Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What was Rob Riley's sinister purpose for including my wife in defamation lawsuit that didn't involve her?

Carol Shuler, from her Facebook page
Why did Alabama Republican operative Rob Riley and lobbyist Liberty Duke include my wife, Carol, as a defendant in their defamation lawsuit against me and the Legal Schnauzer blog? I don't have a definitive answer to that question, but the evidence points in some disturbing directions.

News coverage has focused on my five-month incarceration and Judge Claud Neilson's repeated violations of First Amendment precedent that led to it. But I'm not aware of any reporter, mainstream or otherwise, asking this question: Why was Carol Shuler included in the lawsuit, and is there any evidence to suggest she should have been a named defendant?

The answer to the second part of that question is a resounding no. At the time of the Riley/Duke lawsuit, there was nothing on Legal Schnauzer to suggest Carol played any role in it. She didn't write it, she didn't edit it, she didn't administer it. She knew how to get into my e-mail account, to which the blog is based. But she had never gone beyond that; she had no idea how to reach the composing/editing page, which is the nerve center for any blog--at least those, like mine, that use the Google-based Blogger format.

It's not that Carol couldn't write a blog; she's plenty smart enough to write a gem-dandy blog--and she proved it by keeping Legal Schnauzer alive while I was in jail. I tried over the jailhouse phone to explain to her how to maneuver around in the composing/editing function--but a lot of that, she figured out on her own.

Aside from that, Legal Schnauzer has been my baby, in toto, from the outset. There is nothing in the blog to suggest that anyone else is responsible for its existence or its content. Carol has supported my efforts to expose the judicial corruption we've witnessed in various court cases--and to also examine dubious court action in cases involving other people, such as Don Siegelman, Paul Minor, Sherry Rollins, Bonnie Cahalane, and many others, I occasionally bounce ideas off her, and she is very helpful at pointing out typos and other glitches that need to be corrected. But her contribution and responsibility begin and end mainly with the fact she is my wife--that's it.

The plaintiffs tried to pull some laughable linguistic tricks in order to justify including Carol in their complaint. That can be seen in an Order on Petitions for Contempt, dated October 21, 2013. The order, which can be viewed at the end of this post, is signed by Judge Neilson. But evidence in the case indicates almost every order was written by attorneys from Riley's own law firm. The likely author of this order is Jay Murrill, from the Riley Jackson firm.

Assuming we are correct about that, let's consider some of Mr. Murrill's handiwork. It can be found in the last paragraph on page 3 of the order:

The testimony and evidence presented at the Oct. 17, 2013, hearing also showed that Respondent Carol Shuler is involved, to some degree, with "Legal Schnauzer," a forum website on which the aforesaid contempt took place. "Legal Schnauzer" purports to be a joint enterprise between Respondent Roger Shuler and Respondent Carol Shuler; it describes itself as "one couple's fight against injustice" and entries thereon reference "our reporting." Thus, there is evidence to conclude that Respondent Carol Shuler has also demonstrated a willful, continuing failure or refusal to comply with the TRO and Preliminary Injunction, though perhaps to a lesser degree than Respondent Roger Shuler. 

What a crock of unadulterated horse feces. Let's take each of Murrill's points as they come:

* Legal Schnauzer "purports to be a joint enterprise" between my wife and me? -- There is not a single word on the blog, or anywhere else. to support that. Down the right-hand column on the front page, is a small "About Me" box, which provides author information--about my background, plus a link to my full profile. Below that, is my e-mail address for anyone who wishes to contact me, the author. Nowhere does it suggest that anyone other than me writes, edits and produces Legal Schnauzer. Nowhere does that section mention Carol Shuler, and nowhere does it suggest that anyone other than me is responsible for the blog's content.

* The blog describes itself as "one couple's fight against injustice." -- Murrill is really grasping here. That phrase is part of the blog's tagline because--surprise, surprise--Carol has been intimately involved in various court cases that largely evolved from a neighbor's continued trespass onto our property, which we jointly owned. The tagline says that Carol has been a major part of the story; it does not say, or suggest, that she plays any role in producing the blog. Consider this, which apparently is beyond Jay Murrill's comprehension: Tennis great Andre Agassi wrote an autobiography called Open in 2009, and it frequently mentions his wife, fellow tennis great Steffi Graf. (In fact, her career was even more outstanding than his.) The story, to an extent, is about Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. But Andre Agassi wrote the book, and if someone had a problem with its content, they would need to address it to him or his publisher. The notion of suing Steffi Graf for something Andre Agassi wrote in Open is absurd and probably would result in sanctions for any lawyer who tried it. But Jay Murrill, at Rob Riley's apparent insistence, used that very trick with Carol.

