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Monday, April 29, 2013

Here Is Evidence That Corrupt Judges And Lawyers Are Collaborating On A Cheat Job Against My Wife


Infinity Insurance headquarters
in Birmingham, AL
(Note: Includes update at 10:15 a.m. on 4/29/13. See end of the post.)

One of the sad truths about our justice system is that courtroom corruption often is a multi-headed monster. In many cases, it is not a matter of a crooked judge or a crooked lawyer, operating in isolation. Much courtroom sleaze turns on collaborations between crooked judges and lawyers, joining greasy hands to ensure that one party or another is denied justice. In the background, you often will find a corporate defendant, whose officers know the system is being compromised on their behalf.

We see signs that such a twisted scheme is unfolding in my wife's ongoing employment lawsuit against Birmingham-based Infinity Insurance. Will it pay off for the underhanded legal types who are involved? Not as long as Mrs. Schnauzer (MS) and I have a collective pulse.

As a couple, we've been dealing with court-related corruption for 12-plus years, and our tolerance for such shenanigans has grown past the point of thin. We also have become fairly adept at recognizing con jobs not long after they are set in motion. Experience has taught us that judges and lawyers make bad criminals; they often leave paper trails, and as a group, folks with legal training tend to greatly overrate their own intelligence.

A scheduling order was set last Monday in Carol Shuler v. Infinity Property & Casualty et al (2:11-cv-03443-TMP), with deadlines set for discovery, dispositive motions, and such. That seems straightforward enough, but we have learned that nothing ever is quite as it seems at the Hugo Black U.S. Courthouse in downtown Birmingham. (The scheduling order can be viewed at the end of this post.)

Here is something curious: When we arrived for the April 22 scheduling hearing, four defense lawyers already were present, lined up on the front row. The lawyers, and their clients, were W. Hill Sewell, of Lloyd Gray Whitehead & Monroe, for lawyer Laura Nettles; Kary B. Wolfe, of Jones Walker Wechter Poitvent, Carrere & Denegre, for lawyer Angie Ingram; Charles M. Elmer, of Jackson Lewis, for Infinity Insurance; and M. Jansen Voss, of Scott Sullivan Streetman & Fox, for American Express.

The scheduling conference originally had been set for April 10, but we arrived that day to find an empty courtroom. David Waters, law clerk for U.S. Magistrate T. Michael Putnam, told us that the judge suddenly was not present that day, and the conference had been reset for 12 days in the future.

Court documents show that the April 10 hearing was postponed six minutes before it was to start. It was set for a 10 a.m. start that day, and a rescheduling order shows that the postponement was made at 9:54 a.m. (The rescheduling order can be viewed at the end of this post.)

This obvious question likely will enter the minds of observant readers: Why were the four defense lawyers, who were ready and accounted for on April 22, nowhere in sight on April 10? How did they know about a postponement that was not set, according to public records, until six minutes prior to the scheduled start?

I can think of only one answer--the defense lawyers knew in advance that the April 10 hearing was not going to take place. They knew the court had intentionally not notified Mrs. Schnauzer of the hearing, and they knew Putnam was planning for my wife not to show, so he would have an excuse to unlawfully dismiss her case.

Drayton Nabers
Putnam, and his co-conspirators, did not count on my wife paying a visit to the courthouse to file a motion on April 5. And they did not count on her thinking to check the docket on a public computer, so that she would learn of the April 10 hearing.

All of this indicates that at least six individuals with law degrees--the four defense lawyers, plus Putnam and his law clerk, David Waters--are involved in a conspiracy to knowingly deprive my wife of due process. Perhaps of even more significance, this almost certainly constitutes obstruction of justice and other federal crimes. By definition, a crime is a wrong against society, so this involves harm to all of us, not just Mrs. Schnauzer.

The scheme probably does not stop there. Members of the Infinity Insurance board of directors, which includes former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Drayton Nabers, probably know criminal acts are being taken on their behalf.

