The attorney who filed a lawsuit for driving-related misconduct against NFL standout Rolando McClain has serious driving infractions on his own record, plus other instances of unlawful conduct.
Allan L. Armstrong is a lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama, the state where McClain grew up and went on to star as a linebacker at the University of Alabama. Armstrong filed a lawsuit last November, alleging that McClain twice struck UA student Matthew Mangham with a vehicle in 2008. Darrell L. Cartwright, also of Birmingham, serves as co-counsel in the case.
Mangham was able to leave the scene, but now is seeking at least $75,000 for injuries related to the incident. The lawsuit claims that McClain, after the accident, left "to secure additional members of the University of Alabama football team to provide an intimidating and menacing presence." McClain allegedly then found Mangham and assaulted him, causing severe and permanent oral injuries.
The complaint states: "Upon information and belief, Defendant McClain has a history of aggressive and violent behavior, including previous assaults and other criminal activity."
Much the same thing could be said about Allan L. Armstrong, the lawyer who wrote the complaint--and that's not based "upon information and belief;" it's a matter of public record.
In fact, it could be argued that McClain's driving record is tame compared to Armstrong's.
On October 5, 2000, Armstrong was arrested for DUI, carrying a concealed weapon, and driving left of the center line. The case numbers in Jefferson County Circuit Court are 1-CC-2000-4481, 4482, and 4483. Those cases apparently were transferred to another jurisdiction, probably a municipality, and the outcome is not clear from the file at alacourt.com.
Less than one year later--on August 27, 2001--Armstrong was arrested again, on the same three charges. This time, it was in Shelby County, Alabama. Court documents indicate that Armstrong pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving, and Circuit Judge D. Al Crowson entered a finding of "nol prossed" (not prosecuted) on the weapon charge. The case numbers in Shelby County Circuit Court are 58-CC-2001-1075, 1076, and 1077.
Several questions come quickly to mind about the Armstrong cases:
* Did the legal community give him preferential treatment because he is a lawyer? Were they particularly quick to cut him slack because his brother is U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Armstrong, of the Northern District of Alabama?
* My understanding is that it's common for a driver to plead guilty to reckless driving on a first DUI offense. But why was Armstrong allowed to make a lesser plea when this was his second DUI in less than a year?
* Why was the concealed-weapon charge nol prossed, considering that it was Armstrong's second such offense in less than one year?
* Why does Allan L. Armstrong make it a habit to carry a concealed weapon? And why is he unwilling, or perhaps unable, to obtain a permit to carry a weapon? My understanding is that pistol permits are easy to obtain for most people in Alabama. Is there something in Allan Armstrong's background that prevents him from qualifying for a gun permit?
As for McClain, he won the Butkus Award as the top college linebacker in the nation and became an immediate starter in 2010 for the Oakland Raiders, who picked him in the first round (eighth overall) in the NFL draft. McClain was the Raiders' second leading tackler and was named to The Sporting News' All-Rookie Team.
McClain reportedly signed a five-year, $40-million contract, with $23.5 million of that guaranteed. Did that help make him a target for a lawyer such as Allan Armstrong? Apparently so.
Personal Note: This story hits close to home because Mrs. Schnauzer and I made the colossal mistake of hiring Armstrong and his compadre, Darrell Cartwright, to represent us in two cases related to abusive debt collectors. Somewhat to our credit, we did not seek out Armstrong and Cartwright. We only became aware of them when Cartwright contacted me after reading several posts on my blog about debt-collection issues.
Armstrong and Cartwright proceeded to undermine our case in several ways. I will provide detailed descriptions of their actions in future posts. But for now, let's say I was motivated to investigate them--and I came up with some pretty horrifying information, especially regarding Armstrong.
In fact, his record of lawlessness goes well beyond the realm of driving. We soon will be reporting on Armstrong's various run-ins with the law, and it's likely to leave you asking this question, "How in the world is this guy an officer of the court? How does he still have a bar card?"
Court records also show that Armstrong has experienced significant financial difficulties in recent years. That might help explain why he helped cheat my wife and me--and why he is going after Rolando McClain. Much more on that also is coming at Legal Schnauzer.
For now, the lawsuit Allan Armstrong filed against Rolando McClain--when viewed in light of Armstrong's own driving record--presents a classic example of the hypocrisy that seems to permeate the legal profession.