The Wheels Of Justice Turn Slowly . . . August 17, 2023 . . . and desperately need to be reformed (if you ask me). An enforceable code of ethics for the Supreme Court for obvious starters, but it’s way more than that. Six years ago, a woman walking in Central Park was almost killed a falling tree. A settlement — $5.5 million — was reached last month, and it cost her $1 million in legal fees to reach it. (The defendants doubtless had big legal fees, as well.) Is this really the best system for settling such cases? Six years? In 1996, I put Prop 202 on the California ballot to encourage “early settlements.” It was endorsed by the business community and conservatives like Robert Bork; but also by two former deans of Harvard Law School, Derek Bok and Erwin Griswold, former ACLU President Norman Dorsen, and even a former president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Leon Silverman. It came really close — 48.79% of the vote! I called California’s then-Secretary of State, Bill Jones. “All I need,” I told him over and over for an hour, “is for you to find . . .” No, wait; wrong fantasy. I didn’t call him; I admitted defeat. But I still believe something like Prop 202 makes sense — a way to give both sides an incentive to settle more quickly. I just finished listening to Big Sugar, a riveting nine-part podcast about a 15-year legal battle that the plaintiffs quickly won — $51 million — but that Big Sugar ultimately won. If you listen, I doubt you’ll think justice was done. (Interesting sidenote: the same scientists paid to say there’s no link between sugar and diabetes morphed into the scientists who found no linkage between smoking and cancer or fossil fuels and climate change. But I digress.) It reminded me of ParkerVision’s 13-year battle with Qualcomm, where a jury awarded PRKR $173 million in 2011, but where, so far, the company has received nothing. And may well never. It reminded me also of its recent suit against Intel, where a jury could well have awarded more than $250 million — which the judge could then have trebled — but where, for reasons hard to fathom, the jury was not given a chance to hear the case. Instead, the judge more or less forced ParkerVision to settle for $25 million. Maybe 20 years from now there will be a podcast about that one. (I still have a huge number of shares, and there’s some possibility of upside from today’s dime a share — hey, 20 cents would be a double! A buck someday would be a home run! But I’m no longer holding my breath. The justice system crushed us.) The big frustration, though, 10 billion times as important as ParkerVision, is how hard it has been, first, to impeach Trump — don’t read the Mueller report or credit the view of more than 1,000 former Republican and Democratic prosecutors, just take his word for it — and, now, how hard it’s been to pursue the indictments. We all watched him urge his followers to come to DC — “it will be wild” — and exhort them to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell,” knowing many were armed . . . we all watched them storm the Capitol . . . he watched them storm the Capitol . . . for 187 minutes before he reluctantly called them off . . . we have all heard his call to Georgia’s secretary of state. Why does it take years and years to investigate and adjudicate? Why not quick justice for the really obvious pieces and then a succession of “superseding indictments” as the full scope of the conspiracy becomes better and better known? I’m not an expert, but I can’t believe this is the best we can do. Grrrrrr.