Oh boy. We have pinned some hopes on the FTCLDF to stop NAIS, but now they have messed up again and in a huge way. Follows is what I understand the situation is.
#1: FTCLDF said they filed the suit against the USDA, when they actually hadn't filed it but rather simply mailed it without having an attorney admitted to the bar in the district, District of Columbia, in which they were filing. They made a big press release and request for donations, and then went about getting their ducks in a row so they could actually file the suit. That resulted in about two months delay in getting the suit filed.
#2: When the expected motion for dismissal was sent by the USDA, they requested an extension for filing, including the date they wanted to have to file response against the motion to dismiss. They requested January 2nd, and were awarded that date. However, somehow, they totally blanked on it, and then on January 10th, effectively told the court that the 'dog ate their homework' and they misread the date as January 12th, so they would like it very much if the court would
allow them to amend their original suit so that they can continue against the USDA and Michigan Dept of Agriculture.
I am not an attorney and I do not know anything about legal procedure. That's WHY anyone hires an attorney in the first place. If it were simply a matter of standing up and arguing your case, there would be little to no need for attorneys at all. Procedure and filings are what they are supposed to know and why they can put the title 'esquire' behind their names. I do know that when you cite a date for an extension of time and are granted it, you look pretty stupid for missing it.
So we are still in the very early stages of this suit, and the FTCLDF has screwed it up tremendously on basic procedure. Right now it is entirely up to the judge if she allows them to file the motion to amend the suit. It could be a done deal and need to start over from square one because of all the screw ups.
Basically, they are throwing up a Hail Mary pass and hoping the judge will let them proceed to amend the original suit.
Also, it doesn't look very good to amend the suit after the first motion to dismiss. It's like when you are playing chess and see that your first move put you in immediate jeopardy of getting in check.
The bottom line is this; FTCLDF has made two mistakes and they both make us, the anti-NAIS folks, look like total blooming idiots. The first impressions having to do with the competence of the lawyers will stick in the judge's mind. Procedural errors so early on in the process make us look like what they described us in the NAIS How-To Handbook, as having no more than a 6th grade education.
If you'd like to see pdf copies of the documents that have to do with the suit, the extension request, or more aptly, the excuse, let me know.
Don't forget to read an excerpt from my novel, First They Came for the Cows. I am taking pre-orders for signed copies.