Attorneys spar over Walmart suit

Case against Chico expansion plans due back in court Oct. 30

“Establishing a briefing schedule is typically a simple affair,” begins a memo filed by Christopher Cardinale in Butte County Superior Court. The case in question, Chico Advocates for a Responsible Economy (CARE) vs. the city of Chico and Walmart, has not been so simple.

The lawsuit was filed last December and alleges that the city wrongfully certified an environmental impact report for the planned expansion of Walmart’s Forest Avenue store. Counsel for each party has conferred over said briefing schedule—basically, a timeline for submitting opening arguments and responses.

A rift occurred when Walmart’s attorney, Arthur Friedman, insisted upon filing a joint response with the city of Chico, and then, according to Cardinale (representing the city), tried to claim one-third of the pages allocated to the city for response. In the end, the attorneys’ sharp-tongued emails were entered into the court record and equal space was given to Chico and Walmart. The case is scheduled to return to court Oct. 30.