Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joyce Innocent

No, this isn't a scoop.

I have no insights into how the jury is voting, but the more I think about it, I don't see how they can justly convict this guy. Did he take over $400,000 from Erie Insurance based on trumped up claims? Almost certainly. Did Erie Insurance care? No. So, how is this a crime? Who is the victim? Granted, you could probably look at this as some type of bribery, but that's not what Joyce is charged with. And if it is bribery, Erie Insurance should be charged too.

I think someone from Erie Insurance testified to the effect that they wanted to settle with Joyce quickly because of his track record ruling in favor of insurance companies. Now, $400,000-plus seems like a pretty expensive settlement for this reason. I mean what kind of cases was Joyce hearing that involved Erie Insurance? And how often did these cases occur that Erie Insurance couldn't wait the time it would have taken to follow-up on Joyce's claim with more care.

Certainly, something sounds fishy, but is this sort of deal illegal? To me, it sounds like Erie Insurance felt it was making a business investment, much like lobbyists invest in our governmental representatives.

When Joyce is found innocent, the question I'd like to see answered is "how did this thing get brought to trial?" In other words, "who's responsible?" And when we figure that out, the responsible party should be made to reimburse the taxpayers for the court costs. The same holds true for the Fillippi trial, which was also seemed a bit frivilous for my taste.

Of course, that all said, both trials have been highly entertaining to follow. Maybe, there's some value to taxpayers in a bread and circuses sort of way.


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