There are many points during which a neighborly dispute can be resolved amicably. Generally, as Louis Bacon and Peter Nygard can tell you, these are before the vindictive blaring of the theme to “Gilligan’s Island” at all hours across the property line begins, and certainly before the cascade of litigation, and in any event is generally initiated with a phone call or knock at the door rather than a grandstanding press release suggesting a burying of the hatchet over a bit of self-servingly shared philanthropy without any mention of resolving the underlying issue. But we’re talking about Bill Gross, and possibly even an unwell Bill Gross, at that.
I publicly appeal to my neighbor and propose a settlement that both ends the conflict and benefits those in our community who are suffering the most from the economic fallout of the pandemic. I recommend we calculate all our respective legal fees and court expenses that we have already spent and will spend on this multifront battle, agree to end all hostilities, and instead donate the proceeds to Orange County foodbanks and other charities providing critical assistance in this time of need. Or, if he would prefer, just the proceeds of estimated future legal and court costs. I also propose that we can individually select charities, or in a spirit of resolution and future goodwill toward each other, come up with a jointly agreed upon list of recipients to receive contributions in the name of his choosing. I want nothing more than to be a good neighbor, even if it means revising my choice in music.
“Genuine settlement offers are conveyed to the other side, not issued in press releases,” the lawyer, Jennifer Keller, told The Post in an email Tuesday. “The press release is just Gross’s attempt to spin the media because exposure of his behavior has been a disaster for him.”
“This is just billionaire Bill Gross trying to buy his way out of accountability for his horrible behavior,” Keller said in a statement. “He is losing the trial badly and is literally on the eve of being cross-examined about his harassment and lies, which he is desperate to avoid.”
Well, luckily for him….
A court hearing into Bill Gross’s dispute with his southern California neighbor was abruptly halted Monday after his lawyer said the billionaire and his girlfriend were exposed to people who tested positive for the coronavirus…. The disclosure came after Gross offered to settle the case, complaining the hearing was putting his, and court personnel’s, health at risk. It also followed an admonition from the judge over Gross’s failure to wear his mask.
“Mr. Gross, I’m going to ask you to please put back your mask over your face and mouth,” Judge Kimberly Knill told the co-founder of Pacific Investment Management Co. at the hearing.
That's a guy who's dead serious about alleviating suffering from the coronavirus and protecting his local courts.
An Open Letter From Bill Gross [press release]
Billionaire Bill Gross’ bid to end bitter neighbor dispute gets shot down [N.Y. Post]
Billionaire Bill Gross calls for end to legal dispute with Laguna Beach neighbor, but hearings continue [Orange County Register]
Gross Hearing in Neighbor Dispute Halted Over Covid Exposure [Bloomberg]