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Dimock Verdict Headline Fail

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The only thing worse than the media reporting of the Dimock verdict was the collection of false, misleading and just plain wrong headlines it produced.

Our post of yesterday about the Dimock verdict and what the media got wrong in reporting on it (or, more accurately, what it missed because it wasn’t there for the trial) provides a rundown of the major facts indicating why the verdict was most likely an act of jury nullification. There is one other aspect to the story that we didn’t have room to address in that article, but also deserves attention; the collection of totally false, misleading and just plain wrong headlines that accompanied both media and fractivist reporting of the Dimock verdict.

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The Dimock Verdict: What the Media Got Wrong

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Virtually every bit of reporting on the Dimock verdict missed the point and failed to call out why it was a decision totally contrary to the evidence presented.

The reporting on the Dimock verdict was abysmal. Only one reporter actually attended the trial and she left before Scott Ely finished testifying, not to return until the end. Others, such as Laura Legere, who wrote dozens and dozens of Dimock stories over the years helping to fashion the myths surrounding the case, couldn’t be bothered to attend, perhaps because, deep down, she knew the truth; methane problems in Dimock existed long before drilling.

Legere still lives in the Scranton area and only took interest when the surprise verdict came down, writing yet another piece suggesting Cabot had it coming, of course, with her characteristic sleight-of-hand reporting. She included quotes from Cabot about the lack of evidence but, like so many others writing about the Dimock verdict, couldn’t speak to it herself in any detail because she wasn’t there. The reporting from others was similar, as story after story accepted the contamination verdict with putting it into context or even discussing the evidence. If they had, they would have come to the inescapable conclusion the Dimock verdict was an instance of jury nullification – an extraordinary story that should have been told.

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Lesson from Dimock: Damages Are For Everyone

Otdoor Life - Shaughnessy

Bill Shaughnessy
Wayne County, Pennsylvania Landowner

 

The Dimock verdict offers a lesson, Bill Shaughnessy observes. Life is an endless opportunity for wealth if you know how to fake it.

Today, following the Dimock verdict, I’m wondering why I do what I do to fight for our rights as landowners; why I sometimes hang around the same circles as Maya van Rossum and friends just to get some info that may help our cause. I guess in one way we are lucky. We are just as intelligent as we were two days ago, while public opinion and a fractivist sympathetic media has collectively dropped the IQ of the rest of the world double digits with the coverage of this case (not to mention the insanity of the verdict). Perhaps it’s also a learning opportunity for all of us.

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Bad Guys Win in Dimock Despite Evidence and Timeline

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Ignoring overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the jury in the Dimock case decided to reward the plaintiffs for their bad behavior and speculation.

Earlier today, I stated it was impossible to predict what the Dimock jury would do, “but if the evidence matters, there is but one answer and it is that such water problems as did exist preceded drilling and there is nothing but speculation to suggest Cabot caused them.” As it turns out, the evidence didn’t matter. The jury just found Cabot was responsible for creating a nuisance that was worth $2.75 million to the Ely family and $1.49 million to the Huberts; an absolutely absurd number that went against every instruction by the court. Cabot has, in fact, lodged objections to the verdict based upon lack of evidence to support the jury’s findings and misconduct by plaintiffs’ counsel that deprived Cabot of a fair trial.

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The Dimock Case: Cabot’s Closing Argument

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The jury continues to deliberate the Dimock case but the closing argument of Cabot’s attorney sums up the facts of the matter.

The Dimock case, as I noted yesterday morning, has gone to the jury. The closing arguments told us a great deal. Leslie Lewis, counsel for the Dimock plaintiffs, relied upon a series of tortured arguments such as related here in previous posts, contending her plaintiffs, who couldn’t keep dates straight and relied upon speculation more than anything else, were credible and the written record was not. She had to be halted by the judge, in fact, during her statement for inviting speculation regarding things not in evidence and personal vouching for facts, neither of which is permitted, Cabot Attorney Dillard, by contrast, relentlessly detailed the facts in evidence, indicating the plaintiffs have no real case.

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Dimock Case Heads to Jury

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Cabot rested its defense yesterday, the other side had no rebuttal and the Dimock case went to the jury based on the woeful evidence of the plaintiffs.

The Dimock trial wound down Tuesday as Cabot Oil and Gas attorneys finished up with their powerful defense. The plaintiffs offered no rebuttal and the case is headed to the jury for today after both sides give closing arguments and the judge provides instructions. The jury has but one claim to decide at this point, that being one of nuisance, which requires a finding that Cabot’s actions involved an unreasonable risk of harm. While jury decisions are unpredictable, that’s a difficult burden.

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Judge Ends Part of Dimock Case: No Evidence of Damages

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Judge Carlson has thrown out the biggest part of what remains of the Dimock case in a devastating critique of Scott Ely’s testimony and a lack of evidence.

Yesterday was a very big day in the Dimock trial as another resident told a story of living with methane migration and “firewater” long before there was any gas drilling in the area, Dr. Lawrence Hilbert smashed what little was left of Tony the Tiger’s credibility and Judge Carlson threw out the plaintiffs’ claim that Cabot Oil and Gas negligence had damaged their property values. The incompetent, ideologically driven nature of the plaintiffs’ case was never more apparent than it was yesterday, in fact, as their lawyers stumbled through the proceedings like some blind horse, bumping into everything, backing up, trying again and then running over the client.

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Dimock and the Intolerant Face of Fractivism

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The Dimock trial has revealed the ugly and intolerant face of fractivism as true believers intent on keeping the truth buried have used Facebook to do so.

Like many readers, I expect, we received word from Phelim McAleer this morning about an attempt by fractivists to shut down his reporting of the Dimock trial in Scranton, which has, to date, gone very badly if the evidence is any indication. Phelim has been writing about the trial and capturing some of the players on film outside the courthouse. Fractivists aren’t happy and have launched a campaign of intolerance to simply shut down Phelim’s voice, rather than defend their indefensible case.

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Dimock Now: Where Is the Media? Where Are the Clowns?

landowners and laborers - Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist at NYRAD-R

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Vic Furman looks at the more or less non-existent media coverage of the Dimock case and asks where the reporters are and why they’re missing. 

You wouldn’t know it, but for the last two weeks there has been an extremely important trial going on in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Two families from Dimock, Pennsylvania are suing Cabot Oil & Gas with in hopes of a big payoff from pretending what is a natural condition is somehow will look like gas drilling negligence to others. Is it just the money, though? Or, are there are factors and motives at work here? And, where is the media coverage.

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The Dimock Firewater Show Takes Center Stage

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

There was a Dimock firewater show in court yesterday as a Cabot witness related how her husband would light a jug of water on fire  – three decades ago.

Yesterday was a boring day at the Federal courthouse in Scranton, until the last hour or so when two things happened that made it a most wonderful day. One was that, after several hours of Dimock plaintiffs’ attorney Leslie Lewis flailing about during cross-examination trying unsuccessfully to trip up Dr. Tarek Saba, the defense had a further opportunity, during re-direct, to drive home his point: that there was no evidence gas drilling had damaged the plaintiffs’ water wells. The second was an 87-year old woman named Mildred Green, who stole the show.

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