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Friday, March 24, 2017

Evidence suggests Alabama lawyer David Gespass gave me no legal aide, but also violated client confidentiality by blabbing to D.C.-based lawyer Paul Alan Levy


David Gespass
An Alabama lawyer who visited me in jail apparently violated attorney-client confidentiality. And evidence suggests he did it by communicating with a lawyer for a nonprofit organization founded by perhaps the nation's best-known consumer-rights advocate.

David Gespass, a Birmingham attorney supposedly committed to civil rights and the First Amendment, visited me twice while I was incarcerated "for blogging" in the Shelby County Jail. A letter Gesspass wrote to me and my wife, Carol, shows he offered no legitimate path for getting out of jail or for seeking justice based on our unlawful treatment. In other words, Gespass' failure to do his job -- like filing a habeas corpus petition for my immediate release -- is a big reason my stay in jail lasted five months.

But Gespass was not content to simply do a horrible job and act as a con man on behalf of someone, likely opposing lawyers. He also, evidence suggests, trashed me to a prominent out-of-state lawyer, who also supposedly cares about civil rights and the First Amendment. That would be Paul Alan Levy, of Public Citizen, a D.C.-based organization founded by Ralph Nader.

Almost immediately after being released from jail, with no help from David Gespass, I contacted Levy because of Public Citizen's reputation for helping victims of injustice. I quickly learned that Levy is a monumental asshole or smart-ass (take your pick), and he sullies the decades of good work Ralph Nader has done for victims of the powerful and wealthy.

I came away with evidence that Gespass and Levy had no interest in helping a victim of grotesque injustice, they also had no regard for the ethical foundations of their profession, of which attorney-client confidentiality might be the most famous. Why would supposedly progressive lawyers treat a victim with such disdain? My guess is that when it comes to progressivism vs. the legal tribe, many lawyers ditch their progressive ideals and side with corrupt figures in their own profession. It's also possible that many liberal lawyers are "progressive" in name only, that they adopt the label because it gives them a certain persona that they want affixed to their names. The label probably helps them make money, without needing a genuine commitment to justice.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) has portrayed Levy as a staunch advocate for free speech. You will soon see why, based on my experience, that is a cruel joke.

What is attorney-client confidentiality? Well, it's a little different from attorney-client privilege, as explained in an article from the American Bar Association:

The concepts of lawyer confidentiality and attorney-client privilege both concern information that the lawyer must keep private and are protective of the client’s ability to confide freely in his or her lawyer, but the concepts are not synonymous. Terminology from both, such as “privileged information” or “waiver” are sometimes used interchangeably, further causing the differences between them to become somewhat blurred. However there are several critical differences between the two in their applicability and exceptions and the extent of information covered.

The principle of confidentiality is set out in the legal ethics rules in each jurisdiction and in ABA Model Rule 1.6. Model Rule 1.6 Comment [2] states: “A fundamental principle in the client-lawyer relationship is that, in the absence of the client's informed consent, the lawyer must not reveal information relating to the representation. . . . This contributes to the trust that is the hallmark of the client-lawyer relationship.” A violation of the ethics rule may lead to disciplinary sanctions.

On the other hand, the attorney-client privilege, sometimes referred to as the testimonial privilege, is a concept from the law of evidence and is present in the common law or statutes of the fifty states. The client, acting through the lawyer, may claim the privilege. As stated in Model Rule 1.6, Comment [3]: "The attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine apply in judicial and other proceedings in which a lawyer may be called as a witness or otherwise required to produce evidence concerning a client.”

My relationship with Gespass did not go beyond two jailhouse meetings, although he did take certain actions on my behalf -- namely reviewing the sealed file in my case, apparently by visiting the Riley Jackson Law Firm, home to Rob "Uday" Riley, who apparently led the effort to bring bogus defamation claims against me. Because our relationship did not involve judicial or other official proceedings, Gespass and I are not dealing with attorney-client privilege -- we are looking at attorney-client confidentiality.

Paul Alan Levy
(From rcfp. org)
Two brief meetings with Gespass, plus one letter, were enough to convince me he either is a loon or was working for the other side -- or both. Either way, I wanted nothing to do with him; he was one of the most unimpressive individuals I've ever met. He could not even do a good job of faking sincerity.

Even though, I did not hire Gespass, he still was bound to honor confidentiality, as explained in an article at nolo.com:

Each day, countless people with legal problems consult attorneys before deciding if they want to hire them. Many, if not most, criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations for potential clients. Understandably, some defendants wonder whether such consultations—with attorneys who don’t yet and might not ever represent them—are protected.

In general, as long as the prospective client is seeking legal advice or representation and reasonably believes the communication will be confidential, the consultation is privileged. This is so even if the would-be client never pays or hires the attorney.

The nolo.com article then really hits home for my situation:

The potential-client-confidentiality principle also comes into play when an arrestee consults with a public defender at or from the police station or jail. The conversation is privileged, even though the public defender does not, and may never, represent the arrestee, and even though the public defender doesn’t receive a fee.

Gespass was not a public defender, but he was in consulting in jail with an arrestee (me).  Gespass offered me zero legal help -- and apparently being pissed because I did not fall for his con act -- he violated confidentiality and stabbed me in the back.

