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July 18, 2007

Waiting for Madden: judge indicates AY decision won't come 'til September

Atlantic Yards Report explains the implications of Justice Madden's memo and provides some history:

Any interpretation of that memo is speculation, but it suggests that, while lawsuits challenging environmental reviews routinely fail, this one poses particular challenges. Indeed, Madden is faced with an almost absurdly voluminous record: 20,000-plus pages. ...
A successful suit might block the project entirely--even as Forest City Ratner has sunk significant sums into pre-construction demolition and railyard work--or require a revision of the environmental review, which could delay and change the project.

Judge Madden has heard Atlantic Yards-related cases before:

Madden is not unfamiliar with other Atlantic Yards controversies. Indeed, when Assemblyman Jim Brennan and State Senator Velmanette Montgomery sued to get access to Forest City Ratner's business plan for Atlantic Yards, Madden was the judge assigned to the case.
After a hearing before Madden, Forest City Ratner voluntarily agreed to turn over documents to the ESDC, which then turned them and other documents over to Brennan. Madden never issued a ruling.


NoLandGrab: Though Norman Oder cautions against reading too much into the memo, one thing is clear — if Justice Madden was inclined to simply dismiss the case, she probably could have done so in less than 60 days.

During the oral arguments for the Brennan case, hand trucks-full of documents for the environmental case were being delivered to the court from the ESDC for the EIS case. The sheer volume of documents gave the impression that the state agency was burying the judge in paper. It's no surprise that the judge needed more time.

Posted by lumi at July 18, 2007 8:24 AM