Thursday, May 28, 2015

How badly does Alabama Republican operative Rob Riley struggle with the truth? Let us count the ways

Rob Riley
Alabamians long have had reason to wonder about the honesty of Rob Riley, Homewood lawyer and son of former governor Bob Riley. After all, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) fined the junior Riley $10,000 in 2008 for shadowy actions connected to one of his father's Congressional campaigns. Published reports indicate the same case involved money laundering, connected to a Virginia-based company called Triad Management Services--and Riley likely escaped prosecution only because of his father's political connections.

On top of that, Riley has claimed to be morally opposed to gambling, even though his connections to the gaming industry, via a company called Crimsonica, apparently date to at least 1985.

Want further proof that Rob Riley has a fractured relationship with the truth? Just check out court papers and published reports about the defamation lawsuit he and fellow GOPer Liberty Duke filed against my wife and me. Both Riley and various attorneys connected to the case (mostly from Riley's own firm) demonstrate an uncanny ability to twist the truth beyond recognition.

We will examine this subject in a series of posts, starting today with perhaps Rob Riley's most widely circulated lie about his lawsuit against me, my wife, and the Legal Schnauzer blog. This whopper comes from an article Campbell Robertson wrote about the case at The New York Times.

Robertson tracked down Riley for an interview and came away with this pearl:

Mr. Riley said Mr. Shuler’s refusal to engage with the legal process had given the judge the leeway to make a final ruling.

“If someone can continually ignore the judge just by saying, ‘You don’t have jurisdiction over me,’ then the whole system breaks down,” Mr. Riley said, adding that Mr. Shuler could not plead ignorance of the legal process. “This is not the first time Roger Shuler has been in court.”

These two paragraphs contain so many falsehoods that I'm struggling to keep track of them with one hand:

(1) Riley claims I refused "to engage with the legal process"; the public record shows that is false--My wife, Carol, and I engaged the process by filing a Motion to Quash Service because a deputy from Shelby County, Alabama, conducted an unconstitutional traffic stop to "serve" us with the Riley/Duke complaint. (See motion at the end of this post.) Our motion, under the law, put the burden on Riley/Duke to prove that service was conducted properly, and the record indicates they never did that.

(2) Riley claims Judge Claud Neilson had "the leeway to make a final ruling"; more than 200 years of First Amendment law show that is false--Neilson's three primary rulings--granting Riley/Duke a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction--all are wildly contrary to U.S. Supreme Court precedent. That is perhaps most clearly spelled out in a foundational case styled Near v. Minnesota, Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the nation's foremost First Amendment scholars, has shown in scholarly articles and legal briefs that all three remedies Riley/Duke sought are unconstitutional. And that means Neilson had no "leeway" to grant them. In fact, experts quoted elsewhere in the Times article state that Neilson's actions were unlawful.

Liberty Duke
(3) Riley claims I was continually able to "ignore the judge"; the record shows that is false--Again, I engaged the court by filing a Motion to Quash Service, which is the first order of business in any case where service is questionable. Without proper service, the court has no jurisdiction over defendants and no authority to decide the case. A 2012 Alabama Supreme Court ruling styled Ex parte Trust Company of Virginia shows that, where plaintiffs fail to meet their burden of proving that service was properly executed (as Riley/Duke failed to do here), the court's orders directed to defendants "are void and due to be vacated." Trust Company of Virginia is right on point with our case, and we wrote about its implications here.

(4) Riley makes light of our claims that the court did not have jurisdiction over us; in fact, a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling helps show our claim was correct--In Rodriguez v. United States, a ruling issued on April 21, 2015, the nation's highest court found that a traffic stop prolonged beyond the time for an officer to complete his traffic-based inquiries is "unlawful," especially where there is no reasonable suspicion of any criminal activity connected to the vehicle. That has been the law for years, but Rodriguez drives it home in the context of law enforcement's use of a drug-sniffing dog. A traffic stop long has been considered a seizure under the Fourth Amendment, and the court found in Rodriguez:

Authority for the seizure ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are—or reasonably should have been completed. The Fourth Amendment may tolerate certain unrelated investigations that do not lengthen the roadside detention . . . but a traffic stop “become[s] unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete th[e] mission” of issuing a warning ticket. . . .

