Recall that Tracey Mize, the Ingram & Associates representative who contacted me, told me she was aware of the Alabama State Bar rule that requires an attorney to report it when he or she possesses knowledge of professional misconduct by another lawyer or judge. And recall that Ms. Mize stated that information about the crimes committed against my wife and me already were in our file.
So how did Ms. Mize react when I informed her that Angie Ingram, her firm's shareholder, had an obligation to report this information to an appropriate authority or tribunal? Here is our exchange:
TM: "She (Ms. Ingram) doesn't have an obligation to report this wrongdoing because I'm not going to report it to her. It would be a conflict of interest for her. Her duty is to American Express."
Legal Schnauzer : "She also has a duty to the profession of the law."
TM: "She's an honorable woman, and her reputation is impeccable. If she had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing, I can assure you she would be the first one to report it."
LS: "I have firsthand knowledge, and I can give it to her."
TM: "She doesn't want to see that. She wants to see some type of commitment from you on the debt."
LS: "I'm telling you, Ms. Ingram has an obligation. . . . She inserted herself into my life, and any debt that I owe is because of crimes committed by people in the legal profession."
TM: "Ms. Ingram is not going to get involved in your witch-hunt."
Hmm, so much for customer service. And recall, the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct state that an attorney must report wrongdoing of which they "possess knowledge." Doesn't say it has to be firsthand knowledge. And Ms. Mize already had stated the information was in their files for Ms. Ingram to see.
I wound up speaking with Jann Blalock, Ms. Mize's supervisor. She also was most helpful . . .
JB: "I'm going to recommend to Ms. Ingram that we put this through the litigation process. I don't understand what this has to do with American Express."
LS: "A lawyer has an obligation to report wrongdoing . . . "
JB: "Have you pulled this with every lawyer that represents somebody? You need to find a different horse to ride. This one's not going to work with us. We called you about a debt, and we're not interested in any schemes."
Schemes? Different horse to ride? Witch-hunt?
I decided to seek a little more information . . .
LS: "Who's the attorney who represents American Express?"
JB: "Angie Ingram."
LS: "I need to speak with her at her convenience."
JB: "I will give her your message."
Ooooookay. Well, I never heard from Ms. Ingram, so I sent her a letter about the wrongdoing I had witnessed. The letter went out about two weeks ago. No response.
Don't you just love lawyers.