All he wants to do is sue

OK, let's be up-front. Buzz is not what you would call a fan of The Eagles. In our cosmology, hell's radio station plays only two songs: "Hotel California" and "Lyin' Eyes." Given a choice between hearing them perform a reunion concert or getting a hernia exam from a man with sweaty palms and hairy knuckles, we'd drop trou faster than you can say "take it easy."

So it's with reluctance that we say this: Thank God Don Henley's new album, Inside Job, is due out later next month, because now maybe -- maybe -- he'll quit trying to sue everyone who ruffles his feathers. In the past few years, Henley has filed suit against Paramount Pictures for not using his track "Taking You Home" in the film Double Jeopardy; joined The Eagles in a trademark infringement suit against cybersquatters who own names like; sued a Tennessee eagle preservationist group over the domain name; and spoken out against Napster, the online MP3 site, which is currently being sued by Metallica for musical piracy.

One suit he hasn't yet filed, although he's claimed he might, is against D Magazine. In its April issue, a small article titled "Building the Perfect Beast" detailed the rock star's five-year effort to finish his palatial, multimillion-dollar home in Bluffview. D's potentate, Wick Allison, says he got a call from the litigious one's lawyers, saying they were going to sue for invasion of Henley's privacy. Allison's response: "I said, ', OK.' I mean, what can you say to that?" he says, chuckling. "I did tell them that if the object here is to preserve Mr. Henley's privacy, then filing suit is a pretty strange way to do it. Five minutes after it's filed, there'd be media 'copters circling the place." Henley's lawyers then asked for a compromise: Promise to be nice-nice and not say anything else about the abode. Allison said no again. Next: Buzz is sued for printing Henley's name without permission.

Good planning

Give Dallas police Chief Terrell Bolton a merit badge for being prepared. Last October when he announced he was demoting five assistant chiefs to streamline his executive staff, Bolton had no delusions about the legal battle that would ensue. He even had an idea how to pay for the city's defense: use the money saved from the demoted officers' pay cuts.

In a confidential memo to the city manager and city attorney, which has surfaced as evidence in a court case, Bolton noted that the city could use some $845,000 saved by eliminating the positions "for one-time legal defense expense." He also suggested that the city "consider an outside human resource attorney to work with the city."

Presumably, it's more cost-effective to pay lawyers than cops.

All but one of the assistant chiefs have sued the city, claiming the demotions violated civil service rules.

"It is my speculation that he knew that the blank was going to hit the fan," says Steven DeWolf, an attorney representing former executive assistant chief Willard Rollins, who was demoted by Bolton's predecessor and who also is suing the city.

Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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