Thursday, August 29, 2013

AL Attorney Bill Baxley Makes Ludicrous Assertions In His Letter Seeking Retraction For Jessica Garrison

Bill Baxley
How did I respond to Jessica Medeiros Garrison's threat of a defamation lawsuit over my reporting on her extramarital affair with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange?

In polite language, I told her attorney, Bill Baxley of Birmingham, to more or less shove it. My language might not have been so polite had I realized at the time that Garrison's threats almost certainly were not driven by any genuine belief that my reporting on the affair is false. Rather, Baxley probably is trying to scare me away from reporting on another Garrison-related matter, which they know I'm investigating.

I take lawsuits, and threats of lawsuits, seriously. But it's hard not to look at Baxley's letter as somewhat of a joke when you consider its assertions about harassing-communications law in Alabama--and anywhere else.

We will address that legal issue in a moment, but first, here is the response I sent to Baxley via e-mail about an hour after I read his letter:

Mr. Baxley:
I am in receipt of your letter dated Aug. 16, 2013. Please be advised that the material you cite in my blog, Legal Schnauzer, is not false or defamatory, and I will make no retraction.
Your contention that it constitutes harassing communications for a journalist to present questions to, or seek comment from, an individual who is engaged in the public political arena . . . well, it's not remotely supported by law--and such a ridiculous claim should be beneath an attorney of your long standing. I have no intent to harass or alarm Ms. Garrison; I am giving her an opportunity to respond to questions about matters of public concern. I not only have a right as a reporter to make such an inquiry, I have an obligation to do so. If I see fit to seek Ms. Garrison's comment for future articles, I will do so. If she sees fit not to respond, that is her right, and I will proceed accordingly.
Finally, be advised that anyone who files a groundless lawsuit against me will be met with an appropriate counterclaim and motion for sanctions--against her and her attorney.


Roger Shuler

As you can see, two can play the "threatening a lawsuit" game. But more importantly, you also can see my pointed response to Baxley's claims regarding harassing-communications law. Here are the specifics from his letter. (The full letter can be viewed at the end of this post.)

I have advised our client not to reply to any pending "inquiries" she may have received from you. In addition, by this writing, take notice of our representation of Jessica Medeiros Garrison and do not, again, attempt to contact her directly. Be further warned, by this writing, that persistence by you in attempting to have direct contact with our client for any reason will constitute harassing communications within the ambit of Code of Ala. 13A-11-8, which provides criminal penalties for communications with a person,  anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, telegraph, mail or other form of written or electronic communication in a manner likely to harass or cause alarm. Take notice of our demand, on behalf of our client, that you preserve any and all communications sent, received, published or existing in any manner regarding her, not deleting or destroying any of them.

Baxley conveniently left out a few important elements of harassing-communications law. Here is the actual law from 13A-11-8, which is titled "Harassment or Harassing Communications:

A person commits the crime of harassing communications if, with intent to harass or alarm another person, he or she does any of the following:
a. Communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, telegraph, mail, or any other form of written or electronic communication, in a manner likely to harass or cause alarm.
b. Makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication.
c. Telephones another person and addresses to or about such other person any lewd or obscene words or language.
Nothing in this section shall apply to legitimate business telephone communications.
(2) Harassing communications is a Class C misdemeanor.

If Bill Baxley wants to see an example of real harassing communications, he should read his own letter. I have sent Jessica Garrison two e-mails--one requesting an interview about reports I had received regarding an affair with Luther Strange, and the other seeking comment about two issues that grew from my reporting. I will be publishing those e-mails in an upcoming post.

The bolded sections above point out two key segments of the law on harassing communications: (1) To even come close to meeting the elements of the crime, the communication must be done "with intent to harass or alarm another person"; (2) It must be done outside "legitimate business telephone communications."

Based on Baxley's own words, my communications with Jessica Garrison were not intended to harass or alarm her. Baxley devotes about two pages of his letter to information from six blog posts I've written about Jessica Garrison. My inquiries to her were related to my reporting on those articles--and they are the kinds of inquiries journalists across the globe make every day. As such, these inquiries are legitimate business communications, and this section of law plainly does not apply. 

Bill Baxley has been on the Alabama political and legal scenes for a long time, and he has to know his assertions regarding harassing communications are off target to an absurd degree. If Baxley's version of the law ruled, a journalist would be arrested every time he posed a question that the listener found the least bit unpleasant. Our jails and prisons would be packed with journalists--and some might consider that a good thing.

The truth is this: Bill  Baxley is the one sending harassing communications. Someone as connected as him almost has to know my reporting on the Garrison/Strange affair is true. Even more troubling, though, Baxley probably knows the real motivations behind Jessica Garrison's concerns--and it has nothing to do with my reporting on her affair.

In fact, my research indicates Jessica Garrison hired Bill Baxley for a specific reason.


legalschnauzer said...