So that is the reality that many everyday Americans face when they engage in a courtroom battle. Lined up against them are judges, lawyers, and crooked corporate types--forming a "Bermuda triangle" of injustice that often is very poorly hidden.


Update at 10:15 a.m. on 4/29/13

I am not the only journalist paying attention to Mrs. Schnauzer's case. Andrew Kreig, of the Washington, D.C.-based Justice Integrity Project (JIP), also is keeping watch. In a piece out today, titled "Shocking Alabama Legal Irregularities Continue," Kreig provides an excellent overview on the sad state of the justice system in one Deep-South state.

Kreig focuses heavily on the legal struggles involving non-Indian gaming, especially the unfolding story of  Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, VictoryLand Owner Milton McGregor, and Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford. Kreig also focuses on the prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, giving special attention to Scrushy's recent interview with San Francisco-based radio host Peter B. Collins--plus a recent piece by law professor Bennett Gershman, a leading academic expert on prosecutorial abuse. The Gershman piece, published recently at Huffington Post, is titled "Why is Don Siegelman still in jail?"

As for the Mrs. Schnauzer case, Kreig sought comment from three key figures in the case--U.S. Magistrate Judge T. Michael Putnam, U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon, and law clerk David Waters. It turns out that none of those folks replied to his queries. From Kreig's article:

Shuler, as usual in his nearly five-day-per-week columns, has recently reported a number of other legal irregularities involving Alabama's attorney general and other prominent figures in the state. A former reported for nearly 20 years with the state's largest newspaper, Shuler typically probes cases from the standpoint of litigants victimized by lawyers or other court officials.

That kind of labor-intensive reporting is regarded these days by most news organizations as too expensive. It is easier for the most part to obtain news materials directly from prosecutors and their news releases. The Birmingham News and the state's two other largest newspapers have even moved away from daily print publication. For such reasons, a study this week announced that newspaper reporting is the now the nation's "worst" profession, with a six percent annual decline in employment expected.

Shuler nonetheless has continued even after being fired from his job at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has alleged in a pending lawsuit that the firing was improper retaliation for creating a blog in his free time and without university resources to report on the legal system. His wife, Carol, was later fired from her job with an insurance agency. She has filed a suit also pending claiming improper dismissal for reasons of political retaliation against her husband's blogging work.

Kreig then provides additional insight on the curious actions of judges and lawyers in my wife's case.

Her case is pending in Birmingham's federal court before a U.S. Magistrate T. Michael Putnam under the overall jurisdiction of U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon, a native of the Sierra Leone nominated to the bench by President Obama upon the recommendation of former Democrat Artur Davis. Kallon . . . previously practiced employment and labor law at a major Birmingham law firm primarily representing employers.

Shuler this month reported on a series of actions by court officials who have threatened to dismiss his wife's case because she failed to respond to court papers that she says she never received. The Shuler allegations describe judicial behavior by Kallon and Putnam that might seem astounding except to those who have scrutinized, as have I, the extraordinary scandal and cover-up commonplace in Alabama courts on high-profile matters.

Kreig gave key figures in the Mrs. Schnauzer case an opportunity to explain their actions. They were not, it seems, anxious to do that:

I received no response from Kallon and Putnam regarding my requests for comment regarding their alleged irregularities or misconduct in the Shuler case. The judicial personnel failed also to respond to my request that they provide their required financial disclosure statements. The federal system -- while ostensibly open -- hides and delays financial information for judicial personnel. This gives the judges enormous discretion on disclosing whether they have conflicts and, if so, who their patrons, confederates, and fellow investors might be.

Also, the Birmingham federal court clerk implemented the threat against Shuler failed to respond to a request for comment on Shuler's allegations he was manipulating mailings and court schedules with the connivance of the magistrate to dismiss the case without required discovery.

In sum, it appears to be business as usual by authorities in Alabama, with the connivance of Washington supervising authorities.

