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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bar Association Punishes Lawyer for Telling the Truth

Angela Turner Drees

Lawyer B files a bar complaint against Lawyer A, claiming she made false statements about him in court documents.

During a hearing on the complaint, Lawyer B admits that the allegations against him--that he made false statements in a child-custody case--are not mere allegations. They are, in fact, true.

What does the bar association do about this turn of events? It punishes Lawyer A, suspending her license for a year. It has done nothing, so far, to Lawyer B--even though his false statements apparently resulted in him receiving both full custody and a highly favorable financial arrangement.

This, folks, is how the Alabama State Bar dispenses "justice." We suspect that bar associations across the country make similarly absurd findings. And much of this activity takes place in secret, outside the public arena, even though courts are funded by taxpayers.

As nutty as the whole thing sounds, we are not making it up. Lawyer A is Angela Turner Drees. Lawyer B is Kile Turner, her former husband. The children in question are the Turner triplets, who now are 10 years old and reside full time with Kile Turner and his current wife, Sara M. Turner.

The children have not seen their mother for more than two years, mainly because of Kile Turner's claims, under oath, that Hajo Drees, Angela Turner Drees' current husband, was convicted of domestic violence while living in Nebraska. Angela Turner Drees stated in multiple court filings that Kile Turner's claims were false, and those statements largely were ignored. When she filed a bar complaint against Kile Turner, it was not even investigated.

But what happened when Kile Turner filed a bar complaint against her? It was investigated, a hearing was conducted, and Angela Turner Drees was suspended from the practice of law for one year . . . for telling the truth.

Kile Turner


In fact, we now have multiple public documents that show Kile Turner has admitted his claims against Hajo Drees were not true. So how did the Alabama State Bar reach a conclusion that is absurd on its face?  The decision apparently was driven by the two-tiered status system that exists in the legal profession. Angela Turner Drees was a solo practitioner. Kile Turner is a partner in the downtown Birmingham firm of Norman Kendrick Wood and Turner. Sara M. Turner, Kile's new wife, is an associate in another downtown Birmingham firm, Baker Donelson.

The Alabama State Bar apparently finds it easier to punish a "little guy (or gal)" who is innocent than to zap a partner from a major firm. I suspect other state bars behave in a similarly distorted fashion.

In fact, the sense of entitlement that can emanate from a major law firm is stunning. As we reported recently, one of Kile Turner's law partners threatened me with a defamation lawsuit for writing about the Turner v. Turner case--even though public documents indicate every word of my reporting is true.

We already have reported on one such public document, a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by Angela Turner Drees. That matter is pending before the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. We now have a second such document. Angela Turner Drees has appealed her suspension to the Supreme Court of Alabama, and the Alabama State Bar has filed a motion to dismiss the appeal. In her motion to strike the bar's dismissal motion, Drees states:

The Alabama State Bar is attempting to mislead this tribunal by submitting false information, half-truths and omissions of fact so as to unfairly persuade this Court in violation of Alabama law and the Alabama Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. . . .

This case involves the Appellant being suspended for exposing two attorneys [Kile Turner and his lawyer, Richard Vincent] lying to a judge, manufacturing false evidence against an innocent Alabama resident, and then manipulating multiple court proceedings as well as exploiting powerful political networks to cover their tracks.

The material in bold above sums up the state of our current justice system about as well as any words I've seen. God only knows how many court cases around the country are decided based on such actions.

Drees then cuts to the chase about the astonishing result of the hearing before the Alabama State Bar:

At the hearing resulting in the suspension of the Appellant's license, the perpetrator lawyers confessed that they had not told the truth, thereby exonerating the Appellant. . . . The Alabama State Bar has and is now playing a significant role in continuing to cover up wrongdoing on the part of these two attorneys and is thus independently engaging in fraudulent activities with respect to this Court.

A rational person, one whose mind has not been sullied by the machinations of the legal "profession," might say, "How could a bar association possibly punish someone for telling the truth?"

Well, it happened. And we have one more document, from the Alabama State Bar itself, that shows it happened. First, let's check out the motion to strike from Angela Turner Drees:

(To be continued)

Angela Drees--Motion to Strike

33 comments:

jeffrey spruill said...

It's sad if not criminal the actions of the Alabama State Bar.

Does one even think that the Va. State Bar will look into the actions of attorney-David Bouchard who sits on the Judicial Selection Committee?