* Entries at Legal Schnauzer reference "our reporting" -- Is Murrill just ignorant? Well the phrase "our reporting," which I do use here at times, is a form of what grammarians call the "royal we." It's a technique where a singular person uses a plural pronoun to refer to himself because . . . well, heck, I guess it just sounds better. In my mind, rightly or wrongly, I use the "royal we" at times because I am writing both in my voice and as the voice of an entity--a blog called Legal Schnauzer. It's not unusual to see an editorial writer refer to "our reporting," meaning his reporting (or that of a colleague), along with that of the newspaper he represents. Is use of the "royal we" an effective grammatical technique? I'm sure that could be debated. Am I using it correctly? That could be debated, too. Does anyone seriously think it means this blog is a joint reporting effort, that anyone other than me is involved? I doubt that anyone, other than Jay Murrill, thinks that. And as a lawyer, he should have enough education to know better.

So what is the real reason that Rob Riley sued my wife for an alleged tort with which she was not remotely involved? It's hard to see where there was any legal advantage to it. If Riley hoped to use Carol to get at "inside information" about me or the blog, the husband-wife privilege probably would have blocked that. In other words, communications between Carol and me are largely confidential under the law, and that likely would have been a dry hole for Riley--at least with a legitimate judge on the case, which Neilson was not.

That's not to say there wasn't a sinister and improper reason for including Carol as a defendant. But it certainly did not have anything to do with the law. Evidence suggests it was part of a terrorism effort to which Carol and I have been subjected now for roughly 15 years. It points, in my view, to motivations behind the Riley/Duke lawsuit that are even nastier and darker than most of the public can even imagine.

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

I would love to see Mrs. Schnauzer get a kick-ass feminist lawyer, someone like Gloria Allred, to go after Rob Riley's behind. He probably would soil himself.

Anonymous said...

This says a lot about how Republicans view women in general. We are just something to be used and abused--we are baby-making machines, and that's it.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but I think a plan was in place to kill both of you. Anyone who would send a cop into a private dwelling to terrorize the occupants, as the Riley Gang did to you, has no moral compass. You can't put anything past people them.

Anonymous said...

This is all about Republican family values. If you stand up to them, they will not only terrorize you, they will terrorize your whole family.

Lil Lib said...

Carol is a hero in all of this. I spoke with her by phone several times during your incarceration, and I know that she was terrified and angry, but also determined not to cave in to the bastards who did this. She's like a "steel magnolia" of the South, and you mess with them at your peril. May she (and you) achieve justice when the dust has settled.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Schnauzer, I truly hope you and the missus are armed. I don't think anyone would call me a Second Amendment nut, but we live in a dangerous world, and it's particularly dangerous for people like yourselves who stand up to people who think they aren't supposed to be stood up to. I hope you have, or soon will have, guns for protection--and I hope you learn how to use them properly. And most of all, don't be afraid to use them. The people who did this to you understand only one or two things--force, and the fear that comes with their opponents having the potential to use force. Best of luck to you, sir.

legalschnauzer said...

I hear you, @3:21. I'm not a Second Amendment nut either, but I'm increasingly on your wavelength--and I'm prepared to take the necessary steps to help keep us safe. Guns can be quite an equalizer, and that's the route we probably should have gone a long time ago.

If I had it to do over again, I might have just put a bullet right between the eyes of the thug neighbor who started all of our problems. As many times as he trespassed and threatened and sassed us, I'm sure quite a few people would have terminated him on the spot.