Anon at @3:28--

If you care to identify yourself, I would be happy to run your comment. As is, it contains all sorts of factual and legal assertions that I know to be false, so it will not run without a name attached. Of course, we all know you aren't going to reveal your identity, but thought I would give you that option, and you are free to contact me under your real name at Now, let's all hold our breath.

legalschnauzer said...

Congratulations for proving your cowardice once again. I would say your level of courage matches your legal knowledge--and your reading comprehension isn't so hot either. But it's good to know that people like you are so worried about something that they resort to reading a hack blog. You are going to really enjoy some posts I have in the works. Keep reading.

legalschnauzer said...

My apologies to everyone to commented on this post and the other one from today. While trying to moderate comments, I mistakenly deleted all of the comments that had already been published. In Blogger, once a comment is deleted, it's apparently gone forever, so I have no way of correcting the mistake. Again, my apologies, and hopefully, I won't make that goof again.

Anonymous said...

When the crawlers began to walk and the night rose into day, light shone on the darkness and scuttle the spoiled rotten do-did-done.

For a long time the families that get connected into government or running the business of 'states' are and have been 'groomed'.

Schools of government, how many are there in the US?

What gets taught at the schools where these people get to attend, and of course how did a BAR find the powerful guild to be a fascist collective of growing greater into communist dictators with a hellofa standing military to tell US exactly how it is.

Dirty laundry LS, even dogs love the clean just out of the dryer to jump and play in on the bed.

Responsible people?

Community of how many to be extolled in getting something done without getting them and family but of course, snuffed?

Must have Robby Scott Hill set-up tele conferences with Murph's Law Coalition and post the ideas as audio-listening or some great translator - what about visual art?

LEGISLATURE becomes the body moved into voting how the community says the Governor signs according to majority, not fully corrupted small factions of degenerates.

Too many 'elite' attitudes from people who are people. Humans living in communities in the real USA have to embrace the now.

Stop the addictions to bad movies about Monkey Trials forever.

DEMAND YOU-YOUR-LEGISLATOR/S, get the Murph's Law Coalition monies digitally into the account now for on-line teaching how to be students of civil obedience to attorneys appearing 'special', IE as one's own 'attorney general'.

A pack of Siberian Huskies, or a pack of wonderful working dogs.

Anonymous said...

I am a truly dumb American.

I can't get at all why we can't get simple contract. We are really too stupid to be called a 'Super Power'.

I heard we're not going to be a 'World Power' ~ a super power isn't failed experiment.

Does not surprise this dumb American in me - simple contract is money slavery or sovereignty.

Americans were sovereign. But, now slaves very comfortable with the idiots that enslave US, these so called human Americans get to have fake credentials to be in charge of the most ignorant ideologies known.

They're really too stupid to get the more intelligent don't want to be slaves and aren't criminally insane -either- as so called 'gov'.

Money is SOLD to Americans via private owners that are a family of only eight (8) global investors in 'earth' and in particular 'governments'. Selling debt as credit and the interest can never be repaid because the game is rigged - the money is a fantasy made up by the private pirates of criminally insane practices and since antiquity.

The game has been played for centuries, Venice failed in capitalism and the same 'investors' were the same so called 'lenders' of fake 'money'.

Blogger and other electronics run the global systems.

When the erase button gets to be used, there is not just one email or comment gone, the NSA-CIA-ET-AL?

Well, could be the Chinese testing the new satellite weapons that are pointed directly at the USA and all the most stupid of so called government leadership.

Other countries can't imagine why Americans choose to pay for the money that is digital units of debt sold with interest to be repaid that is criminally insane.

Simple contract has been breached and needs to be restored. Until this happens there are to be lots more disappeared comments LS, it is a big game too and best get used to perhaps no electricity or water or ? coming right up.

Truthseeker said...

"Oh where have you been Billy Boy, Billy Boy? Oh, where have you been, charming Billy?"

Anonymous said...

The irony of Bill Baxley defending an alleged philandering AG is almost too much... were we not in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you where I've been;
I can tell you where I've been;
Then you would know me for my sin;
Such, apologies Las Vegas style won't work again;
True fun and games Las Vegas went;
All expenses paid I spent;
I can tell you where I've been;
I can tell you where I've been;
Fighting Alabama crime Alabama Crime;
With Alabamian's tax payer's dime;
One dime at a time;
Claim to fame;
Easy to explain;
KKK conviction, was great, civil rights violation;
Although end result used, tarnished, decoy for cloaking of public awareness fellow law enforcement police officer assassination.
This is where I've been; This is where I've been;
Now, going to Sand Mountain to see a friend.

e.a.f. said...

The big B's letter, on behalf of his client, is a riot to read! This guy is a practising lawyer? O.K. it might work on some but does he know you are now the 37th best independant legal blogger in America?

