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About DavidLeeLambert

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    Junior Member

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    Software Developer
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    Scouting (of course!), Foreign Languages, Ham Radio, Martial Arts, Reading Maps, Home Improvement...
  • Biography
    Born in California, grew up in Macomb County, Michigan. AoL, Star scout, Quiz Bowl, Science Olympiad. Served 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in and around San Jose, California. Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Michigan State University (2003), Master's degree in Computer Science from Wayne State University (2006). Also studied abroad at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Have worked at a Fortune 500 company since 2009. Married, four children.

    Have served as (cub) Committee Chair, (troop) Member of Committee, Den Leader, and merit badge counselor.

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  1. Well, GSUSA and 4-H don't have exactly the same Youth Protection program, but from what I can see it's similar in each case. See the "Clover Safe Notes", in particular #99 "Youth Protection Safe Environments". And youth programs run directly by a public school or municipality might have a defense of governmental immunity, or more sympathy from a jury, as compared to a private program organized by like-minded potential volunteers. But I'll agree that smaller organizations are at grave risk. Consider the case of the Boston Children's Therater (Boston Globe article; WBUR article). Public disclosure of allegations made via anonymous e-mail (not even a lawsuit) against the artistic director caused an immediate decline in donations; which caused it to cancel the season and declare bankruptcy; and it seems to no longer exist as an organization.
  2. Yes, Friday's docket report contains new motions to appear for Jessica Boelter [D.I.1533], Mike Andolina [D.I.1535], and Matt Linder [D.I.1535] with the new firm, and orders granting their admission [D.I.'s 1536–1538].
  3. So we've seen reports that the "Coalition" has names of over 28,000 alleged victims that it purports to represent. But a court filing [D.I.1505] on behalf of the TCC a week ago shows that the actual number of submitted abuse claims so far is still below 6,000: The Local Council omissions I can believe. I don't even remember my Unit Number from when I was a Boy Scout (thought I did, but then my dad handed a uniform down to me and it had a different number on it), and I remember hearing my leaders talk about how we were in a certain council because that's where the other nearby same-CO units were registered, but actually no one in the unit lived inside that council's boundaries. Whichever one it was, both councils (along with several others) were subsequently merged into an almost-statewide council that doesn't retain either one's name. The lack of information about chartered organizations is harder to square with the assumption that the claims are 100% sincere, complete and well-founded.
  4. Well, there is one (former) CO that allegedly had $100 billion in a rainy-day fund consisting of liquid investments at the end of 2019. But the next man in line to be Prophet is a former State Supreme Court Judge, and that church owns a law school. If I were an abuse-claimant lawyer I'd be worried that the LDS church would use its assets as a litigation warchest and fight for many years without ever giving out a penny. From my random perusal of the Ineligible Volunteer Files that were made public, I don't see a lot of cases with obvious LDS involvement; and I wouldn't be surprised if there are microfilmed records in a vault in Utah of the registration information of all LDS units and all LDS volunteers in any unit or other position, which might actually disprove any LDS connection to a lot of the claims. Then there are Catholic-chartered units. Indeed, patterns of abuse by Catholic priests were a major factor in the state-law changes that led to this bankruptcy. But over a dozen dioceses have already filed for bankruptcy, and several have already emerged from bankruptcy or executed a purported global settlement; while there are a lot more that haven't (yet), it may be that the ones that already have are either the biggest ones, or the ones with the most actual liability, or both. The ones that remain are more likely to have very few assets, or to have actually run a tight ship and be able to prove that they were not complicit in any pattern of abuse by BSA volunteers, covered up by other BSA volunteers and employees. That leaves thousands of other COs, past and present, generally smaller. A lot of those are single-congregation churches, perhaps with a historic building in a desirable location, perhaps with an antique organ or some first-class sound equipment, or perhaps not. My sons' troop meets at a church that's bordered by commercial property on a major street to the west, a fire station to the south, residential to the east, and a small park (just a soccer field) to he north. Maybe it could be forced into liquidation and sell the building for $500,000; or maybe it has insurance that would cover historic abuse claims. The lowest-numbered troop in my area meets at a nondenominational church right across the street from a college campus, in a hundred-year-old or more building. There's a $100 million new high-rise building only a block away, so maybe the church's land would be worth $1 million at fire-sale. But that church also hosts Girl Scout troops, and runs a day-care, and hosts performances by the area's stringed-instrument club, and probably helps the community in other ways as well. Other units were chartered by organizations that may have ceased to exist. With an LDS ward or Catholic parish, it should be possible to find a successor that covers the same geographical area where the victim lived, and in any case the parent organization remains liable, but for "Pastor Ryan's Whole Faith Bible Church" that chartered a Troop and Pack from 1972 to 1982, the Pastor may be dead, the building may have changed hands twice after he retired and now be a brewpub or marijuana dispensary, and the five congregants from that period who are still alive may be attending five different churches. And some units are chartered by the parent-teacher organizations of schools; the current CO for my younger children's Pack is the Parent Council of their public elementary school. The way I understand it, the Parent Council is a legally separate organization from the school. Its main annual fundraiser has a goal of $8000. At the hourly rates of many of the lawyers and even other professionals in the case, that gets eaten up by a single hour of a hearing, or maybe a half-day of deposition. So suppose Mr. Kosnoff finds ten men who each say they showed up to a pack meeting between 1975 and 1985 and were abused at the first meeting and the Cubmaster must have not turned in their registration because he was covering up their abuse. Suppose further that he gets a judgement against the Parent Council for the $16000 it still has in the bank. They each get $960, he pays $4230 plus interest to the company that generated his Facebook leads, he gets about $2000 left over for gas-money for his yacht. But if the Parent Council is legally part of the school, that gets into a defense of governmental immunity, and angry teacher's unions whose pensions are at danger, and angry taxpayers...the more vaguely-related parties the claimants try to pull in, the more risk that they might have their claims closely scrutinized, or cause the trend of statute-of-limitations extensions to be reconsidered, and also gives the debtors and primary insurers additional defenses that they were not primarily liable.