All I can make of this July29,2010 bizarre paragraph, from the Va. Pilot, is he was letting Erik Prince know it was tme to get out of Dodge and go to a place with no exradition treay with the U.S.:

One defendant in the Nicholas attack did not appear in court Wednesday because his attorney, David Bouchard, alerted the court that he is stuck at sea trying to cross the Atlantic in a sailboat.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/18/world/18blackwater.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4u-sNR02vg&feature=player_profilepage

Anonymous said...

So – you say you are a journalist, but 90 percent of your facts are wrong and that is something I learned from simple google and alacourt searches! (1) Hajo Drees was found, after a trial at which he was represented, to have abused his former wife and child. It may not have been “conviction,” but it was a civil finding – in either case a Nebraska judge determined as a matter of law (after testimony under oath and photographic evidence) that this guy was a child abuser. The transcript is included in the public court file – you too can go read it. A civil finding is all that is required under the law to change custody – not a "conviction." Judges don’t like kids to live with child abusers – even when there is no criminal conviction - shocker. Drees tried to play semantics games with the Court and they caught her red handed. (2) Read the transcript from the bar hearing – where in the world do you see that Kile Turner admitted he lied? (3) Angela Drees’ appeals regarding her suspension have been dismissed Months ago – the court DENIED them because they are without merit! Even your details on the employment of the people involved are wrong. Boy, you are slipping here. Take 5 seconds to do your homework instead of listening to the ranting of a psycho and you might actually have to admit you were wrong on this one. Every once in a while, a judge gets it right and rescuing those kids from the Drees experience was one of those times.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon:

If you are so certain of your facts, why don't you publish under your real name? I generally don't run such anonymous comments as yours, but I think this is instructive of the kind of attacks that have been used in the Drees case.

Anonymous said...

So, do you actually think a man who, after it was determined by a judge who held a trial, is a child abuser should have access to little kids? How would you feel if they were your kids? "conviction" or "civil finding" the result is the same. A judge found that he was an abuser, the Alabama court saw a copy of that trial transcript and order. What more do you need? Don't get sucked into the scandal here buddy. Words are words, besting the crap out of your wife and kid is reality.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon:

I notice you still won't identify yourself, and this is the last comment from you that I am running, buddy. Again, I'm only running it to illustrate the kinds of cowardly attacks that have been present in this case for a long time.

I've run two documents already that show Mr. Turner and his lawyer, Mr. Vincent, made statements regarding a conviction that have proven to be false. My posts have not addressed who should or should not have custody of the children. The posts have shown that rulings in this case were made based on false evidence. Clearly, you don't want to address that issue, but that is the issue at hand.

I will be running a third document, one from the state bar itself, that indicates both Mr. Turner and Mr. Vincent acknowledged their statements re: Hajo Drees were false.

If you don't think there is a big difference between a criminal conviction and matters raised in a civil proceeding . . . well, I'm afraid you don't know much about the law.

Anonymous said...

Roger, I have been wondering about something. I've seen the past president of state bar in two different states appear to get grossly unfair favorable treatment from the judge.. (Past Pres.) personally and professionally. In both cases the facts and evidence were heavily weighted against the past Pres. of State Bar. Slam dunk. A lot of, oh, the judge didn't look at that. It makes sense because a lot of politicking goes into getting to be Pres. of State Bar. Maybe favors owed? Professional courtesy? Anyone have knowledge on this? Might vary state to state. Mothers are encouraged to get their children out of dangerous situations then many times when they try to protect their children instead their children end up with no one to protect them. I saw online a woman who had been on Dr. Phil or her story was. She begged the judge to believe her that her husband was going to harm their two or three year old son. The judge called the mother a liar. The husband/father sneered and laughed at his wife as he left court with their son. He killed their son and then killed himself. No one tells mothers to consider if your husband is dangerous enough you feel you need to leave consider the chances of your children having no protection. I see the promos to get out. I've never seen a warning that the reality of leaving even if the mother/wife has incriminating evidence might result in far less protection for the children. It appears the courts are more interested in their own careers than the well being of innocent children. I hate to say it but if your children are too young to protect themselves think before you file for divorce because you have no assurance the court's priority is the well being of your children. It's sad, but that's the reality of how our courts are today.

Anonymous said...

