"It was a complete defense victory," Tinney said. "The jury found in the defendants' favor on all counts. They awarded no damages."
The jury was asked to decide whether Haas suffered any damage due to his ouster and whether any of the three defendants placed him in a false light or intentionally inflicted emotional distress.
They decided no on all issues.
Tinney said, "They feel incredibly justified and pleased with the result. They certainly believed their actions were proper and within their province, and the jury verdict affirms that."
Whether the court had any business refereeing the decisions of a private organization was a point of contention in pre-trial arguments. Tinney asked the court to dismiss the case on that basis, but two judges - first former Circuit Judge Irene Berger and then Webster - decided to let the case go to a jury.
But the verdict sends a message that such organizations have much leeway in how they manage their affairs, make their rules and deal with membership issues.
"With regard to the future, it's a private organization that controls its own operating procedures," Tinney said. "I'm confident they will continue to do so."
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 348-4832.