If I had known the law wasn't going to protect our rights, I would have just laid that SOB out cold right there on our yard. The world would be a better place with him not in it. And the same goes for his sorry-ass lawyer, who should have been disbarred years ago.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but I think @12:22 has a point. I long have agreed with your assertion, LS, that you were kidnapped. After reading this post, I now think it was an attempted double kidnapping. That is one of the most serious crimes out there because the victims always are at risk for being killed. These people wanted a ransom from you--and I suspect that was for you to shut down your blog. What if you had declined? That's where the kidnapper starts thinking, "I'm going to have to kill these folks because they know who I am and why I did this--and they won't give in to my demands." I have no doubt you are dealing with some truly sick individuals in this--and we know for sure that one of them is Rob Riley.

Anonymous said...

How do you just blithely dismiss the fact that your blog—part and parcel of your "fight against injustice"—is attributed to "one couple?" You're holding your blog out to the world the work of both you and your wife. You can't just claim that it's "grasping at straws" to take your tagline at its word. But no, in Schnauzer World there always has to be an insane, sinister purpose, because you're just that important to the Alabama political establishment.

Anonymous said...

LS, I hope you won't become unhinged about guns. I think justice is still possible. Mistakes made with guns often can't be undone.

legalschnauzer said...

You need work on your reading comprehension skills, @4:09. Nowhere is my blog "attributed" to one couple. Under the author's "About Me" section on the front page, it is "attributed" to one person--me. Notice that it says "About Me" and not "About Us."

The fight against injustice involves "one couple" because it started with one sociopath's determination to trespass on our real property, which Carol and I jointly owned. Thus, she was a part of all court proceedings related to property of which she was part owner.

Here is a shocker for you: The term "one couple" is used because we are married, and our legal battles largely have involved real property that we both owned. Interesting that most people get that, but it seems to be beyond you.

That doesn't mean she has anything to do with writing or producing a blog, which is a work of journalism, analysis, and commentary about our experiences--and the experiences of many other people. Legal Schnauzer is strictly my activity, and for those who actually can read, that's what the blog says.

For liars and cheats like Rob Riley and his lawyers, they don't give a crap what words actually say. As I've shown, and will show again, they repeatedly misstate the law to suit their own corrupt purposes. They also file bogus lawsuits against people for corrupt purposes.

Here's a suggestion: Try learning what a tag line is. It's a description of the story that is about to unfold. It is not a description of who is writing the story.

And while you're at it, why don't you come up with a single piece of law that supports the temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction in the Riley/Duke lawsuit. Let's see how good you are with that language.

Anonymous said...

So, @4:09, you support the bullying of women for no reason. Is that sport for you? You sound like a typical Republican? You work for Rob Riley? Come on, you can answer a question honestly just this one time in your life.

Anonymous said...

That's a good picture of Carol. She's pretty and smart, and I happen to know that's she also a very nice person. You are fortunate to have a genuine companion through all of this.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, I am fortunate to have a true companion. We've been through a sort of hell that no American couple should have to go through, all driven by corrupt judges who can't get the simplest legal matters right. Without Carol in my corner, I would have stroked out a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Shuler would have an excellent claim against Mr. Riley, Ms. Duke, and the lawyers who represented them. To bring a lawsuit against someone because a blog tagline says "one couple's fight against injustice" is extremely weak stew. That almost certainly amounts to abuse of process, and depending on the jurisdiction, perhaps legal malpractice, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and maybe more.

Terrible lawyering, to be sure, and it makes the whole profession look bad.

Berle said...

What is the green thingy on Carol's picture?

legalschnauzer said...

I think that's a symbol that was used during Mental Health Month. I need to check with her, but it was about some cause that she supported on Facebook.

Steve said...

I also had the honour to speak with Carol during your illegal incarceration. She is a smart and gutsy lady. I always suspected that she was included in the suit precisely so that she too could be arrested. If they had taken both of you who would have known? Because they had no legitimate warrant the "police " could not go back for her. I suspected that Riley had much much darker intentions for you both. It was yours and Carols sheer good fortune that she was unaware of your "arrest" as it happened! The fact that there was no legitimate warrant gives me reason to suspect that they just wanted to disappear you both! A fake warrant leaves no paper trail but they blew it! They had to go for plan "B" I still think they will come unstuck in the not too distant future.
I wish you good luck and an honest judge on thursday. Let your adversaries know there is a bright light shining on them.

Anonymous said...

