Saturday, April 5, 2008

Alice Martin Screws Up Big Time

Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, evidently could mess up a one-car funeral.

Martin's latest imbroglio, her botched case against Huntsville defense contractor Axion Corp., reminds me of a classic scene from Animal House, where Dean Wormer tells Kent Dorfman: "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Our advice for Queen Alice: "Dishonest, corrupt, and incompetent is no way to go through life, girl."

We will prove soon here at Legal Schnauzer that Martin is dishonest and corrupt. Actually, it's more accurate to say that we will add to the growing body of evidence that Martin is dishonest and corrupt.

Of course, the body of evidence regarding Martin's incompetence is growing to mountainous proportions. She brought a case against former Alabama governor Don Siegelman that was so weak a federal judge tossed it out of court pronto. She had what appeared to be a slam-dunk accounting fraud case against former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy and managed to screw that up.

What doo-doo has Martin stepped into now? First, she brought a weak case claiming that Axion was involved in illegal arms export. Specifically, she claimed the company, led by Iranian-born U.S. citizen Alex Latifi, broke the law by sending a Chinese manufacturing partner drawings of vibration dampeners that attach to the propeller assembly of the U.S. Army's blackhawk helicopter.

Birmingham U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson threw out the case after seven days. Scott Horton, of Harper's, reported on the Axion case here.

Now, Johnson has ruled that Axion is entitled to government reimbursement for legal fees, filing costs, and money spent on expert witnesses during the October 2007 trial. Latifi is expected to recover about $500,000 in expenses. The fees were awarded under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, a 2000 law designed "to give owners innocent of any wrongdoing the means to recover their property and make themselves whole after wrongful government seizures."

Hmmm, wrongful government seizures? That's a topic of major importance here at Legal Schnauzer. And we are about to provide more details about my own experience with that topic.

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