  5. I looked up the address where they had tried to serve Mr Van Arsdale on Bing Maps, and noticed a sign on the building that seems an apt comment on the case, or at least his involvement with it... m In filings today, it seems that the LCC/BSA and the TCC are mostly in agreement on providing full information about Local Council assets... some complaints from councils that they weren't properly given notice, and that they might need more time, but no objection to any other party finding that information out if they can obtain it somehow. The big sticking-point going into this week's hearing is rosters. BSA's latest filing says they probably don't have any rosters older than about 20 years, because that's when the National Council computer system was set up.
  6. One other thing I noticed in the case documents: three letters to the court from currently incarcerated individuals, alleging that they were abused. (One also complains that the notification process itself makes him a target for further abuse in prison.) Names and some other details are redacted, but I was able to use the state and inmate number of one to determine that his current sentence is for failure to register as a sex offender, and he previously served prison time in that state for "POSS PHOTO ETC CHILD SEX PERF", offense date 01/27/2010. https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/840942_1114.pdf https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/840946_1116.pdf https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/841006_1118.pdf
  7. I don't have the link handy right now, but during the most recent search for a new superintendent of the school district where I reside, one of the candidates went from being the frontrunner to being disqualified on the basis of two blemishes in his record: (1) he allegedly took off his shirt and performed an exotic dance in front of a younger female teacher when they were the only two people in the building, and (2) while he was coach of the football team, some boys on the team watched an R-rated movie during a school-sponsored trip. Not that he showed it to them, or provided it to them, or even knew about their watching it, just that they watched it.
  8. Speaking of greedy lawyers: "Century served deposition notices for the depositions of Messrs. Van Arsdale and Kosnoff after the TCC turned over Mr. Kosnoff’s email to the Office of the United States Trustee in which he refers to the abuse claimants who serve as members of the Committee as “nitwits” and threatens BSA and Committee." [D.I.1266] "The deceptive nature of these ads also mask a more fundamental and troubling reality. Mr. Kosnoff holds himself out as no longer practicing law and Mr. Arsdale is an advertising company owner who only recently passed the bar. They are in the business of creating and marketing “inventories” of claims. In the seedy underbelly of mass torts, individuals front for “motherfunders” and a host of other non-lawyers who provide funding in exchange for a piece of each claim." [same document, earlier page] And also, "In this email, Timothy Kosnoff (who, together with Andrew Van Arsdale, is the spokesman for the Coalition), states that we “need to control our power. Not just to the committee but to everyone - mediators, BSA, councils etc.” [D.I. 1228 at 20.] He also states that some of the entities for whom he claims to speak “aren’t handing over any of their data to anyone unless and until this gets sorted out. [Mike] Andolina and the 3 Amigos [the mediators appointed by this court] need to get that message. They are wasting their time talking to the TCC.”" [D.I.1261]
  9. As an adult member and former boy member, I won't completely rule out contributing to the victim compensation fund, one way or another. But it will really hang a weight around recruitment and retention. BSA's own internal review identified 12,254 victims in the Ineligble Volunteer Files (cited in a Washigton Post article). MSU's settlement in the Larry Nassar case was a little over $1.5 million per victim. Back in 2007, the Diocese of Los Angeles settled with over 500 alleged victims for about $1.3 million per victim. So that could add up to (very roughly) $18 billion for a "market rate" total settlement fund. Divide that by the number of currently active Scouts, and it's $8,788 settlement share per current youth member. The BSA assets in complete liquidation wouldn't even be "10 cents on the dollar", more like 5 or 6 cents. Since I have four kids in Scouting, that would be over $35,000 I'd have to pay off over the next 2 to 12 years to keep them in the program... less than my yearly salary, but enough for a decent new car, or a few really nice vacations, or a major home renovation, or one kid's tuition and room and board for a year at MSU, or all the kids' tuition for each to get an associate's degree at a community college. But there's a long list of people who presumably benefited from the pre-YPT program more directly than I did, and more than my kids will, and it seems like they should be paying something toward any settlement, even though there's probably no actual legal way to pass the liability on to them now: Anyone who earned Eagle before 1989 Anyone who was a professional Council or National Council employee before 1989 Anyone who served on any level Committee (unit, district, council, national) before 1989 Any parent who saved money that otherwise would have been spent on babysitters or fees to another youth organization's camps, by sending his or her boy to Scout Camp, before 1989 Any boy who learned something from Scouting, or had a great time while participating, before 1989 Any organization or community member who accepted volunteer labor from Scouts, before 1989 And of course the Scoutmasters and other volunteers who actually committed or covered up the abuse Then again, all of those people are older than me, many are probably deceased, and some may themselves have been victims.