Without additional reasonable suspicion, the officer must allow the seized person to depart once the purpose of the stop has concluded.

Alabama officer Mike DeHart never even hinted that he had suspicion of criminal activity connected to our automobile, so he had no grounds to prolong the traffic stop by giving us court papers. By law, he had to allow us to depart, but he did not do that, making the stop unconstitutional and service unlawful. That means the court, despite Rob Riley's smart-alecky comments to The New York Times, did not have jurisdiction over us. And that has profound legal implications, which we will discuss in detail shortly.

For now, we know that Team Riley/Duke does not have much to show for its dubious defamation lawsuit. My reporting never has been found to be defamatory at trial, because there was no trial. That's because Riley/Duke did not ask for a trial and they did not seek a jury to hear their claims; instead, they wanted Neilson to act as a one-man censor, in violation of First Amendment precedent, as set out in a case styled Bernard v. Gulf Oil Company, 619 F. 2d 459 (Fifth Cir., 1980).

(Hmmm . . . wonder why Riley and Duke did not want a jury to hear their case. How odd.)

Rob Riley has proven, as if we didn't already know, that he and his legal minions have a hard time staying in touch with the truth. More evidence of that is coming up.

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

Bob Riley was a member of a racist Masonic Lodge, and I'm sure Rob Riley would lie about that. It's in the genes.

Macy said...

You can ask Russ and Dee Fine what happened when they reported on their radio show about Bob Riley's racist lodge.

Anonymous said...

Russ and Dee lost their radio gig didn't they? I'm sure Rob didn't have anything to do with that. Just like he didn't have anything to do with costing Mr. Schnauzer his job at UAB.

legalschnauzer said...

I asked Rob on the phone if he was involved in my "termination" at UAB, and he claimed he wouldn't have even known who to go to at UAB if he wanted to cheat me out of my job. His father, of course, just happened to be ex oficio president of the Board of Trustees, so I would say he knew one person quite well who could get that dirty deed done, not to mention other members of the board.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that Rob Riley cackles to the NY Times about the jurisdiction issue, then the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling that shows you were right on the issue all along. What a dumbass, and what a dumbass reporter who would not question him on the subject--just let him spew garbage.

Take that, Rob, and jam it up your bunghole with your silver spoon!

Anonymous said...

The 'motion' you included has no filing date... therefore is not valid.

Anonymous said...

Rob's probably lying right this minute about something related to the Lee County investigation. He's knee-deep in that sleaze pit.

Anonymous said...

Funny line there, @10:04, but never suggest that a Republican jam something up his bunghole. He might like it.

legalschnauzer said...

Nice try, @10:05, but you might try actually reading the blog, so you won't look so ignorant in the future. We've explained this multiple times already, but one more won't hurt. One instance was in this post:

From the post:

"Below is the Motion to Quash Service that my wife and I filed in the Riley/Duke case. It is not time stamped because we filed it on a Wednesday, the day the clerk's office is closed in Shelby County. But it was timely and properly filed, shifting the burden of proving lawful service to the plaintiffs, which they never did because no hearing was held on the subject. In fact, I was awaiting notice of such a hearing when I was arrested on October 23, 2013."

Want more specifics. On that Wednesday, there was a sign on the clerk's office door, instructing people to stick documents through a mail slot so that they would be time stamped the next day, with Wednesday's date. That's exactly what we did.

I suggest you visit the Shelby County Courthouse on Wednesday and check out the procedure.

Anonymous said...

If it was actually time stamped, as you claim it was, then prove it? Display the version with a PROPER file time stamp.

Anonymous said...