Kreig has two books in the works. The first, titled Presidential Puppetry, probably will be released this summer or fall and focuses on the moneyed interests who control Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and top candidates from both major parties. The second book, tentatively titled Courtroom Puppetry, is expected to focus on corruption that plagues the U.S. justice system. Together, the books are expected to break new ground and provide valuable background on the Siegelman prosecution and other legal/political scandals of the past 12 years or so.




24 comments:

Robby Scott Hill said...

Damn that Abraham Lincoln and his 13th Amendment with that silly notion that all men (including Blacks, Jews, Native Americans & Women of all races) should be treated equally in the eyes of the law. What can we do? We'll have to get us a racist, sexist, neo-Confederate President of these here United States that we've been forced back into to appoint us some bigots to the federal bench. There's always a workaround. God made the White Man smarter than the rest of the races & He will ordain Judges that He has chosen to put these minorities that Abrahamus Africanus wrongly encouraged & the women folk back into their places serving a White Man and giving birth to his babies.

Redeye said...

"So that is the reality that many everyday Americans face when they engage in a courtroom battle. Lined up against them are judges, lawyers, and crooked corporate types--forming a "Bermuda triangle" of injustice that often is very poorly hidden."

Welcome to our world, and by "our" I mean black folks. We call the legal lynchings.

Anonymous said...

L.S.: you hit the nail on the head when you called our justice system the bermuda triangle.

I couldn't agree with you more. Everything you state is true about our situation here in Alabama.

Glad there is someone brave enough to step forward and call these people and corporations out.

Anonymous said...

Good Lawdy, Miss Clawdy . . . these people really are bad crooks. As you point out, it only stands to reason that all of the defense lawyers should have been there for a hearing that was postponed six minutes prior to start time. They weren't there because they were in on the scheme. I guess they think regular people are too stupid to figure out such things.

legalschnauzer said...

Rob:

Great to have you back in the commenting section. With tax season over, hope we will be hearing more of your insights. I think many people, even Mrs. S, read them more than my posts.

I ask her, "Have you read my post?"

Answer: "Not yet. I've got to read Robby Scott Hill's comments first."

Anonymous said...

LS, I think you caught these lawyers with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Since this is a federal court, we all pay for that cookie jar--and it's not supposed to be sullied and tarnished by con artists.

legalschnauzer said...

Great point, Redeye. How ironic that Clarence Thomas was the first person many of us heard using such a term--I think "high-tech lynching" were his words. Now, Clarence sits on Antonin Scalia's lap at the top of a system that produces "legal lynchings" for all too many Americans, of all colors--especially those who oppose high-priced corporate defense lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Drayton Nabers one of Bob Riley's "good old boys"?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:25--

Yes, Drayton Nabers was appointed to the Al Supreme Court by Bob Riley. Nabers also wrote a book about character, which I think sold six copies. The notion of an Alabama judge knowing anything about character is laughable.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Case-Character-Drayton-Nabers/dp/0970213859

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Andrew Kreig is keeping up with your wife's case and other nasty courtroom deeds in Alabama. Props to him.

TLR said...

Lots of good material in the update, LS. I have a lot of respect for Andrew Kreig's work. Aren't too many journalists out there who also have legal training. And there are even fewer lawyer/journalists who are willing to write the truth about courtroom wrongdoing. Look forward to reading his book.

Anonymous said...

Love me some Robby Scott Hill in the morning. Always makes me think, usually makes me laugh.

James Greek said...

Let us know when it comes out!

jeffrey spruill said...

Antonin Scalia sits on Clarence Thomas's lap with the ghost of Rehnquist directing the latest cover up:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/15/politics/15rehnquist.html?_r=4&ex=1122091200&en=e0ec6fdc57fa3214&ei=5070&emc=eta1&

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Harvie_Wilkinson_III#Federal_judgeship

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Mr. Kreig's inquiries will cause some sphincters to tighten at the Hugo Black building.

Anonymous said...