  10. I would guess a bankruptcy judge has power to void such a "gift". However, at least in my own Council, I don't see anything like that going on. What has happened to camps includes: Being allowed to revert back to the original donor, where the original gift was with conditions (a small camp, no waterfront, donated by the Kiwanis Club) Sold to a housing-developer, and houses built on it (part of one camp already, that may be what happens to the other half after it closes; the nearest YMCA camp also has a development of 5-to-15-year-old houses on what was probably a big chunk of the original parcel.) Leased or sold for mineral extraction. If a council sells a camp in an arm's-length transaction and puts the money in the bank, the creditors/plaintiffs shouldn't have anything to complain about: either they get the land (and have to sell it themselves) before the sale, or they get the cash afterward.
  11. (Disclaimer: my employer is a competitor to, partner of, and customer of Oracle, and I personally have some expired Oracle certifications; however, my statements below represent my own opinion, not that of my employer.) I don't think so. Apparently BSA has several contracts with Oracle, and they're only trying to terminate some of them. The motion says, "With respect to the Volunteer Learning Management Services, the Debtors have concluded that substantially similar services are available at a lower cost from an alternate provider." So I would guess, and I think they want the judge to believe, that they want to continue online "Scouting U" in some form. Either they have a paid-up license for the software and want to purchase cloud hosting for it cheaper elsewhere, or the content is sufficiently portable that they can host it in another vendor's software on cheaper hosting. Given my experience with "migrations" and "upgrades" and "refreshes" and "consolidations", both as an IT professional and as an end-user, I'm a little worried that the "substantially similar ... at lower cost" might not be accurate. It might be prudent to print out hard copies of course completions in My Scouting, and retain other written records, and printed training materials (even if currently officially "obsolete"). Just to "Be Prepared", of course.
  12. I am involved in a pack, and a troop, and am registered as a merit-badge counselor. For the pack, we've had a few virtual meetings in place of our previously-scheduled pack meetings. The cubmaster played a silent YouTube video of a waving flag while someone said the Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath, and Scout Law as opening exercises, then we did a discussion of some topic (giving each Cub Scout a chance to speak) or played some sort of guessing-game. We also opened the floor for any Cub Scout to "present" anything required by any Adventure, but no one took that opportunity yet. It seems like participation is similar to what you experienced... fewer than 10 Cub Scouts attending out of over 40 registered and probably between 20 and 30 attending our last in-person meeting. For the troop, we took a break of a couple weeks but then settled into having weekly meetings again in our usual time-slot. An adult starts the meeting. The SPL calls people to order, turns the time over to the Scoutmaster for announcements, then introduces the main question/topic, and leads the discussion or practice, assisted by the adults as needed. On our scheduled Committee days, the boys are dismissed at a certain time, and the Committee convenes on the same call afterward. So far we haven't had all the boys on the call at the same time, but every boy in the troop has joined during at least one meeting. I also ran a "virtual" Merit Badge class organized by the local Council. I had Scouts from all over the State, and three from out-of-state. Once Scout's parent wrote me before the first meeting to inform me that their Scoutmaster had not approved their Scout's participation, and two others dropped out after the second meeting, bu most of the Scouts stuck with it through seven meetings, did the homework, and earned the badge. So for Scouts BSA and older, virtual meetings absolutely can work. For a Pack, they're one part of "do your best", but it's also important for your den leaders to check in with parents individually and understand their family situations. And I think the early resumption of in-person den/patrol activities, at least, is important. Formally, I've voiced my opinion that the C.O.R. of each unit I'm in should encourage the District to encourage the Council to allow at least limited in-person meetings again. The troop's C.O. is a church, and the Pastor never cancelled his services; so I think there's some agreement there. The pack's C.O. is the school "Parent Council", and the school took a long Spring Break and then pivoted to a little over a month of purely-virtual instruction, so any in-person meetings before the fall are very unlikely, and even in the fall itself there's some uncertainty.