If this is the best B. can do, it is going to be rather embarassing for him to go around claiming he is a lawyer. Everybody knows the press had the freedom, right, obligaltion to ask people questions. Especially those in the public eye. It isn't as if you are acting like the paparrazzi. Guess freedom of the press is only for the Walk St. Journal.

Great article, it is good to see there are people who will stand up and say it as it is. That is what is so good about independant journalism. They are responsible only to themselves. WEll in your case perhaps Mrs. S.

Anonymous said...

Bubble government has popped.

There is no more hiding from the majority of Americans that government has no money, the people who call themselves government or 'lawyers' that represent government, are fraud.

The people of the USA 'Democratic Republic' are the power and not the fraudulent racket digitally kept government. Government should have been serving the public as what is meant to be.

It seems in our southern USA the gambling addiction is how the 'religion' is sold in modern time for people to pay government for racketeering.

The racket? Human flesh.

Who benefits the most? The Supreme Court USA appears, with Roberts and his other secret court, to be the recipients of the great racket 'Wall Street Stocks'.

A patriarchal body, SCOTUS, and the worshiping "Roaches In Robes" from top to the very darkest corners of North America.

How does the future look with the so called government and its racket of siphoning the American public of all life, retired and relieved of all service to the business of liberty.

'Digits sold as money' aren't a slave sentence in debt ghetto hell, once we wrap our imagination around the whole 'truth'.

Available as already happens with so many 'emigrants': automatic digital availability of 'credit' as what it is -- simply a 'public utility', free from foreign investors and their rackets.

How to begin this venture capital experience? Trade how amongst ourselves via no 'deposits' in the institutions that rob us to death!

Anonymous said...

2 republican federal judges in idaho wrote to the republican judicial top judgeship and reminded the judicial committee has also written about the subject: bailouts.

in the reality the request was for 10s of millions of digital support to keep the courts operating.

the letter addressed the cuts from the obama white house and what that would mean in 2014, and 2015, and on.

basically the courts can't make a budget work to keep operating.

so the courts have requested the obama white house to readdress, as republicans indeed, the sequester and austerity measures.

all the republican lawyers in positions of top court powers need to sue the racket that stole their profession and obviously the so called 'retirement'.

fraud is fraud and the racket of money contract fraud in the courts recycling the wealth of labor in the usa is big pop bubble fraud.

war chests have no more treasure value, as far as world earth is concerned, so world court usa has to discover new tooth fairy fantasies -now --to be fooled for another 200+years?

Robby Scott Hill said...

A speeding ticket is a Class C misdemeanor.

Robby Scott Hill said...

Here's another classic statute that as far as I know wasn't enacted until after Bob Riley's famous wreck in Alaska:

Section 13A-14-1 - Maiming one's self to escape duty or obtain alms.

Every person who, with design to disable himself from performing a legal duty, existing or anticipated, shall inflict upon himself an injury whereby he is so disabled and every person who shall so injure himself with intent to avail himself of such injury to excite sympathy or to obtain alms or some charitable relief shall be guilty of a felony.

Anonymous said...

To that end, FBI terrorism experts – operating under the Homeland Security umbrella – are staging a massive emergency drill dubbed Grid Ex II [PDF] for grid take down scenarios in November that will include North America-wide agency officials, including those from Mexico and Canada.

Anonymous said...

Red Yellow Blue Black White
too all colors even pigment challenged supremacists
dancing up bending down clowns

wheels turning around and around
big little broken down spokes jokers justice
men women children human beings

thought about words learned vowels
alphabets consonants sing song language arts practiced
carved tablets followed laws imaged

climbing the heights civilizations almighty
crashing trashing torn worn wars thrown gauntlets
down hiding monsters bloody masks

Wall Street found fiendish friends
feathered birds nesting together hatching egg yolked
futures not tomorrows hoped for

retirement in earth because how
in the world did deciders decide killing
our own intentionally procreated species

to pay invisible digits suckers
trade-exchange governments fathers-children-mother 'fkrs
fraudulent popping puss-filled plagues

organism on life support decaying
yesterdays gone today sketched in invisible ink
tomorrow imagination too may be

thinking about dreams sleeping secrets
can't hide boundary-less behavior telepathy
birthed IT yet best coming

PP xo/

Anonymous said...

I just read on RS news that Mrs. Garrison has filed a lawsuit

Anonymous said...

If that be a fact, I guess Robby Scott will have his opportunity to align his support with Murph in the public, during open court; blazing the trail for others to follow; keeping Murph sniffing out facts, truths, and evidences where ever they lead for a honest and trustworthy Alabama government[s].

Anonymous said...

According to what RS wrote about the language of the suit the courtroom is going to be full of defendents because everyone who posted something about Mrs Garrison on this is included. Schnauser when you going to do an article to let us know the latest in this story