The Washington Business Journal‘s Rebecca Cooper tweeted today from the courtroom today that District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Robert Okun has allowed in part the motion to intervene in the Corcoran Gallery cy prés petition. Reports are that current students of the College of Art + Design, as well as current Corcoran employees were allowed to intervene, while intervention was denied to the organization “Save the Corcoran” and past employees and students.
Hopefully we’ll have an opinion to digest soon, but this seems like a sensible and pragmatic result. Intervention is ultimately addressed to the nature of the interests asserted, and how they differ from those in the proceeding. It’s not too hard to see how the judge might be persuaded that individuals who thought they would be employees or students four weeks from now at an institution that may no longer be there have the greatest claim to a discrete injury. Less so prior workers and students, far less so community organizations. For now, anyway, the prospect of another “Friends of the Barnes” is off the table.
In the meantime, the game is now afoot as to the petition itself, even with the DA’s support. Donn Zaretsky highlights here a theme that we explored too, namely, the emphasis in the Trustees petition on the absolute need to avoid deaccessioning. Donn picks off the inconsistencies there with his usual adroit analysis. Also, Lee Rosenbaum picked up on a subtle issue with the Trustees petition that may now grow in significance with additional interveners: the Trustees’ brief explains eloquently (my opinion) how the National Gallery/George Washington merger is consistent with the wishes of William Corcoran. But as Rosenbaum points out, that is not the test: it must be as near as possible.
It may yet turn out to be so, but the case just got a whole lot more interesting.