Monday, June 15, 2015

Do connections to Bill Baxley explain Claud Neilson's appointment and unlawful rulings in Rob Riley case?

Bill Baxley
Many questions linger over the Rob Riley/Liberty Duke defamation lawsuit that led to my five-month incarceration, but these are two of the biggest: (1) How did Judge Claud Neilson get called out of retirement to hear the case? (2) Why did Neilson rule unlawfully in Riley's favor at every turn?

We recently discovered information that might answer both of those questions--and it involves Neilson's connections to Birmingham attorney Bill Baxley.

The Riley lawsuit and a similar one from fellow Republican operative Jessica Medeiros Garrison, according to multiple sources, were part of a coordinated effort by legal and political elites to shut down my reporting on this blog. In fact, the two lawsuits were filed within roughly one month of each other--and they are the only two defamation cases I've faced in almost 37 years as a professional journalist. The Garrison case led to a $3.5-million default judgment, which I am seeking to overturn--and a hearing to vacate it is set for Thursday (June 18) in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

How best to explain all of the unseemly alliances that are present here? We invite you to follow us on this brief trail of nasty Alabama intrigue:

* Who represents Jessica Garrison in her defamation lawsuit? That would be Bill Baxley.

* Who represents Sonny Reagan, the former deputy AG who was forced to resign from the Attorney General's Office over allegations that he had leaked grand-jury information from the ongoing criminal investigation in Lee County? That would be Bill Baxley and Rob Riley.

* Who has represented House Speaker Mike Hubbard, former Governor Bob Riley, and Minda Riley Campbell before the Lee County grand jury? That would be Rob Riley.

* Who, according to e-mail evidence, received leaked grand-jury information from Sonny Reagan? That would include Rob Riley, Bob Riley, and Mike Hubbard.

* And who, once again, has been Reagan's chief attorney? That would be Bill Baxley.

As you can see, an unholy alliance has formed between Bill Baxley and members of the Riley political cult, especially first son, Rob Riley. Baxley, on paper, is a Democrat, and the Rileys are Republicans. But the Alabama political scene is filled with strange bedfellows who, despite having different political affiliations, share the goal of catering to elites and protecting the state's corrupt legal, political, and corporate culture.

So who should wind up overseeing Rob Riley's lawsuit against me--and unlawfully ordering me to jail for five months? That would be one of Bill Baxley's old buddies, retired Judge Claud Neilson.

Claud Neilson
How do we know Bill Baxley and Claud Neilson are buds of longstanding? Well, court documents show that they worked together in the Alabama Attorney General's Office when Baxley was AG in the 1970s; Neilson was an assistant AG then.

One case they worked together is styled Carson v. State. Another is styled Lee v. State. You can click on the links and see their names, side by side. By 1976, Neilson was a circuit judge, and he ruled in Baxley's favor in a case styled Moore v. State. How many cases did they work together? How many times did Neilson, rightly or wrongly, rule in Baxley's favor? We don't know, but the connection between them is obvious and documented.

Does that mean Baxley helped arrange for Neilson to handle the Riley/Duke lawsuit against my wife and me? Does that mean Baxley helped ensure that Neilson would repeatedly cheat us--on behalf of Baxley's comrade, Rob Riley? Does that mean Baxley, Neilson, Riley (and perhaps others) were part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice and deprive me of my civil rights? Did Bill Baxley play a major role in making sure I wound up in jail, contrary to more than 200 years of First Amendment law?

I will let readers make up their own minds about those questions. You can rest assured my mind already is made up.

Here is another question to ponder? Bill Baxley once was known as a crusading young attorney general who stood up to the Ku Klux Klan, sought justice for victims of race-based violence, and generally behaved as a courageous progressive voice against oppression and thuggery. How did he become a lawyer who now seems to stand up mainly for white, elitist, right-wing, corporate interests?

How did that transformation happen? We will take a closer look at that question, including some disturbing information from a Baxley family member that shows how "Bulldog Bill Baxley" was neutered. Baxley, our source says, has struggled with a number of personal demons, and his enemies obtained evidence of Baxley in a number of situations that . . . well, let's just say that evidence helped turn him into a lap dog for conservative interests.


Anonymous said...

The plot thickens!

Coop said...

Bill Baxley is the tie that binds. He is Claud Neilson's buddy and Rob Riley's bee-atch. No wonder you wound up in jail.

Anonymous said...

Bill Baxley has personal demons? Boy, that's a shocker. I never would have guessed that.

Anonymous said...

