Letters for May 5-11, 2005

Monty's the Man

The story would have made Atlas shrug: While I enjoyed the factual information that I mined from Eric Alan Barton's April 28 article on Bob Montgomery, "Bullet Bob," I question the lack of balance and feel compelled to write. The conclusion he seems to want his readers to reach is that since Montgomery is a wealthy lawyer who might have made some enemies along the way, he should be ridiculed solely because of that wealth and, tangentially, because he has a tough-as-nails personality. I take issue with those assumptions.

I would have enjoyed the article a bit more had you also considered the story from Montgomery's side. First, were it not for "bulldogs" like Montgomery, insurance companies would continue to run roughshod over the insured. The companies are notorious for welcoming clients with open arms when it comes to accepting the premium but showing them the proverbial door when the time comes to pay valid claims. This reader has personally known insurance companies to stall, malign, and avoid paying meritorious claims. Indeed, perhaps Barton might have called State Farm to determine exactly why the company waited until the last minute to deliver a check to Montgomery and his client. Why couldn't the insurance company deliver the check a few days before? Why couldn't anyone from the insurance company call Montgomery to ask for additional time? Indeed, if Montgomery hadn't taken a hard-line approach, one might posit, the next time he issued a deadline, his word might not be taken seriously.

Yes, as a lawyer and businessperson, I am frustrated by petty nuisance lawsuits. But I didn't read about that in your article. In fact, I seriously doubt that Montgomery, or any other member of the trial attorney's inner circle, would prosecute such ridiculous cases. Why not focus on all the people he has helped over the years rather than attempt to sensationalize the article by adorning it with references to his brusque manner and style?

I came away from the article with a new admiration for renegade personal-injury trial attorneys such as Montgomery. He is a wonderful example of what Clarence Darrow represented to me -- the true lawyer who sticks up for the rights of the disadvantaged. Without mavericks like Montgomery, Gerry Spence, and others, we would still be looking at cigarette-related deaths on the rise in our country. Was the legal fee paid to Montgomery and others large? Yes. Was it disproportionate to the result obtained? I think not.

In the final analysis, as Ayn Rand's characters revealed themselves in the landmark work Atlas Shrugged, we need not love the personalities of the heroic. We need only pay homage to their remarkable courage and accomplishments.

David Weiss

Plantation

Good-bye, Keith

Harvey calls for the commish's departure: In regard to Bob Norman's April 28 story, "Hollywood Sludge, Revisited," I can't decide what's bigger: Hollywood Commissioner Keith Wasserstrom's ego or his chutzpah. It was nepotism at its best when he helped railroad through the Hollywood City Commission the stinking Schwing Bioset sewage treatment screwover, a smelly deal that will cost Hollywood taxpayers about $10 million more than a similar proposal preferred by the city's own experts.

With no thanks to his uncle, a Schwing Bioset crony, Wasserstrom, the commission, and, of course, Mayor Mara Giulanti have stood by as various agreements with a local Indian tribe and others involved in the deal have fallen apart. Or maybe they never existed. The deal is a sham of a farce of a lie!

Why won't Wasserstrom and others who approved this shady, shoddy deal demand it be killed because of the false promises and lies?

Add this to Wasserstrom's aversion to new lobbying laws proposed last month in Hollywood that would have at least cut down the incestuous relationship among the mayor, the rancid commissioners, and local lobbyists -- especially Bernie Friedman and Alan Koslow -- and it becomes clear that Wasserstrom must go.

Get lost, Keith! Scram! Quit! Take a hike! Resign! Get outta Dodge! You stink worse than the city's sewage!

Harvey Slavin

Hollywood

He resembles that remark or um...: I read "Hollywood Sludge, Revisited." Thank you for keeping us informed. Please keep up the good work. As people who pay high taxes on Hollywood Beach, we resent the waste of our hard-earned money.

John A. Steele

Hollywood

Mara's alone out there: Kudos to Bob Norman for his persistence with the Hollywood sludge story. The snide remarks of our mayor and others are the opinions of a few, not the masses. Keep up the good work.

Ann Murray

Via the Internet

So much graft...: Thank you, Bob Norman, for being the best investigative reporter the print media has ever produced.

What goes around comes around, but it takes a while in Florida. So much graft to get, so little time.

Charlotte Greenbarg, President

The Broward Coalition Inc.

Via the Internet

Pineapple's Upside Down

But that review was just about right: Gail Shepherd's review of Pineapple Grille was perfect ("Cooking by Numbers," April 28). We agree with every word. We would have loved to have loved this place. The food is a joke and unreal. For amateurs only who just discovered cilantro!

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