How exactly did that happen? We will provide details in an upcoming post.

Gespass has admitted publicly that Judge Claud Neilson's rulings in my case were "insane," "bizarre," and "way out of bounds." So Gespass knew I had been victimized, as had Carol. But he did nothing to help, and evidence suggests, he actively tried to hurt us.

It's hard to get much lower than that.


(To be continued)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't most grade-school students know that lawyers are supposed to keep stuff their clients tell them confidential? Gespass doesn't know this?

legalschnauzer said...

@9:34 --

I think a decent percentage of elementary students would know that, yes. Gespass knows it, but he got involved in my situation with malicious intent. He never was there to help me, and he tried to make sure no one else helped me either. In my view, he actively was trying to harm Carol and me.

Anonymous said...

I've never understood why, of all the lawyers in Alabama, Gespass was designated to visit you in jail

legalschnauzer said...

@9:50 --

I'm not sure I understand that either. There are a number of First Amendment groups around the nation that supposedly protect journalists, etc. I think one of them heard about my situation, and Gespass was their lawyer-representative for Alabama, so they asked him to check it out. If that's the case, the organization needs to be more careful about who it chooses as representatives in different states. Bill Swatek wouldn't have been any worse than Gespass was at dealing with my situation. And Swatek is the worst lawyer and human being I've ever encountered, along with his former client and our former neighbor, Mike McGarity.

Anonymous said...

Why would someone go visit a person in jail -- a person they know has been screwed over -- and then try to screw them over again? You're sick, David Gespass.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:25 --

You ask a profound question. My only answer is that Gespass is a lawyer, and that's the kind of thing a lot of lawyers do. Those types of lawyers are sub-human, and Gespass fits.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me a smarter person. I never knew there was a difference between attorney-client privilege and attorney-client confidentiality. I know now.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were supposed to like liberals like Gespass

legalschnauzer said...

Hah, @12:11! Gespass probably identifies as a liberal, but I think his main cause is to promote David Gespass. And that is probably his only talent. He's conned a number of organizations around the country into thinking he's a person of substance when he isn't. As a practical matter, I like people who are honest and respect the rule of law, regardless of party affiliation. Gespass, best I can tell, fails on both counts.

Anonymous said...

I've read the Gespass saga here, in full, and seems pretty clear he was taking marching orders from somebody -- Rob Riley, Luther Strange, Bill Pryor, Alabama State Bar are my top guesses.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to file a bar complaint against Gespass?

legalschnauzer said...

I would have already filed a bar complaint against Gespass, but I have almost zero faith in the Alabama State Bar to investigate a case and implement discipline. I also have considered filing one against Rob Riley and every lawyer in his firm who participated in my case, along with Christina Crow (who was Liberty Duke's attorney).

With two bar complaints pending against Jeff Sessions, now might be a good time to see if the Alabama State Bar actually has the ability to deal with gross misconduct in its ranks.

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Anonymous said...

You should demand that this lawyer give you your money back.

Oh, wait, let me guess - you never paid him anything?

legalschnauzer said...

Truthseeker:

Thanks for sharing. Yes, it seems Ted Rollins is doing the student housing thing internationally and senior housing on the domestic front. Here is a post that mentions his latest activities:

http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2016/04/former-wall-street-darling-ted-rollins.html


The guy couldn't manage a lemonade stand.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:50 --

Let me guess . . . you're a moron, with no clue.

I didn't ask Gespass to come and I didn't ask him to do anything for me, and I specifically told him he was not to represent me. If you actually read about the case, you would know that, but that requires effort, and you are lazy, in addition to being stupid. Gespass represented a First Amendment group -- I think it was Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) -- and my understanding was that they sent him, and they would have paid expenses for the case. That's because it was an issue of profound national importance. Have you ever been involved in anything that matters to the country? Hell no, you're a nobody. You've never done anything that goes beyond your little pathetic existence. Your life has been so devoid of meaning that you're afraid to ID yourself. A true "profile in courage."

For the record, Carol and I spent almost $20,000 on three Birmingham lawyers -- Jesse Evans, Michael Odom, Richard Poff. When they failed to do what they were hired to do, we asked for our money back. They refused. We sued for legal malpractice and got screwed in court. I've written about all of this, but again, you are a lazy sack of feces, so you wouldn't know.

Moral of the story: When you give money to a lawyer, you probably can kiss it goodbye -- and there is no guarantee they will do any real work for you. You honestly think a lawyer is going to respond in the affirmative when you ask for your money back? Hah! What planet do you live on? How naive can you be?

Anonymous said...

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/steve-bannon-recruited-jeff-sessions-to-run-as-anti-immigrant-candidate-before-backing-trump-report/?comments=disqus

legalschnauzer said...

@3:09 --

Thanks for sharing. Bannon and Sessions sound like a match made in hell.

Anonymous said...

Sessions and Palin and Trump are all rotten fruits from the same tree (the John Birch Society) imo.

Palin appears to be the least competent of the three (although Trump is appatrently a close second), but her nomination and idolization by the bottom feeding sheeple of the Rebiblican talKKK radio base no doubt played a part in convincing both Trump's backers and Bannon to keep sending a fool out to try to bite that truck tire every four years.