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June 12, 2008 8:37 PM

Pechman lays out the ground rules

Posted by Percy Allen

If you're planning to attend the trial between the city of Seattle and the Sonics, then be sure to get to the courthouse at 700 Stewart early. Only 44 seats are available to the public and they will be distributed through a lottery that begins at 7 a.m. each day.

The trial will take place in the 14th floor courtroom and begin each day at 9 a.m. There will be a morning and an afternoon session, including a morning and afternoon recess. There's also a 90-minute lunch that begins at noon.

The trial will consist of six days. It will span five days next week and conclude June 26. There will be no sessions on June 23-25.

A complete list of the do's and don'ts can be found at This link also includes significant documents filed in the case. This is somewhat old news, but the city's website went live on Thursday and I figured I'd pass along the info.

Some interesting points:

The court will be providing daily information about witnesses and exhibits scheduled for the following day.

Judge Marsha Pechman will not give any interviews or statements.

Once you're seated in the courtroom and the trial has started, you will not be able to leave the courtroom until the court breaks for recess. In addition, once court is in session, people will not be allowed to enter the courtroom.

All portable electronic devices (including cell phones, blackberries, etc.) must be TURNED OFF so that there are no electronic signals being broadcasted in or out of the courtroom.

You may not use your video camera, or use a cell phone to record or take pictures during the trial.

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Posted by mo

10:34 PM, Jun 12, 2008

Read this yesterday. come on Percy your much better than you've been lately

Posted by Mrs. Clay Bennett

6:37 AM, Jun 13, 2008

Why can't this be on court TV? Now, this would be watched!

Posted by orLess

10:37 AM, Jun 13, 2008

mo- Percy reports on the news he doesn't make it.

Posted by Moe

10:51 AM, Jun 13, 2008

Quess I'm just a little uptight about Monday and was looking for a little conjecture. Probably not going to be anything substancial to report until then.

Posted by Percy

11:22 AM, Jun 13, 2008

orLess - Thanks.
Mo/Moe - Get off my back. ... Just kidding.:) ... These are strange times folks. Things will heat up Monday for sure. But remember, this will be a long fight. I get the sense that nothing will be decided soon. We'll give you guys the info we get as soon as we get it.

Posted by SeattleFan91

11:53 AM, Jun 13, 2008

Percy, you're going to be at the rally, right?

You should write another front page article about the rally on monday, and add a positive note saying that the Sonics are far from gone, and call out all Seattle Sports fans to show up. That would be awesome.

Posted by DAWGONE in AZ

12:22 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Does anyone know ANY positive that David Stern has brought to the NBA?

Why does this man still have his job? Is it the relationship he holds with owners?

Who makes the decision of the NBA's commissioner's employment?

This man does not carry the right attitude or demeanor to lead a league. His smugness, self arrogance will (more like has) distance (d) the league from the average fan.

Why can't the decision makers in the league see this? Don't they see the "you're a a-hole" smile he gives everyone questioning the NBA?

An self-indugent attitude like Stern's only fortifies corruption...This is only the beginning of the downfall of the NBA.


Posted by Crete

1:56 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Owners (minus 1) seem to love him. Thats who he works for.

Posted by Pokenour

5:43 PM, Jun 13, 2008

As the trial approaches, I remain somewhat mystified by the city's strategy as employed thus far, my concern is that they can do more than simply contest the lease. For many years, I worked in public land management as a cultural resource specialist. In this capacity, we worked with local, state and federal law to protect public lands, historical sites and buildings, etc. under cultural resource protection laws. From that experience, it seems to me that corporations which involve the public interest might themselves be subject to cultural resource protection provisions under local, state and federal law.

Given the Sonics unique position as being the first professional sports franchise in the Pacific Northwest with a forty one year history, it seems to me that they are a cultural property value much like a historic building or landscape and they might well be subject to cultural resource protection law. My point is that the city and state should act to so designate the Sonics a cultural property protected by local and state cultural preservation laws. Such laws sometimes include conservation easements where owners cannot develop the land as they please but must follow a proscribed conservation plan. It seems to me that the Sonics as cultural property can be acquired under state and local eminent domain law and then sold to a trust that maintains them in Seattle, just as an old historic building is prevented from being torn down. It might be like imposing a conservation easement on the trust so that the team is required to remain in place as a culturally sensitive property.