I found the case. The child wasn't two, he was only 9 months old. The mother of the child was not even married to the father. It appears no corruption was involved. Simply a judge who didn't care enough to take the time to look at the mountain of evidence showing this baby needed protection. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPI3Zh-OHEA

Anonymous said...

The interesting battle would be Kile Turner vs Sara M. Turner. What happens then? If there's no little guy to bully? If both have no conscience, no humanity, no integrity? I mean, assuming that were the case. Just for the sake or argument.

jeffrey spruill said...

Anon 1,2

You should visit the Norfolk,Va. Federal Court & see if Judge Henry Coke Morgan & Judge Robert G. Doumar were correct in their rulings.

http://bcove.me/xh82za7f

Anonymous said...

Roger, I have been following your posts on this case and have been on Drees’ side for most of it.  After reading the prior posts on child abuse though, I got curious.  I found the original custody order in this case online.  It looks like the Judge said that Hajo Drees had been found “guilty” of domestic abuse, not “convicted.”  I am not a lawyer, but my neighbor is.  I asked him if a finding of “guilty” is a criminal conviction or not.  He said no – under Alabama law, a finding of “guilty” is the same as a civil finding.  He said even corporations can have a finding of guilt if they are held liable in civil cases.  No matter what was said in this trial, if the facts are true that Hajo Drees was found to have abused his wife and child in a civil proceeding, under Alabama law it looks like that can be referenced as a finding of “guilty.”  I don’t think kids should be kept in the same house with someone who abused his own kids and former wife.  I have been in the Drees’ corner for most of this, but seeing the facts as they are, I have changed my mind.  I don’t like child abusers – I think they are scum in fact – and even worse are women who would stay with their abuser husband even if it meant she lost custody of her own kids!  I wish you would post some of the other documents I saw in the online file in your next story on this case.  Did you see that Angela Drees was sentenced to 30 something days in jail for the other stuff she did to lose custody?  That other stuff cited in the original order (some of which is down right unbelievable) has nothing to do with her husband’s abuse record.  I really like your stories, but I think there may be more to this one than meets the eye.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon:

I think you are confused. The issue is not what the judge said in an order. The issue is what Mr. Turner and Mr. Vincent said in an official proceeding. And at least three different public documents indicate that the statements they made were false.

Also, I'm not sure what judge you are talking about. The alleged abuse case took place in Nebraska. Are you referring to the judge there? If you are referring to something an Alabama judge said, I'm not sure why that would matter. He did not hear any direct evidence, that I'm aware of, regarding abuse.

What "other stuff" are you referring to re: Angela Drees?

Are you saying you found the Nebraska order online? Can you provide a link.

Finally, it seems curious that you state you have sided with the Dreeses, but now have changed your minds based on the comments of an anonymous individual online.

Doesn't take much to change your mind, does it?

Interesting that you provide neither your name, nor any supporting evidence, to support your rather wild accusations. A lot like some of the earlier anon commenters.

jeffrey spruill said...

Every once in a while, a judge gets it right---

YEAH/SURE-- judges can get it so right that the lawyer(David Bouchard)(who directed my railroading) in District Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit,U.S. Supreme Court(until I was denied writ of cert) told me I was "digging my own grave" Dec.22,2004.

What REALLY opened my eyes to the corruption of the legal profession is two events that occured simultaneously-Thursday July14,2005 when I appeared in Chesapeake,Va. District Court with David Bouchard:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/15/politics/15rehnquist.html?_r=3&ex=1122091200&en=e0ec6fdc57fa3214&ei=5070&emc=eta1

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9800E5DC153CF932A15754C0A9639C8B63

They occured on the "SAME DAY" because Rehnquist would not release a Circut Court judge from the "Breyer Judicial Misconduct Commission" who was covering up for a District Court judge.

So much for the 4th Estate/Corporate media.

jeffrey spruill said...

''He thought I was well on my way to busting my knees,'' said Judge Wilkinson, 60. ''He warned me of impending doom.''

Those darn FBI files!

Anonymous said...

According to the order from the Alabama bar, Ms. Drees made false statements in court papers that a Court had found Mr. Turner guilty of making false statements, when in fact Mr. Turner hadn't been found guilty of making false statements and was not subject to disbarment proceedings. Then Ms. Drees claimed in Court papers that Mr. Turner was subject to disbarment proceedings when Mr. Turner wasn't subject to disbarment proceedings. Essentially, The Bar was punishing Drees for misrepresenting the findings of one court and misstating the status disbarment proceedings to a court? Did I read that correctly?

legalschnauzer said...