I hear one reason the Riley "fum-i-ly" was so upset about the Liberty Duke story is that she appears to be "colored." That was embarrassing for Bob and the boys down at the lodge. Mustn't mix with the "coloreds," you know.

legalschnauzer said...

For the record, I'm pretty sure Liberty Duke isn't "colored," as in black. My guess is that she is more white than anything else, with some Filipino or something thrown in. Anyway, pretty sure she isn't black--not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

Actually according to the Shelby County Courthouse they are open Monday - Friday. Your full of Sh!t LS, maybe it is you who struggles with the truth.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:56 and @12:29, I'm going to assume you are the same dumbshit, because I don't think a second person could be as dumb as you are. First, I didn't say the courthouse was closed on Wednesday, I said the clerk's office was closed on Wednesday. That's probably because of the budget issues that Gov. Bentley and the state legislature have been grappling with. Normal Alabamians probably have read about that, but it appears you can't read well enough to keep up with the issue.

Second, I said we had to slip the document through a mail slot for it to be stamped the next day, with Wednesday's date. That's what a sign on the door told us, and others, to do. In other words, we had to slip the motion through a crack in a locked door, so how were we supposed to get a copy of it--duh! We could have made the 45-mile round trip from our house to Columbiana, I suppose, but we trusted the clerk's office to actually do its job if we followed directions, which we did. And the clerk's office did its job because "Judge" Claud Neilson ruled on the motion and never said it was void due to improper time stamping.

If he had made such a ruling, I would have challenged it because there is no provision under the law that says parties are to be penalized because the clerk's office is closed due to the State of Alabama's inability to run its business adequately under our GOP "leadership."

If you want to see the motion so badly, hop in your vehicle and take a nice drive to Columbiana to check it out. Or better yet, get on AlaCourt and check it out. Or e-mail me at, and we can set up a time to discuss further. I would love to talk to a brainiac like you.

One final note: Even someone as dumb as you seems to admit the Motion to Quash was correctly written under the law and should have been granted if Riley/Duke could not prove proper service, which they apparently couldn't. If you have to resort to searching for a time stamp (which was correctly done anyway), that must a sign the law and facts behind the motion were spot on. Maybe even you, with all three of your brain cells in working order, could get that. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you pissed off somebody at Rob Riley's law firm, LS, although I don't know how this guy possibly could pass the bar exam.

legalschnauzer said...

Stupid people pass the bar exam all the time, @2:33. I've seen plenty of evidence of that. Actually, I'm not sure they were stupid at the time of taking the exam. But I get the impression that working in a corrupt legal environment corrodes your brain--and your soul, if you had one to begin with.

If you happen to be a lawyer who relies on "connections" to get favors, you don't have to do good legal work. You don't have to be able to research, to write, to think, to speak clearly. You become mentally lazy, and your mind goes to mush.

Our correspondent above seems be Example A of that.

I have little doubt the Riley Jackson firm could have someone this stupid in it.

Anonymous said...

Rob Riley learned all about lying from his "Diddy," who is a true professional. Rob might never be worth a warm cup of spit, but he will always be a world-class liar. He's been trained by the best.

Missmash said...

LS, I notice that your commenting "friend" doesn't seem to have a quarrel with your contention that Rob Riley is truth challenged. He just seems to have an issue about a time stamp. The guy must know Riley is a liar.

Anonymous said...

LS, at one time you provided a phone number, is this information now obtainable?

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, it's obtainable. Send me an e-mail at We can exchange names and phone numbers, and I would be glad to set up a time to talk.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

On to another targeted population, Obama has harassed, threatened, accused and locked up more journalists and whistleblowers than any previous administration ever. Moreover, he has charged more whistleblowers with violating an antiquated 1917 espionage act for treason than all past presidencies combined, sentencing them to jail time 25 more times than all previous combined. The least transparent president in history also denied more Freedom of Information Act requests in 2014 than all previous administrations, only proving himself to be the most vindictive, revengeful, secretive despot president in history.


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