You knew it wasn’t going to be that easy.
This morning I got an email from Steve Magas, one of the out of state lawyers listed over there on the right. And someone who’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers about bicycling issues.
Case in point, his latest piece in which he brilliantly eviscerates Eagle County, Colorado DA Mark Hurlbert — the prosecutor who inexplicably refused to file felony charges against a wealthy local resident accused of critically injuring a cyclist/transplant surgeon in a hit-and-run.
Because it might, you know, affect his ability to keep earning massive commissions managing financial portfolios for his multi-millionaire clients.
Tres tragique, mais non?
I’m sure Dr. Christopher Thompson wishes the local D.A.’s office had considered his ability to earn a living and dropped the charges against him in the Mandeville Canyon case.
Then again, you could probably say the same thing about everyone behind bars right now.
Although after seeing how expertly Magas picks the case apart, I definitely wouldn’t want to be the opposing attorney who has to face off against him in a court of law.
Anyway, since he’d referenced the Thompson case in his piece, Magas wanted to know if I knew the current status of the Good Doctor. Like if and where he was in jail, and whether he still had his medical license — and if he was appealing his conviction.
You can probably tell where this is going already.
Frankly, I’d been curious about that myself. So I set my work aside, and started doing a little digging.
A little searching on the website of the Medical Board of California led to the discovery that his medical license has been suspended — not exactly a problem at the moment, since he won’t be in any position to use it for a few years — as well as an apparently unrelated malpractice conviction.
The remaining question was a little harder to answer.
In fact, I didn’t have a clue how to find out if he’d filed an appeal.
So I reached out to a couple of the other lawyers there on the right — Ross Hirsch, currently representing hit-and-run victim Ed Magos, and Daniel Jimenez, a cyclist and attorney who frequently contributes to these pages. And either of whom I’d want on my speed dial if I needed a lawyer.
And after a brief exchange of emails, Jimenez emailed back with the news we’ve probably all been expecting and dreading in equal measure.
Thompson’s attorney filed a notice of appeal with the 2nd District Court of Appeal in January, with the opening brief filed on the 4th of last month. The response from the California Attorney General’s office is due on December 3rd, with a reply from the defendant due about three weeks later. Arguments will then be heard sometime around February or March in Division 7 on the 3rd floor of the Ronald Reagan State Building Downtown.
And yes, it will be open to the public.
In case you want to keep up with it yourself, you can track the status of case on the appellate court’s website, using Appellate Case #B221794.
So you can relax. For now.
Dr. Thompson will remain safely behind bars for at least the next few months. And if current vote counting trends continue, it may be up to the man whose office helped put Thompson away to make sure he stays there.
But keep your fingers crossed.
Because if this appeal goes the wrong way, he could be back on the streets, brake-checking cyclists by spring.
KCRW’s Kajon Cermak offers a great history of L.A.’s proposed anti-harassment ordinance that would make any threats harassment or assault against a cyclist a civil violation, subject to an award of up to $1000. As she notes, it will be heard before the full City Council Wednesday morning at Downtown City Hall; if it’s approved there, it will go back to the City Attorney’s office to draft the actual ordinance.
See you there.
But not Kajon; she has to work, and help get all those people stuck on the 405 safely to their exit of choice.