  13. It's a reasonable question, and I'm inclined to argue that an LDS Scout who completes the prior requirements as written is still eligible to obtain and wear a religious knot and count it toward rank where applicable (that is, for Cub Scouts, not Scouts BSA). But the LDS emblems program was a footnote/annotation in the larger LDS youth progression programs, such as Faith in God for Boys, starting with: So there are some potential problems with keeping it as the only way for LDS youth to earn a Religious Emblem: The old program was gender-specific. There was no corresponding footnote in the Faith in God for Girls booklet. I gave a link to the requirements above, and my family has a paper copy of the booklet somewhere, but eventually those requirements will be harder to find. The new youth programs are a complete overhaul, with a lot less emphasis on specific "requirements", so there's no obvious direct correspondence between the old square-knot-tagged requirements and anything in the new program.
  14. I find it interesting that the top three unsecured creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing are three former CSEs (Roy Williams 2000-2007 for $2.4MM, Bob Mazzuca 2007-2012 for $1.6MM, and Wayne Brock 2012-2015 for $1.14MM), and that Mike Surbaugh is #8 on that list (for about $700 thousand). Presumably that's expected liability under a pension or executive deferred-compensation plan. I'm not sure how I feel about that, or how relevant it is. On the one hand, it shows that the National Council may be an example of "you can't get blood out of a stone", relatively. Michigan State University settled an abuse-lawsuit with one primary abuser (although there were criminal charges against his supervisor and higher in the administration) and about 330 alleged victims for $500MM. Here there are likely at least 5,000 alleged abusers (as documented in the IVF), possibly thousands more (if the lawsuits bring in a lot of alleged abusers who were never documented in the IVF, or were purged prior to the mid-80s due to age or death), and likely at least 5,000 alleged victims (although there was probably a little bit of overlap where a victim was abused by more than one person who was, had been, or would be a registered BSA volunteer, or who had been a registered BSA youth, that's certainly balanced out by cases when one adult abused multiple victims.) Suppose the cash on hand and liquid personal property is about equal to the total of the unsecured claims, and the camp properties don't actually net more than what's owed on them when sold. That would be maybe $1000 per victim, before even paying the lawyers. Or suppose the secured claims are disallowed (under some theory that the secured creditors were complicit in the abuse), and Bechtel is sold for its full cost to develop. That might free up enough cash to pay about $200 thousand per victim, still significantly less than MSU's settlement. On the other hand, maybe those CSEs should be liable somehow, and their pensions should be in jeopardy. BSA's own analysis shows a significant, although not total, drop in abuse reports right around 1990 ("30 years ago"). The four living ex-CSEs served in that office well after that, but they were all Professional Scouters before that date. Mr. Surbaugh's pension will pay perhaps $100 per likely victim, Mr. Williams's about $500. Perhaps a fair overall settlement should assign liability to a lot of other parties as well: The local council where each abuser was serving, or had last served, when the abuse occurred; The local council where each abuser had originally registered as an adult, if different; The local council where each abuser had been registered as a youth, if he had a history as a Boy Scout himself; The chartered organization with whose unit each abuser was serving, or had last served, when the abuse occurred; The chartered organization with whose unit each abuser had originally registered as an adult, if different; The chartered organization for the unit where the abuser had been registered as a youth; If the chartered organization is defunct, but was effectively subject to some control by and operating according to the teachings of some parent body (for example, a congregation of a church, or a Catholic diocese), that parent organization; If the abuser had some professional license or credential before he registered and committed the abuse, the body that issued the license or credential. If the abuser was working in some position of responsibility over children, the employer. (Regarding the last two point, take the example of Robert E White, who, in 1986, "had been the subject of two police investigations since 1975, was dismissed from three health facilities for alleged misconduct with young males, and changed his name from McPherson to White to avoid 'scandalous accusations' - but nonetheless managed to retain his state nursing license. When arrested, he worked at a Ferndale psychiatric hospital and as a Mt. Clemens Scout leader.")
  15. My sons' current troop's committee meets during the troop meeting; so we join the scouts for opening exercises, then head off to a room on the other side of the building for the committee meeting itself. My daughter's pack's committee usually meets in a room at the town's public library, so no ceremony; sometimes someone uses the phrase "call to order", but the real start of the meeting is when the treasurer passes out the budget report, anything before that is just chat. When I ran pack committee meetings of an LDS pack, I always opened the meeting with prayer.
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