Here is another piece of the puzzle for you. I'm betting Rob Riley and Baxley went through Jim Main to get the Alabama Supreme Court to appoint Neilson. Main has been in the Rileys' back pocket for years.

Anonymous said...

The feds need to take a look at this. The smell is getting overpowering.

PT said...

I've been wondering for a while how Bill Baxley, a Democrat, winds up representing multiple Republicans in the Lee County investigation--and he represents Republican Jessica Medeiros Garrison in the lawsuit against you. What turned "Dollar Bill" into a turncoat? You might have provided some of the answer.

Rational Enquirer said...

Just from doing a Google search, you get a pretty good idea of Baxley's demons--drinking, gambling, womanizing. I assume one or more of these helped neuter the "Bulldog"?

legalschnauzer said...

You came up with a good list, Rational, and one or more of those might be indirectly involved. But our sources point to something extremely interesting that is not on your list--and this demon is directly involved. We are still in research mode on that subject, but should be finishing up soon.

Anonymous said...

From years ago,
Soon those exposed,
Their decades covering up,
Violations of honor and trust,
Due to surface abrupt,
Perceived statuted legacies are no mo'.

Anonymous said...

Baxley also is big buddies with Paul Bryant Jr., and Neilson probably is, as well. Don't be surprised if your incarceration traces back to PBJ.

No one in the Alabama press ever has stood up and reported that PBJ was smack dab in the middle of a multimillion dollar fraud scam in the late 90s. The story sat idle for years, until Legal Schnauzer came along. PBJ had to make you pay, and that, in my opinion, is the reason you wound up in jail.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Claud Neilson's law partner get shot at his office while you were in jail? Whatever happened with that? I remember thinking, "This is the strangest damn thing I've ever heard of."

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, the guy's name is Bill Poole, father of an Alabama legislator. Not sure he and Neilson technically are law partners, but they have space in the same building. My understanding is that Bill Poole has recovered and still serves as Demopolis city attorney, along with other legal duties. I believe he also is "of counsel" with a firm in New Orleans. I've seen no reports from public officials what happened with the Poole shooting--if he shot himself (accidentally or intentionally), if an unknown intruder shot him, if someone he knew shot him. The cause of the incident has been kept very much on the down low.

To my knowledge, it had nothing to do with my incarceration, but we're talking Alabama here, so anything is possible.

Peacekeeper said...

LS, here is an article about the Bill Poole shooting, which happened in January 2014. I guess that was about halfway through your stay in jail:

Notice this paragraph about Demopolis Police Chief Tommie Reese:

"Reese said the investigation of the shooting continues, but assured citizens that there is no cause for alarm, adding that Poole’s family is asking for prayers and privacy."

What is the public supposed to make of that?

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for sharing that info, Peacekeeper. Chief Reese's statement certainly is interesting. It seems to be saying that Poole either shot himself, or he was shot by someone who knew him--either accidentally or on purpose. The chief seems to be saying, "We aren't dealing with a mad man here, who is randomly shooting people. We know either that Bill Poole shot himself or someone targeted him for a particular reason, and we aren't going to disclose anything else to the public."

A few questions come to mind:

1. If a lawyer is going to shoot himself, is he likely to go to the office to do it?

2. Were Poole or his office mates (Neilson?) known for keeping at least one firearm around the office? Is it standard practice for a law firm in the middle of downtown Demopolis to keep weapons on hand?

Anonymous said...

Here is Bill Poole's bio from the Leger Shaw law firm in New Orleans. Seems odd to me that a lawyer would set up shop in both Demopolis, AL, and The Big Easy. How does that happen? I seem to recall that Bill Baxley has a number of ties to New Orleans, including a friendship with Louis Roussel, who many believe was tied to Carlos Marcello and the JFK assassination.

Looks like Poole has long been a big wheel with the Chamber of Commerce and University of Alabama Alumni Association crowd:

Anonymous said...

So the American Justice System allows elitists, lawyers and comrades to conspire in designing plans or making arrangements to accuse, destroy and/or use government agencies to harass or arrest a person who threatens to be honest and expose them or their questionable activities. Right?

Unknown said...

It always comes down to four thangs my Schnauzer
1) How much bread you be gettin' (dollar dollar bill y'all)
2) Who you been fuckin'
3) Who all don't need to know who you been fuckin' &
4) How much bread you could lose if folks find out about who you been fuckin'
In summary, it's really all about the money & the sex.
Did you know when lawyers win big cases, they throw private parties complete with hookers & all the titty cocaine they can snort from in between those big breasts to celebrate their "victories?" The big money is in being a slick ass Pimp & the lawyers who represent us.