CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro has allowed NMI Settlement Fund trustee Joyce C. H. Tang to handle the lawsuit filed by the Public School System and Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada against Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Finance Secretary David Atalig.
On Tuesday, Castro granted Tang’s application to be admitted in the CNMI Judiciary for the purpose of handling the lawsuit. Castro ordered Tang, who is a Guam lawyer, to always be associated with a local lawyer. Tang has associated herself with CNMI lawyer Nicole M. Torres-Ripple, who, with her, is representing the Settlement Fund in PSS and Ada’s lawsuit.
Last June 26, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho granted the Settlement Fund’s motion to intervene in the PSS lawsuit. Tang then applied to be temporarily authorized to practice law in the CNMI, where she is not formally admitted. Tang is a member of the Civille & Tang law firm in Guam; she is not a member of the CNMI Bar.
The next hearing in the case is on Aug. 28, 2020, on PSS’ motion for summary judgment before Camacho.
PSS and Ada, through counsel Tiberius Mocanu, had opposed the Settlement Fund’s intervention in the case, describing its concerns as “speculative.” Mocanu had said he will file an amended complaint that will drop any language referencing the Settlement Fund so that it will not be part of the case.
Tang argued on the motion to intervene.
PSS and Ada are suing Torres and Atalig to guarantee for PSS an annual budget of not less than 25% of the Commonwealth’s general revenue.