Now we've caught a second group of lawyers doing the same thing--in the same case. Is there any level to which debt collectors, and their lawyers, will not stoop in an effort to hide serial violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)?
This all is connected to a lawsuit my wife and I filed against Pennsylvania-based NCO and Birmingham-based Ingram & Associates, alleging multiple violations of the FDCPA and various state-law claims.
Wayne Morse, an attorney for Ingram & Associates, had filed a motion claiming he never received an audio file of my conversation with one of his client's representatives. Morse, who is with the Birmingham firm Waldrep Stewart & Kendrick, alleged that I had "withheld" the evidence, and it therefore should be excluded. There is a slight problem with Morse's claims--they aren't true. And our lawyers have filed e-mails with the court showing that Morse indeed received the audio files.
Now, lawyers for NCO have joined Morse's bogus motion, claiming that they also did not receive the audio files. Never mind that our lawyers have filed e-mails with the court showing that NCO's lawyers did receive the audio files.
Laura Nettles, an attorney for the Birmingham firm Lloyd Gray & Whitehead, wrote the motion for NCO. In it, she states:
Plaintiff's previous counsel, Robert Kreitlein, referred several times to a possible third recording, but despite repeated requests from counsel for NCO and this court's May 13, 2009, order compelling plaintiffs' discovery responses, plaintiffs never provided the recording allegedly transcribed in their Exhibit A.
Now, keep in mind that Laura Nettles is an "officer of the court." She has a duty to uphold the law, to deal candidly with the tribunal, and to deal fairly with the opposing party.
But in her motion, she tells a flat-out lie. How do we know? Because we have filed an e-mail with the court, showing that Robert Kreitlein sent all three audio files in question to Dayle Van Hoose, a lawyer for NCO in Tampa, Florida. And on that e-mail, Kreitlein copied . . . Laura Nettles.
You can check out the NCO motion and Kreitlein's e-mail below.
First, let's ponder the mind-blowing qualities of what we have learned--and what it says about the legal profession. You have lawyers from two well-known Birmingham firms filing documents in federal court that they had to know were false. Evidence that the documents were false should have been in their e-mail folders, and they should have been able to find them by doing a simple search for our names--or Robert Kreitlein's name.
Instead, they filed documents claiming that I had withheld evidence, when they knew that wasn't true. How desperate are these lawyers, and their clients, to obscure the truth about how debt collectors conduct business?
Claims from Morse and Nettles that I withheld evidence are comically ironic because, in fact, they have not responded to hardly any of our requests in discovery--providing one bogus excuse after another. Just what are these people trying to hide?
These actions by Morse and Nettles should result in serious sanctions from the court and perhaps suspensions of their licenses from the Alabama State Bar. A gutsy federal prosecutor possibly could make a strong case that they have engaged in criminal activity--specifically mail and wire fraud.
Morse and Nettles know that they are unlikely to be held accountable because the Alabama State Bar is a pathetic excuse for a "watchdog" organization. The Bar has shown that it is more interested in providing cover for bad lawyers than in exposing them. As for a gutsy federal prosecutor, I'm not sure such a creature exists these days.
Here at Legal Schnauzer, we have no problem exposing bad lawyers; in fact, it has sort of become our mission in life--at least for now. So we encourage you to check out the motion from Laura Nettles, followed by an e-mail from Robert Kreitlein proving that Nettles is trying to perpetrate a fraud on the court. It's pretty damning stuff:
NCO--Joinder on Audio Files
Has the judge ruled on the motion yet?
I've not been notified of a ruling.
The judge is Abdul Kallon, an Obama appointee who replaced the retired U.W. Clemon.
On the surface, that would seem to be encouraging. But if Kallon actually follows the law and the facts and gets it right, it will be a first in my experience. I'm not holding my breath.
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