While many free wheeling capitalists might resent such an arrangement it is not unknown in the professional sports world given the ownership status of the Green Bay Packers. If the Sonics have cultural value, which I do endorse in relation to professional sports representing cities and regions, I think they cannot be toys for wealthy owners. Moreover, sports has a religion like quality in its effect on society. We support our local sports teams as a means of asserting the value of our city or region. Value is the key medium of religion - it is what you value most deeply and comprehensively - as a result, people often organize around a geographical bond identifying with place. Such geographical bonding in social identity makes for religious expression - that is the expression of a community's sense of self in it collective value identity as represented via it sports medium - high school, college, professional. The point here should be that we take pride in our cities and region via our professional sports teams as they represent us in the larger world. When one's team makes a playoff run appearing in a series of competitive games and perhaps contesting a championship, entire cities and regions are transformed as fans take pride in public display based rituals. Such activities are social expressions of religion - deep values held comprehensively within a community. As a result, I think the Sonics, as the only Seattle based professional team to have a world championship, are a cultural property subject to deeply held religious sense of place that values Seattle, shared by the region, as a world class city and place.

It is a pity that no one wishes to consider this perspective, but it is long overdue. Pray the city succeeds with the binding of the lease and perhaps then the Sonics can be declared a unique cultural property to be preserved in the Pacific Northwest and city of Seattle.

Posted by Bryan

4:09 PM, Jun 15, 2008

I like your comments on how sports affect a city and an entire region. Certainly this team affects me in a positive manner. I still remember hanging out at my Dad's A&W Drive-In on Empire Way as a kid. I mean, we're talking 1967 here. Back to the very start of the franchise. I was doing some chores at the restaurant for my Dad and one of the carhops told my Dad someone was here that we might me interested in. Lo and behold it was Al Tucker, a 6' 7" forward on the inaugural Sonic's team of 1967! My Dad took me out to his car. I was in a state of absolute shock. I mean, this was my favorite team here! I was not yet 8 years old at the time! Al Tucker said hello and then asked "Would you like an autographed photo of me, signed?" I was so thrilled I blurted out a nervous YES! Then he managed to spill some chili from his A&W chili dog on the picture. I was gonna say, "That's OK." Ya know what Al Tucker did, though? He got a napkin out and wiped the chili sauce off of the picture and handed it to me. Wow. An absolute gentleman! I was so moved by that whole experience and Al Tucker's humility that I believe this helped solidify my love for the Seattle Supersonics all the more so. Later on, say, the 90's, while my Dad was still around, Dad would tell me how disgruntled he was with the spoiled players, high ticket prices, etc. He preferred the simplicity of the high school and college game. Y'all know this argument, it's been around sports for as long as David Stern has buffaloed everyone in to thinking he's a true and honest businessman. What a turkey. Still, my favorite team any where is the Seattle Sonics. Ya know, that Al Tucker incident may have triggered eternally positive emotions and feelings from me about this team. Maybe so. But I do love them..and to let them go to a hick from the Midwest is beyond comprehension. Did Clay Bennett really try to "help" us build a stadium? No, he did not. The Howard Schultz portion of this whole thing will no doubt be the one that abolishes the Bennett-Schultz deal and the one that will keep the Sonics here in Seattle where they belong. This case will be successful for the Seattle fans, and for the fortunate ownership group that Clay Bennett is forced to hand ownership of the team over to. The Seattle Supersonics will remain the Seattle Supersonics and will be bought from Howard Schultz to a group that will keep them here in Seattle where they belong. I can just "sense it" and "feel it." It will happen. Happy to share with y'all some feelings, thoughts and deep emotions. Enjoy this court battle, and, as Dick Vitale says, "It's gonna be huge." And do enjoy watching Ray and Kevin and Paul blast the Lakers off the map, if not tonighht, back in Baaaa-sssten, for this year's whole enchilada. Hee-hee. Happy as a kid in a sandbox. With a nerf hoop on the side. =:{))

Recent entries

Jun 13, 08 - 04:27 PM
Mayor Nickels will be the first to testify

Jun 12, 08 - 08:37 PM
Pechman lays out the ground rules

Jun 11, 08 - 11:09 AM
Sonics moved to Oklahoma in the D-League

Jun 9, 08 - 11:43 AM
Bayless and Gordon arrive this week for workouts

Jun 5, 08 - 04:25 PM
Love, Hibbert highlight first batch of draft tryouts







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