial Council for Docket 0414-3) is still active. It will work for the purpose of sending me briefs.