It should be noted that Angela Drees was not at this proceeding to defend herself.

It also should be noting that you are quoting the findings of a bar "judge" (actually just a regular lawyer) who found that any misstatements made by Drees deserved a suspension while finding that acknowledged misstatements by Mr. Turner and Mr. Vincent were "harmless" in nature.

You find this fair and consistent?

By the way, the issue in the court was whether Mr. Turner and Mr. Vincent had been "adjudicated" to have made false statements. My understanding is that Ms. Drees contends the judge did make such a finding, meaning it was adjudicated.

This is the same Alabama State Bar that has a long history of playing favorites. Check out the cases of Kenya Lavender Marshall, a black female lawyer, and Robert "Coach" Hayes, a white male lawyer. Note the difference in how those two cases were handled.

This is the same Alabama State Bar that granted a license to a lawyer, currently representing Ronnie Gilley in the federal bingo trial, who has a federal conviction on his record for trafficking in methamphetamine. I sought comment from Robert Lusk on this matter, and Mr. Lusk has refused to return my phone calls.

This is the same bar that has allowed William E. Swatek to practice law for 30 years even though public records show he clearly perjured himself in an official proceeding before the bar in the early 1980s.

You think anyone should take the Alabama State Bar seriously?

jeffrey spruill said...

Anon7:

Does Kile Turner have a lot of friends hiding in the bushes or what?

Come out kitty,kitty,kitty!

Robby Scott Hill said...

A very disturbing ruling. They finally managed to disbar Ms. Drees mostly on "failure to appear." When you live 158 miles from their offices & have other commitments like working 60 hours a week to pay your rent, you can't just drop your life to be at the Bar's offices on short notice to appear at the umpteenth hearing on a matter. Like so many before her, they eventually just wore her down.

Anonymous said...

The way the courts treated Mr. Drees lawsuit makes me think this was not a fairest fight. At the same time, Ms. Drees appears to have make some comments in court pleadings that are regrettable and were going to get her in trouble. Ms. Drees wasn't at a proceeding to defend herself, but she was given an opportunity to be. From what I've seen, the Courts are slanted in favor of the Big Firm folks, but Ms. Drees made some statements in Court filings that are not defensible. This isn't cut and dry. Would be interesting to get an independent third party to analyze the situation.

legalschnauzer said...

I think she was in Germany at the time and had a bench warrant for her arrest because she could not appear for a hastily called hearing in Jeffco. That, I think, is why she did not appear--so it's actually even worse than it looks on the surface.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon:

An independent, third party already is taking a look at this--me.

If you want a third-party lawyer's perspective, go to the federal courthouse in downtown Bham and look up two lawsuits filed by Samford law prof. Joseph Blackburn. They describe, in hair-raising detail, the impact of a "hunting club" culture on domestic-relations cases in AL.

Anonymous said...

Roger, The order with all the other stuff Angela Drees did to lose custody is the same order where the "guilty" finding was discussed. She did a whole bunch other other stuff and was ordered to about 36 days in jail. I don't think it matters if Turner and his lawyer said it was a conviction versus a finding of guilt as long as the judge only said he was guilty - which it looks like even they admit he was. People testify to stuff all the time, it's the judge's job to find the truth which the judge in this case appears to have done. Drees was guilty of child abuse, the judge said he was in his order and then he ( and his wife) lost custody. Thank God these kids were removed from the abusive home. In my mind, that is what I mostly care about. If a child abuser and his wife don't get treated all that well, it's no wonder. I don't think our society is doing enough to stop child abusers - just look at Casey Anthony. In this case, it looks like the children were saved from what could have been a similar fate!

Anonymous said...

Just read your recent post. Hilarious! You say that you are taking an independent look, but admit in an earlier post that you haven't even seen the two most relevant Cout orders! Maybe you should quit eating the spoon fed crap Drees is feeding you and actually investigate on your own. I think you might find that you are looking at Drees in a slightly different light.

legalschnauzer said...

It's curious that you call me Roger, even though you refuse to give your own name.

I haven't seen all of the orders and documents in these various voluminous files. But here is my understanding of the facts:

* There was no civil case against Hajo Drees and no "finding" of guilt re: domestic violence;

* There was a joint protective order, directed both toward Dr. Drees and his wife;

* Dr. Drees received custody of the children;

* Who is "they" admitting that Drees was guilty? It certainly is not the Dreeses, based on the information I have.

