Ouch. Ralph Lancaster, the special master assigned to handle Georgia’s water wars case, is not a fan of us ink-stained wretches.
He’s already placed a gag order on the negotiations between Georgia and Florida to settle the long-running legal feud, citing a need to shield the proceedings from a “relentless and ruthless” media.
And now the arbitrator is lashing out at a recent story that detailed how he’s been paid more than $160,000 so far to oversee the case.
From the transcript of his latest conference call:
“Let me begin by telling you something that is not the reason for the call. A reporter from the Atlanta Journal called here yesterday saying he’s going to do a piece on this firm’s fees. I don’t know whether he called you or not, but I thought I would give you a heads-up just in case he hasn’t called you. You know, I think, how I feel about the media generally. And I would suggest that you be careful if he calls you because he or someone in his staff may attribute things to you that you didn’t say or may misquote you.”
Georgia can expect to shell out much more for Lancaster’s services. A trial is scheduled to begin October 31 in the presiding judge’s home state of Maine.
Read here for an in-depth look at the water wars.