Hot air lawsuit judge refuses to restrict hot air

Would you like to fly in my beautiful lawsuit?

A judge refused to issue a gag order on attorneys involved in a lawsuit by the owners of a Coachella [California] olive farm aimed at preventing hot-air balloon companies from flying over their property, and also rejected a bid to have the case moved out of Indio. . . .

JCM attorney Andrew Rauch had asked Superior Court Judge Randall D. White to issue a gag order to prevent attorneys from speaking with the media. . . .

Rauch said attorneys for the balloon companies are “using the media to publicly vilify us” and are attempting to “try the case in the press.”

Defense attorney Robert Gilliland said Rauch last month withdrew a separate request to seal the court records involving the case.

White rejected the gag order request, saying such an order should only be issued if there were extreme circumstances calling for it, and he did not consider such a situation to exist in this case.

Well, that’s one way to keep a case out of the press:  File a motion seeking a virtually unheard-of gag order in a routine civil case about fairly silly issues.

It’s just not a very good way.

(Younger readers may click here if they have any interest in “getting” the clever reference in the opening sentence of this post.)


  • Clearly attorney Andrew Rauch has never heard of the Streisand effect.

  • Airspace infringement? Seriously?

  • Unless you want to get that unheard of case in the press… maybe he is three steps ahead in the chess match.

  • OK I’ll bite. How far above your property do you control? I really want to know the answer, there is a real nice hole in a trout stream on posted property and I’m thinking of fishing from a teathered balloon.

  • I think it is nuisance law more than it is controlling the airspace above. But I really don’t know where courts draw the line on these things.

  • Richard, this story seems to out-Streisand Streisand!