Lucerne opera house: it’s not over til the last lawyer drops

Lucerne opera house: it’s not over til the last lawyer drops


norman lebrecht

February 24, 2014

The rich man’s estate that was ordered to cough up $137 million on Friday to build an opera house in Lucerne is not giving up. A statement from the estate said that the judge’s award to Lucerne was ‘subject to feasibility’ and feaibility of a salle modulable (pictured) had yet to be proved in court.

Here’s today’s statement from one of the lawyers on the losing side, Jan Woloniecki:


salle modulable



‘The effect of the decision is that, regrettably, there is as yet no complete finality in the dispute. The Plaintiffs will not receive the CHF 120 million lottery win which they were claiming at trial. However, the Salle Modulable project, which was thought for all practical purposes to be dead, is now on a judicial life support machine. BTBL is presently considering its options, including a possible appeal on the grounds that the Court did not have the power to give the Plaintiffs any further time for the production of a new feasibility study, and anyway should not have applied Swiss law.’


  • Lesley Gould says:

    Wow. There’s a catch 22 if ever there was one. What’s that lawyer joke that Tom Hanks’ dying- of -AIDS Attorney- character told in movie Court shortly before he died? (Philadelphia, based on the life and death of a former high powered attorney named Andy who was sued by his own Firm for choosing not to disclose his Illness, if I recall correctly). Why should he have felt obliged to? It was already established that AIDS wasn’t communicable unless there was an exchange of bodily fluids. Sure was a beautiful thing that he received Justice soon before he died. But so tragic that the world lost such a brilliant legal mind that had so much left yet to give.

    Oh yeah, I digress, Again, Mr Lebrecht. S’cuse me. Right….The joke….

    “What do you call a hundred lawyers tied together at the bottom of a lake?”

    Punchline: “A Good Start”.

    I’ll be very interested to hear what the final outcome of this high profile case is. Are the good guys gonna win this time? Oh that’s right Mr. Lebrecht. I “fergot”. Again. “It’s not over til the last lawyer drops”. Good one. I like that.