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Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

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It appears as though they are contending that the damage is already done...and cannot be un-done.  That seems to be the primary purpose of the examples cited in the complaint, and might well be the basis for the award of damages.  Certainty, the dollar amount of damages will be difficult to quantify, and will end up being a negotiated number, poddibly based on an alleged decrease in GSUSA registrations balanced against the some 68,000 girls that entered Cubs and will ostensibly graduate to the program in question.  The requested treble damages looms large.

The whole thing  has the feeling of being less than fully considered, and while "dying on the hill" is probably a little dramatic, this could (will??) have a detrimental impact on the program.

We had a real good discussion in our Troop Committee last night on how to handle the high probability of having a linked non-male troop.  I came down to the consensus that we are willing to share pretty much everything except that we draw the line at shared/joint overnight events.  The overriding fear (yup, fear) is that the overall goal of YP, namely never allowing a circumstance to occur where abuse could occur (or an accusation is implausible), cannot be sustained in the "me-too" era.  The feeling is there is just too much risk to make it worth it.  I know, there are lots of anecdotal tales from Venturing leaders that it can be, and has been, done, but it is not what we signed up for as leaders of a traditional troop.  The girls and their leaders gotta do this on their own.

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1 hour ago, FireStone said:

What will be interesting to me is related to my earlier comment about whether or not the BSA would be held liable for what local units were doing, erroneously putting out flyers that read "girl scouts" or "girl scout troops".

According to the video, BSA would be liable.  For example, Pack xyz sent our flyer that includes term “girls scout”.  Is sounds like GSUSA would have to prove damages from that specific flyer and BSA would be liable.  For a single unit flyer, What are the damages ... 1-3 lost members?  $60?  I think that is the point the lawyers were making as to why cease and desist letters make sense.

At least that is how I interpreted their video.  

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On 11/11/2018 at 6:19 PM, cocomax said:

A lawyer (Eagle Scout) goes over the lawsuit with a friend.

Loved listening to the lawyers discuss this change.  Well done and well grounded presentation.  

I fear that courts are hard to predict.  Judges and jury's are individuals subject to their own ideas, values and opinions.  So these guys presented expertise and well grounded arguments, but I fear results can vary.  

Edited by fred johnson

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2 hours ago, FireStone said:

The "Scouts BSA" name isn't the problem. Or, in my opinion, I don't think the courts will rule that it's a problem. There's a long precedent of the BSA using the term "Scouts" in isolation, and GSUSA doing the same. I don't think GSUSA can win the argument that the BSA shouldn't be allowed to use the term "Scouts" in marketing directed at girls. That just seems like a majorly flawed position.

What they do have a leg to stand on, though, is the local confusion in terminology, poorly-worded flyers and marketing materials, etc. Which is why we're now seeing that helpful infographic being circulated explaining how and how not to refer to BSA programs, to not refer to GSUSA, etc. That's probably something the BSA should have gotten ahead of sooner, one of the many problems that cropped up in pushing out these program changes so quickly without sharing enough information with local units well-ahead of those changes.

What will be interesting to me is related to my earlier comment about whether or not the BSA would be held liable for what local units were doing, erroneously putting out flyers that read "girl scouts" or "girl scout troops".

I just read through the GS/USA brief.  What seems like a valid question here is whether the BSA & GSUSA had previously agreed on the usage of Scouts & Scouting by the respective organizations.  

Some of the other things like asserting that the BSA only provided programs to boys seems a stretch.  The BSA has been providing co-ed programming since 1971.  Much of that time it's been to girls and boys.  When it was exploring or venturing they didn't object.  But, now that it's the Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts they do?  I'd think a jury would take that into account.

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

I just read through the GS/USA brief.  What seems like a valid question here is whether the BSA & GSUSA had previously agreed on the usage of Scouts & Scouting by the respective organizations.  

Some of the other things like asserting that the BSA only provided programs to boys seems a stretch.  The BSA has been providing co-ed programming since 1971.  Much of that time it's been to girls and boys.  When it was exploring or venturing they didn't object.  But, now that it's the Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts they do?  I'd think a jury would take that into account.

Program existence requires recruiting at the early (earliest) ages. The Tiger program was created to complete against Campfiress new program change to recruit first graders. The new BSA (or whatever) membership policy is threatening the existence of GSUSA. 

Barry

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24 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Program existence requires recruiting at the early (earliest) ages. The Tiger program was created to complete against Campfiress new program change to recruit first graders. The new BSA (or whatever) membership policy is threatening the existence of GSUSA. 

Barry

Gotcha.  But competition in itself isn't a problem.  Unless the GSUSA could somehow argue that the BSA was infringing on the GSUSA's constitutional mandate and it was therefore requesting an injunction on the basis that the BSA simply isn't allowed to offer Scouting programs to girls.  I didn't see that argument though.

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21 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

In my familys case having spent decades in both BSA and GSUSA, this feels like watching your parents fight it out in divorce court.   

 

Absolutely. But, there is no reason for the kids to love their parents any less over it. I don't get my scouts involved in picking sides in this dispute and my daughter is in both organizations.

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16 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Which is why we're now seeing that helpful infographic being circulated explaining how and how not to refer to BSA programs, to not refer to GSUSA, etc. That's probably something the BSA should have gotten ahead of sooner, one of the many problems that cropped up in pushing out these program changes so quickly without sharing enough information with local units well-ahead of those changes.

If we are thinking of the same infographic, as I recall, it was sent to Councils and shared on Commissioner pages as early as last April.

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16 hours ago, ParkMan said:

...  The BSA has been providing co-ed programming since 1971.  Much of that time it's been to girls and boys.  When it was exploring or venturing they didn't object.  But, now that it's the Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts they do?  I'd think a jury would take that into account.

And, one could argue that, by not including "girls" in any of it's brands (e.g., the Explorers of the seventies could have been renamed "Boy and Girl Career Scouts of America"), BSA sacrificed market share.  In fact, when the ODL uniforms came out, it made no sense to me, as a youth, that Explorers' uniforms were not made to be the tan shirts with green epaulets. But now, it seems like it was a back-door way of signalling to GS/USA that it was reserving its signature brand for boys.

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On 11/13/2018 at 11:03 AM, qwazse said:

... Or, we could focus on some other aspect of our methods that has made BSA troops so appealing.  ...

 

Meanwhile, we focus on working for smiles. That's what we do.

Bud Scouts of America

There may be thorns or roses, but these kids are our buds!

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2 hours ago, cocomax said:

I say just call it   BSA

Still would have the issue of what we call the sc@&ts.

 

Sure would be interesting to hear just how close, or how far apart, both orgs were when they were originally discussing some sort of joint action that might have avoided all this.

Cue Rodney King...

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

 

Still would have the issue of what we call the sc@&ts.

 

Sure would be interesting to hear just how close, or how far apart, both orgs were when they were originally discussing some sort of joint action that might have avoided all this.

Cue Rodney King...

I will be using these terms and completely avoid trouble:

BSA

BSA for Boys

BSA for Girls

Cubs

Cubs for Boys

Cubs for Girls

Venturing

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15 hours ago, cocomax said:

I will be using these terms and completely avoid trouble:

BSA

BSA for Boys

BSA for Girls

Cubs

Cubs for Boys

Cubs for Girls

Venturing

So when talking to a group of boy scouts, your going to say, "hey BSA for boys, let's gather 'round to..."?

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