Hey, @4:09, I don't know how important LS is to the political establishment, but they had him kidnapped and incarcerated for five months. That tells me he's pretty darned important to somebody in the establishment. It also tells me the establishment is filled with a bunch of sick creep-a-zoids.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for your comment, Steve. Carol and I have said several times that we are so thankful she is a sound sleeper. Had Carol woken up--and I was down in the basement screaming for her at the top of my lungs--it would have made a bad scene even worse. I think one or both of us would have died before they could have even gotten us into a squad car.

Your idea that "a fake warrant leaves no paper trail" is very interesting. The cop never said a word about a warrant on the night of my arrest, probably because he didn't want me to say, "Ok, show it to me." The asst. DA at my "resisting arrest" trial, could not produce a warrant, probably because she knew it didn't exist or was somehow defective. It was obvious at that "trial" that I was going to be convicted, no matter what the facts showed.

Speaking of fake, I also don't believe Riley's complaint was filed in July 2013, even though it was stamped with a date in that month. I believe the idea for the lawsuit came two months later, in September, and the clerk's office was more than willing to stamp a fake date on the complaint, to take attention away from something that happened in September or maybe late August, which was the real reason for my arrest.

When you think about it, the entire Shelby County "justice mechanism" is involved in this--judges, deputies, jailers, clerks, DAs, and so on.

It shows you what happens when an organization is taken over by "tribal" thinking. Everybody down there is white, conservative, "Christian," and Republican, and they created their own little make-believe world that operates outside the U.S. constitution. In fact, it even operates way outside the racist 1909 Alabama constitution. These people, including Rob Riley and his lawyers, truly are "non Americans." They simply do not believe in the "rule of law," "due process," "equal protection," and the other principles the actual United States is based on.

They believe in "rule of the privileged few." And they make up the rules as they go along, to suit their needs. A classic example was when Bob Riley got himself appointed the "chief law enforcement officer" of Alabama in order to shut down VictoryLand and other non-Indian gaming facilities. That was completely outside the law, but he needed to have it done, so his comrades on the Alabama Supreme Court did it.

I'm getting long-winded, so I will close by saying I agree something very dark was planned for Carol and me. It went way beyond an idea to have me spend a few months at "The Graybar Hilton."

Stu Cooke said...

Hey, Schnauzer, great headline! "Sinister Purpose" reminds me of the classic CCR song. Really takes me back.

legalschnauzer said...

Hey, you caught me, "Stu." I'm a huge Creedence Clearwater Revival fan, and the headline definitely was inspired by the classic tune. Not sure how many of my readers are in on our "inside joke," but rest assured I know who "Stu Cooke" is. Love it, and you really brightened my day.

Doug Clifford said...

Hey, Schnauzer, maybe Rob Riley will wind up six feet under soon, beneath a "Tombstone Shadow."

legalschnauzer said...

I get it, Doug. You know, these things can work both ways. Maybe someone has a "Sinister Purpose" planned for young Mr. Riley. Maybe when he least expects it, he'll get hit with a "Rude Awakening #2."

Thanks for keeping a great beat all these years, my man!

Stu Cooke said...

When the sky is gray
And the moon is hate
I'll be down to get you.
Roots of earth will shake.

Sinister purpose
Knockin' at your door;
Come and take my hand.

Burn away the goodness;
You and I remain.
Did you see the last war?
Well, here I am again.

Sinister purpose
Knockin' at your door;
Come and take my hand.

Anonymous said...

You are up against powerful colluding individuals and massive evil forces at work in the shadows of the court, political and law enforcement systems. If there is any hope left for this country that has historically projected dignity, humanity, honesty and truth to the world, you will succeed in exposing this conspiracy. Hopefully your story will alert lawmakers to address the issues so that these things can never happen again to any American anywhere.

e.a.f. said...

here we go again with those southerners who have trouble reading. More jokes for this evening.

They included Carole because, if assets were in her name, they'd try to get a "friendly" judge to get them from her.

it has been my experience, that when lawsuits, etc. include innocent, non-involved family members they are doing it as a form of "black mail" or some such thing.

These people will stop at nothing to "get even" with you. I'm surprised they didn't go after your third cousin, once removed.

if this were not so real and serious, you could not make this up for a comedy show.

Good luck in achieving justice!