William E. Swatek, an attorney based in Pelham, Alabama, started my legal headaches by filing a bogus lawsuit against me on behalf of our difficult neighbor, Mike McGarity. Bill Swatek has a 30-year history of sleaze in the legal profession, including a suspension of his license for acts of "fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, and dishonesty" and a criminal trial on perjury charges.
Dax Swatek, Bill Swatek's son, is a Republican political consultant who has worked for such GOP luminaries as Alice Martin, Bob Riley, and Bill Canary. Thanks to his work with Canary, Dax Swatek has pretty direct ties to Karl Rove.
Chace Swatek, another of Bill Swatek's sons, earned a law degree at Pepperdine University (home of Ken Starr) before flunking the California bar exam, flopping in a real-estate project on Alabama's Gulf Coast and slinking home to join daddy's law practice.
I've never found interaction with a Swatek to be terribly edifying. Since my blog is grounded in uncomfortable truths, and the Swateks I've known seem to shun the truth like cockroaches avoid the light, I suspect they don't enjoy their interactions with me.
So imagine my surprise when I returned home the other evening to discover that I had a voice message from Chace Swatek. When I played it, the message was a simple "please call me."
My first guess was that Chace Swatek wanted to huff and puff and threaten me with a defamation lawsuit over a less-than-flattering post I recently authored about his sister, Barret Swatek, a wannabe actress who touts her "conservative family values" while living in a way that appears to be anything but "pro family."
My post about Barret Swatek, comparing her to former Miss California Carrie Prejean, was not remotely defamatory. But I know from firsthand experience that the Swateks have a history of filing lawsuits that aren't grounded in fact or law.
Plus, after writing the Barret Swatek post, I received the following anonymous comment:
Roger Roger Roger. You so crossed the line this time buddy. How's your dog doing? Poor thing, burning in hell like that.
You don't have to be an investigative whiz to figure that one of the Swateks probably sent that comment. And since that could be interpreted as a personal threat, you might think the Alabama State Bar would be interested in it--assuming, that is, that the bar finds it improper for one of its members to threaten someone, and that's a big if. (More on the state bar in a moment.)
Here's something to gnaw on for those of you interested in abnormal psychology: In the late 1990s there was an article in The Birmingham News about a family whose pet labrador retriever was attacked and killed by a pack of wild dogs in the woods behind their house. It seems a member of the family had thrown a toy into the woods for the lab to fetch. The lab bounded into the woods after the toy, only to be attacked and killed by the wild dogs.
Who was the family in question? The Swateks. Who was the dumbass who threw the toy into the woods? Dax Swatek.
We've had probably more than a dozen anonymous comments on this blog, all coming after a post about a Swatek, attacking the memory of our beloved Murphy (1993-2004), the wonderful schnauzer who helped keep us somewhat functional during the worst of our legal battles, which largely have been caused by people named Swatek.
Do you think there's a chance that Dax Swatek, wracked with guilt because he caused the death of his own dog, sent those sick, twisted, vicious comments about Murphy? I'd say the answer is yes.
Anyway, I was prepared for Chace Swatek to threaten me with legal action. So what did he say when I called him back? Try this:
"Oh, I had a question I intended to ask you, but I have it answered."
Hunh? "OK," I said.
After bringing that scintillating conversation to a close, I checked my blog stats to discover that someone (or several someones) had been finding Legal Schnauzer by keying in the keywords "Chace Swatek." And several of those originated from the Alabama State Bar.
Has someone filed a bar complaint against Chace Swatek? If so, Chace is continuing a proud family tradition. Did Chace Swatek think I had filed the bar complaint?
Don't know why he would think that. I certainly have never been his client, and I've had no dealings with him at all. Was Chace concerned that I had come up with proof that he had sent me threatening e-mails, and I had reported him to the bar because of it?
I've seen little evidence that the Alabama State Bar will do squat against Chace Swatek or any other wayward attorney.
I do think it's possible the Swateks will have more than a bar complaint to worry about before too long.