George Critchlow’s April 15 letter defending the Gonzaga University Legal Assistance case against Pat Lewis omitted a critical fact: Critchlow is the GU Law School professor who spearheaded the case. When Critchlow and his interns felt they couldn’t successfully sue Lewis for the “as-is” garage sale transaction, they should have stopped there.
Here’s the gotcha part. They decided to punish Lewis for not responding in proper legal fashion. In Critchlow’s words, “This case was about the defendant’s refusal to take the legal system seriously.” Really? I thought Legal Assistance’s purpose is to aid low-income people in our community. Is it also to slap down a hard-working guy who missed a deadline?
Critchlow neglected to tell us that Lewis is a dedicated single parent who works two jobs. He runs a small welding business from his garage and drives a school bus part time. Critchlow described Lewis as a “local businessman,” conjuring up the image of some wealthy executive. Critchlow and interns used the legal system to bully a guy unsophisticated in legalities.
Thank you, GU Legal Assistance, for the good you have done. But in this case, real harm was done. Critchlow owes Lewis a public apology.