Crushed Velvet suit | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Crushed Velvet suit

Posted by on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Mary Stevenson Keef never stood a chance.

She knew it. The opposing counsel knew it. Even the judge presiding over the hearing probably knew it.

After about 10 months and several out-of-court settlements, Keef, originally one of several plaintiffs suing the owners of the Velvet Cloak Inn for unfair trade practices, among other allegations, was left to fend for herself against the attorneys of David M. Smoot and his wife, Jean, in a hearing on Tuesday.

“If we had a trial, it would be an exercise in futility,” said Ronald H. Garber, one of the Smoots’ attorneys, during the calendar call Monday.

Garber was right.

Keef, a 64-year-old breast cancer survivor, didn’t have the money to hire an attorney. She hadn’t needed one. Keef had been riding on the coattails of the other plaintiffs, most of whom were represented by Raleigh attorney Henry W. Jones Jr.

One by one, the Smoots, settled out of court with all of the plaintiffs except Keef, whose two condos they are foreclosing on, pulling her legal aid out from under her.

After a painful hour and a half, during which Keef floundered helplessly against the better-prepared and obviously better trained counsel of the Smoots, Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins dismissed the suit with prejudice, preventing Keef from filing another suit of the same claim.

However, following the dismissal, no one celebrated. Nobody hugged anybody. Nobody smiled. The victory seemed shallow. But perhaps winning never truly feels good when it means the eventual eviction of an elderly woman with health problems.

“I’m not surprised,” said a disappointed Keef following the hearing. “I’ll probably end up appealing.”

Garber declined to comment about the hearing.

Following Garber’s advice, the Smoots also declined to comment. They didn’t leave the courtroom until Garber made sure Keef and her friends had left the hallway outside.

Tags: , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

It would have better served the community to televise the debate on one of the local news channels. Many of …

by K. K. on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

According to this reporting, Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the Council because …

by Linda Belans on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

Most Recent Comments

It would have better served the community to televise the debate on one of the local news channels. Many of …

by K. K. on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

According to this reporting, Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the Council because …

by Linda Belans on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

So I guess the only question open in this election is:
Who, if anyone, does Pierce Freelon endorse?
(As …

by JoeJoey on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

Yes, I really hope this is put on YouTube or something. It would maximize voter reach, especially as there are …

by JohnnyDollar on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

We are lucky to have had such a primary field of bright, excellent, visionary candidates for Mayor of Durham, and …

by Sam M-B on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation