Fewer people in the pension saga have a more poisoned relationship than City Attorney Mike Aguirre and union attorney Ann M. Smith.

Aguirre’s been quoted as telling people that the “M” from Smith’s middle name stands for “malpractice.” Smith’s union has called the city attorney an “economic terrorist.”

Now, they face off in the courtroom in the city’s landmark pension case. And Superior Court Judge Jeffrey B. Barton tried to quell the early tension today during a hearing that laid out the framework for the trial that begins Monday morning.

After Smith offered a commentary on Aguirre’s statements today in court, Barton quickly made it clear that such editorializing from either side wouldn’t be seen in a positive light.

“I think they’re irrelevant and a side show to what’s going on,” Barton said.


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