Paul Jackson has posted on a decision by an Alabama trial court involving the so-called New York trust theory that we have discussed at some length on this blog. Given how banks have been taking it on the chin ever since the robo-signing scandal broke, I suppose I’d be inclined to gloat a little, as Jackson does, in response to a verdict in favor of a bank; bank PR has been a particularly tough assignment these past few months.
But Jackson tries to treat this particular lower court decision as an important precedent, when this is anything but. In addition, Jackson evidently is not familiar the normal process of getting new legal arguments accepted in court, or of how decisions in one court are viewed in another. Finally, as I will touch on here and discuss at greater length next week, there are good reasons why it is unlikely courts in other states (or even Federal bankruptcy courts in Alabama) will look to this decision as a precedent.
Because Alabama is widely known to have an anti-consumer state court, a decision in favor of the borrower would be seen as far more surprising, hence noteworthy, than a decision in favor of the bank. Alabama used to be a state where juries in class action suits would give mind-numbing awards to plaintiffs. As a consequence, big corporations have labored mightily and successfully in repopulating the judiciary with more pro-business jurists. I’m told it has the most costly Supreme Court elections in the US. If nothing else, they are considerably more expensive to win than the gubernatorial election.
Check out the rest here…