* If you don't think it's a problem that lawyers make false statements in court, then I am glad you are not a judge. And I most certainly hope you aren't a lawyer.

* Do you think it's fair to call someone a "child abuser" when there is no evidence or finding to support that? Do you think it's fair or ethical to make such a charge while you hide behind anonymity?

legalschnauzer said...

I notice you still won't publish your real name--pretty cowardly.

I will give you more respect than you deserve and respond thusly: You seem to assume that court orders always are based on the facts and the law. I know from real-world experience that is not so. My posts have presented evidence that Kile Turner has received unlawful, favorable rulings throughout this case--that the court has acted in a fundamentally corrupt fashion--so why would I focus on one more court order from a court that has proven it doesn't play fair?

Are you aware of the allegations in multiple federal lawsuits re: Judges Ferguson and Calhoun? Those don't concern you at all?

The court apparently has based its rulings on information provided by Mr. Turner and Mr. Vincent--that they now acknowledge was false. Sorry, but court orders in this case don't hold a whole lot of water with me.

If you have some documents that you want me to review, send them my way--with your real name and contact information. Both Dreeses have done that. Until you do that, your words aren't worth much.

When I tried to communicate with one of Mr. Turner's law partners, Mr. Kendrick, all I got was the threat of a lawsuit. I offered to meet with him, and I've heard nothing from him.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon:

I've given you way more leeway than you deserve. I've invited you to post your real name and provide information that supports your allegations. You've done neither. You continue to anonymously call someone a "child abuser," with nothing to support that charge.

My personal e-mail address is posted on the front-page of this blog, and you can contact me there. But I'm done with you on anonymous, malicious comments.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon:

I see you still are resorting to threats of lawsuits. I'm not turning a "blind eye" to any evidence. I invited you to contact me at: rshuler3156@gmail.com or 991-7438. I invited you to provide information that you have. You responded with the threat of a lawsuit. If you don't care what I think, why have spent so much time reading my posts and sending anonymous comments? Pretty strange way to show your lack of concern.

jeffrey spruill said...

Mr. Shnauzer:

The Birmingham law firm of Norman Kendrick Wood and Turner was waiting or THIS post. Lawyers are a cowardly bunch of thugs.

Anonymous said...

"Jeffrey Spruill",
Stating that lawyers are a cowardly bunch of thugs is a sweeping (and somewhat mean-spirited) generalization. Some are. Some aren't.

Robby Scott Hill said...

The State of Alabama does have some way to get into the airline databases. I know of more than one state employee or lawyer who made plans out of state & purchased airline tickets only to get called into surprise last minute hearings or be asked to show up to work on their scheduled day off.

They pulled that on me one Friday afternoon & I went ahead and took my day off. If they are going to start playing games like that, they have ZERO respect for you & it will be a matter of time before you wind up suspended or in the unemployment line anyhow. You might as well hop a flight to Vegas & enjoy yourself while you still have some cash flow and good credit.

State Officials NEVER work or see appointments outside their scheduled hours. If an emergency happens while they are on vacation, it has to wait.

jeffrey spruill said...

"Jeffrey Spruill",
Stating that lawyers are a cowardly bunch of thugs is a sweeping (and somewhat mean-spirited) generalization. Some are. Some aren't.
-
You're right. So let me introduuce you to the most COWARDLY thug of them all-David W. Bouchard. Doing the dirty work for others - especially for J. Harvie Wilkinson. He has forgotten his own identity.

Anonymous said...

Upon reading about the disbarment of Ms. Drees, I have to wonder if she has contacted Marc Kerley. This victim of Judge Ferguson is without a doubt the most informed individual concerning the corruption of the above mentioned former judge.
He did have regular meetings focusing on the corruption of the courts in Jefferson County. I understand that there is a gag order in place at this
time involving his own personal case.
Mr. Kerley did have a website with his contact information posted, but I am not able to locate it.
I am certain that she can get information about him at the court house. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

So what ever happened with this case? Did Ms Drees ever end up getting to see her kids again?

legalschnauzer said...

A number of issues are ongoing with the case. My understanding is that Ms. Drees has seen her children one time, in a court environment. Not sure if there have been other visitations.