Then, in my public records act case, the court said that I wasn't getting any money too. Then it said I was only worth $175 an hour, half of what my hourly rate was originally. (I believe this happened because I kept asking the judge to issue more orders against the City of Baldwin Park, which it did.) In life, the messenger does get shot. Sad, I put a few hundred hours into that case too.
Then in my Mayor case, even though the Supreme Court ordered the Court of Appeals to review an issue in my case, the Court of Appeals just threw the case out. (I found out that puzzling, because that was an order from the highest court of our state.) Anyways, we filmed the Mayor bragging about how he got away with his crime at the council meeting. So, that's good.
Then the City Attorney, even though the motion has already been heard, filed a sanctions motion against me (even though he has no legal right to it). (A sanctions motion is that Tafoya is asking the court to fine me, even though it was the City who failed to obey the court orders to release records. How does this make any sense?) He didn't even tell me. I found out by searching the court website. This is I believe the sixth or seventh sanctions motion against me by Tafoya and the City.
Well, this is how it is to be litigator. You win. You don't get paid. And in general, people seem to be able to do whatever they want.
I was a bit frustrated and tired at first. But, then I realized, I should be grateful. Grateful? How can you be grateful when everything is going wrong?
I was reminded by a verse in Scripture that states, "Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart."
Well, thankful for what? When I was a rebellious teen, I would say, "I'm not thankful for anything." Now, that's a bad attitude to have.
I've been reading a book called Originals, in which the author says that the most creative people that are changing our world have a series of setbacks. And what makes them so creative, is that they don't give into it. Those setbacks teach them.
I was talking to one of my mentors about it. And we both were stunned that the Supreme Court granted my writ to even order my case transferred to the Court of Appeals. And I told him, "Remember when I was asking you about how to file an extraordinary writ two years ago? I finally learned how to to do it." I grinned, widely too.
He said, "You've come a long way in two years."
I said, "Well one of things I learned is that you have to fail a few times and learn from it to get it right. You're not going to get there on your first try."
"That's right. The first one is fifty times harder than the rest."
And so when I remembered those experiences of failure, I realized it was those lessons that taught me drafting, perseverance, and the skills I have now.
To be honest, even though the Court of Appeals rejected my Mayor case, I was grateful that I had a chance to write another petition to the Supreme Court. I thought, Here's another opportunity to have another conversation with them. And even though I didn't enjoy working until midnight for three days (or maybe I did enjoy it), it brought me joy that I was going to enter into another dialogue with the justices.
I mean, how many instances can you really have a talk with the Supreme Court? Not many. But when the Court of Appeals rejects your case, as per the order of the Supreme Court, you have a chance to be heard. And that's actually - awesome.
Regarding the attorney's fees that was rejected, well, I filed a petition in the Court of Appeals on Friday. It's been transferred to Division 3. And that brings me joy too. Why?
Well, I've appeared now before Division 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5. There are 8 divisions in the Court of Appeals. I'd like now to appear in 6, 7, & 8; so that they all know what's happening in this City and what we've all suffered through. I'd like to have the chance to tell them that corruption is stealing the future of our youth and why. I'd like to tell them that our country can fall into ruin, unless the courts take these problems seriously and restore justices and ethics into our system and profession. And I don't get to do that, unless I have these kind of setbacks.
And what about not getting paid? Well, my boxing friend gave me a book called The Domino Diaries, in which the author goes to Cuba during the Cold War. He wants to go there because he's fascinated by the Cuban boxers, who have the reputation of rejecting million dollar American contracts for the love of their country, for the love of being a socialist society. According to him, these Cuban boxers fight for one reason only: The love of fighting.
Well, I'm going to have to tell these judges, that I was really Cuban in another life. Because if I'm doing all this without getting paid, I'm not in it for the money. I'm in it for this: The love of the fight. And as the Koreans say, "Fight on!"