USA was going down as a well planned event. Only the top levels of the country would survive this time.

Systems were all constructed by the same organized crime, global corporations.

Courts were set up as a system for the 'upper' that could afford the schooling programming, sold by Wall Street's Federal Reserve System, the Fed. No lawyer knows the money system in the USA, or they would be the richest in the country.

It was an intentional dumbing down, pretend law school.

Where does Mrs. Schnauzer actually seek a settlement from?

Well the Fed doesn't allow one keystroke to be functioned without a complete track and trace. Mrs. Schnauzer, in other words, gets her settlement from the OWNER of the judges, lawyers and other Bermuda Triangle T Rex wannabes: Federal Reserve "Bank."

As long as the Fed owns the court system, the USA is not about due process law - gosh didn't we all notice already!

Transference of wealth is the motto of the Fed and thus, why law schools are given the curriculum for the most, to not notice digital dust has gotten the super power America to be owned by the Fed.

Attorneys at law in the vast numbers in the USA should get together and all sue the Fed. That would be worth a fortune for all Americans.

Yes, LS, your endurance of the power matching Murphy Schnauzer and you know what this feels like.

Thanks as always.

Coyote Lane said...

Robby, Jews threw a tantrum because the religious protection wasn't as good as they wanted in immigrating here, pre-US Constitution.

The Bill of Rights' cheered them up, though and they themselves write about how pestering didn't end until better words were added - our Bundle of Rights.

Women? Please, the US Constitution unfortunately needs an Addendum for the equality to be put back in, after all it was the Treaty of the Five Nations' that provided the "idea" and women were only property to the "white man."

Talk lots about the US Constitution, Robby, cause that is what all attorneys take an oath to actually go into the courts, ?, and protect?

But, then, why don't attorneys all get together and get rid of the unethical and criminal enterprising?

Anonymous said...

@1:48,
The attorneys know how it works! They are the soldiers perpetuating global doom. Most are spineless cowards thus why they don't milk it for more than they already do. A sure tell sign is a judge who was a business major prior to entering law school!

David in S. Alabama said...

Drayton Nabers is a closeted idiot.

jeffrey spruill said...

LS:

Do federal magistrates go through the nominations process?

Also- Putnams law clerk- David Waters saw his need of intimidation by surrounding himself professional cowards--US Marshals.(I would add that to the lawsuit.)

legalschnauzer said...

Jeffrey:

I'm not certain about this, but I think magistrates are appointed by the district judges. If I'm right about that, then they don't go through the nomination process. Welcome insights from others.

We have a judge in the Middle District of Alabama, Wallace Capel, who came from Michigan and is not eligible to serve as a magistrate in Alabama because he isn't a member of our state's bar. My understanding is that the district judges wanted him, so he is on the bench. But under the law, he is ineligible to serve here.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 4:40 pm, thank you for the mental cup o'joe.

Add the fact, that, the type "A" personality which appears attracted to the "law" as a "legal full time profession" are indeed a certain 'energy'. Doctors same "ego" attraction - money, power, prestige and of course most, bullies.

Get the Jurisprudence Doctorate and think it's the tongue of an all powerful god.

My understanding is, "law" is decided how it's going to be according to the Inns of Court or other gathering of powers that operate the racket of unconstitutional.

Law firms in Delhi said...

I’ll say that within the scope of Universal Human Morality under the laws of God…”If you are willing to take one’s life….be willing to also give your own life”. There is always an equivalent responsibility when acts are committed whether consciously or unconsciously especially against humanity. Somehow atrocities done on any innocent human life must be answered always in God’s own Perfect Time. And people has to believe that their sins will seek them out no matter where they hide. They might not pay today, but they will definitely pay later.

Anonymous said...

I have a few experiences with the USA Judicial System. It is not a Justice System for sure. The main reason it exists is to enforce the state as the biggest ape. The Judicial System exists to ensure company's can operate at will without legal reprisal, and to enrich the attorneys.