An End to Arizona Snowbowl's Legal Battles?
SAM Magazine--August 31, 2012--After years of court battles that finally ended in a green light for Arizona Snowbowl's comprehensive snowmaking system, the last remaining legal battle seems to have come to an end. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, an earlier court decision that would have made opposing attorney Howard Shanker responsible for the ski area's costs in fighting the lawsuits was overturned this week by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Snowbowl's lawyers had originally requested that Shanker, who unsuccessfully sued the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of the Save the Peaks Coalition to stop Snowbowl's snowmaking expansion, be required to pay $32,000 in costs incurred by the resort for having to fight a frivolous lawsuit. The courts initially agreed. This week, however, the decision was overturned with no comment from two of the three judges. The third judge did say, "I would impose sanctions on Shanker for grossly abusing the judicial process by strategically holding back claims that could have, and should have, been asserted in the first lawsuit (and would have been decided earlier but for counsel's procedural errors in raising those claims)" Judge J. Clifford Wallace wrote. Nonetheless, the final outlook for Arizona Snowbowl is bright: snowmaking is set to begin this year.