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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Luther Strange Threatens Sanctions Against Attorney Who Filed Federal Lawsuit Over VictoryLand Raids


Luther Strange
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is threatening to seek sanctions against the Massachusetts lawyer who helped file a federal lawsuit against him over the February electronic-bingo raids at VictoryLand casino.

Donald LaRoche, of Brockton, Massachusetts, filed the lawsuit April 5 on behalf of Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford and other residents of Macon County who claim the VictoryLand raids have caused "economic devastation" in their area.

Governor Robert Bentley, codefendant in the case, already has filed an answer to the complaint, according to a report at oanow.com, the Web site of the Opelika-Auburn News. Strange's answer is due this week, but the AG already has engaged in the not-so-subtle art of intimidation. From the oanow.com report:

Donald LaRoche, who is representing Ford and others named as plaintiffs in the case, said that as of [last] Friday, attorneys representing Bentley were the only ones he was aware of who had responded to summonses. LaRoche said defendants typically have at least 21 days to respond after receiving a summons. When contacted by the Opelika-Auburn News, a spokesperson with Strange’s office said the attorney general had until [this] week to respond to the suit.

Is Strange looking forward to filing a response in the case? It doesn't sound like it:

According to court documents, LaRoche filed a motion to cease attempts to intimidate and delay on April 17 after receiving a letter from Solicitor General John C. Neiman Jr. on behalf of Strange threatening sanctions against him and Ford if the suit was not dropped within seven days of receiving the letter.

“He (Strange) is named throughout the lawsuit and we are looking forward to his being summoned into court and under oath having to testify,” Ford said.

Let's consider this scenario: Luther Strange having to testify under oath about what is driving his effort to close the VictoryLand casino, even though no court of law has declared its bingo machines to be illegal;   the attorney general possibly being forced to turn over documents--e-mails, internal memos, phone records--related to the VictoryLand raids.

Would that prove to be an interesting turn of events? Is it any wonder Luther Strange is resorting to intimidation tactics?

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Luther Strange will never ever get on a witness stand anywhere. Way way way too much to lose. His career, his marriage, his family, possibly even his freedom.

Anonymous said...

Shows what scum is bred from the Riley pond.

DM
Phenix City

Barb said...

I find it interesting that Luther Strange failed to appear at the VictoryLand liquor license hearing, where he would have been put under oath. Now, he starts issuing threats when faced with a lawsuit that could wind up putting him under oath. When are Alabamians going to wake up to what this man really is all about?

Anonymous said...

DM:

Good line. I would submit that the "Riley pond" is more like a cesspool.

Owen said...

Isn't it odd that Gov. Bentley responds immediately and seems to have no problem moving forward in a lawful fashion, but Luther has to stoop to intimidation tactics?

Anonymous said...

LS, I was struck by your comment about the possibility of Luther having to turn over internal memos, documents, etc. I hadn't thought about that, but it could be devastating to Luther and a number of his colleagues.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:17--

The process is called "requests for production of documents." It's part of the discovery portion of a lawsuit, and civil procedure allows for a wide net when seeking documents--at least if you have an honest judge who follows the rules. I'm sure Luther will try to avoid discovery altogether, perhaps by claiming some sort of state or official immunity. That may or may not work.

Anonymous said...

I think big Luther is in a big pickle, one of his own making.

Spasmoda said...

I bet Bentley is wishing he had taken a stronger stance against Luther from the outset. After all, the AL Sup. Ct. found that the governor is supreme law enforcement officer of the state. That gave Bentley the power to stop this BS, and he refused to do it.

Anonymous said...

Bentley claims to be a man of faith, so he should remember this phrase from the Good Book: "You reap what you sow."

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder what law from the 1800's will Luther and the Supreme Court dig up to keep him from having to testify in court.

Molli said...

L.S., Do you know who will rule on LaRoche's motion to halt the intimidation? As we all know, some judges are part of this Alabama crime family. I would like nothing more than to see Loser Strange testify under oath. Okay, I admit Boob Riley might be even better! Yesterday I listened into the Senate on Taylor's gambling bill via the web. I was glad to hear discussion from certain Senator's pointing out very obvious points (to mention a few: people want to vote, never arrested anyone, pick and choose who to raid and who to leave alone, working for Riley, etc.). The bill failed.

Anonymous said...

LS,

Progress and Property Rights, by Walker F. Todd.

Truly, you must read this book for your work, it is the position of Top Schnauzer at the Blue Ribbon offering of info.

legalschnauzer said...

Molli:

The Web site Justia Dockets lists Harold Allbritton as the district judge on the case, and Wallace Capel is the magistrate.

Wallace Capel is from Michigan and has never been a member of the Alabama Bar, and thus, is not eligible to serve as a federal magistrate in our state. He sits on the bench, but every ruling he's ever made should be void under the law. Here is a piece I wrote about the Capel situation:


http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2011/03/ineligible-federal-judge-is-presiding.html

Anonymous said...

Here comes another motorcycle wreck to avoid testifying!!!!!! Maybe Bingo Bob can get Lurch some pointers.

Anonymous said...

Bentley lied during his campaign "I am going to do away with the gambling task force." I am shocked a politician would lie.

Robby Scott Hill said...

When will Robert Bentley tire of being responsible for and paying the price for an Attorney General who answers to Bob Riley instead of him? It's obvious that Bentley has zero control over Strange who consults with and follows the instructions of Bob & Rob Riley instead of the Governor. Alabama has two Governors: the guy who sits in the State Capitol, Robert Bentley & the guy who really exercises the power, Bob Riley.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Robby on this one. Gov Bentley should have put a stop to Big Loser Strange. Strange is taking his authority too far. I sure hope Ford and company takes him to the cleaners. I have admit the lawsuit was well thought out and put together and includes all the issues with documentation.

David in S. Alabama said...

Here isa question related to Luther2Squaw: Can a citizen who is not a party in a marital relationship file an action alledging tat one party in a relationship is committing adultery?

legalschnauzer said...

David:

You've stumped me with that one. Anyone want to take on that one?

Anonymous said...

LS:
Forgot to ask..what sanctions can Big Loser impose? Also, can they use the intimidation letter as additional evidence of wrong doing by Big Loser?

legalschnauzer said...

Big Luther can't impose any sanctions. But he is asking the court to impose sanctions against the plaintiffs and their attorneys. I will have more on this subject in a post tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

What makes you all think Bentley isn't answering to Riley? All evidence points to it!

Anonymous said...

I guess he could deny access to the Poarch Creek Bingo establishment. Then escalate the sanctions from there:
1. Force LaRoche to ride with Big Bob on his Haley.

Jaes Greek said...

Anon at 6:31 AM I hope all of that happens to big Luther. He deserves it!