Plaintiffs sufficiently establish a reasonable probability of prevailing on the merits of this action based on their characterization of the transaction as an enforceable contractual exchange of consideration between UCLA and Edward Carter. In exchange for conveyance of the residential parcel, Carter accepted UCLA’s promise to keep the Garden Parcel as the Hannah Carter Japanese Gardens in perpetuity. Plaintiffs also establish that UCLA has breached the 1982 Amendment by selling and dismantling the Gardens and taking steps to sell the Garden Parcel entirely, including obtaining a probate court judgment allowing them to sell the Garden Parcel. (pdf page 7 at link)
The full decision is at the link below for legal beagles. But Winston Churchill’s advice from the headline to this post and from our May 12, 2012 post on this matter (see http://www.bartleby.com/73/1914.html and http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2012/05/winston-churchill-on-japanese-garden.html) might well be heeded by UCLA before getting into more expensive litigation.
Looking for a compromise with the plaintiffs – rather than pursuing a legal battle which the court decision indicates UCLA is likely to lose – would be the appropriate path. As we noted in the hotel case (apparently to no avail), there are usually alternatives if only one takes a deep breath, pauses, and explores them. The search has to be genuine, of course, and not the supposed exploration for show that went on in the hotel affair.
Compromise is part of life. Try it, UCLA. You might like it: