|Luther Strange and Jessica Garrison|
One memorable moment is of the "hah, hah" comedy variety. The other is what might be called "black comedy." Both are worth noting because they say a lot about the people involved:
Jessica Garrison thinks Legal Schnauzer has investigative super powers
In an almost terror-stricken tone, Garrison says she can't imagine how I obtained her address in Crestline because she is unlisted, almost "underground," one might think. She suggests that I've gone to extraordinary lengths to get her address, hinting that I have all sorts of devious plots in mind. Naturally, there is a very simple explanation for how I, or anyone else, could get her address, but Garrison (who is a licensed attorney) apparently can't figure what that might be.
This is from a transcript of her interaction with attorney Bill Baxley on the subject. (The full transcript is embedded at the end of this post.), From page 67:
Q: Do you think in the future you still might have things like bad dreams and lay awake at night and things of that matter because of some of these allegations?
A. Sure, and the fact that he published a photo of my house and my street address. I'm not listed. I'm not listed anywhere. But it made me incredibly nervous when he's posted my address and my home for the world to see, so I've added a security alarm. I was paranoid that my house was either -- I was paranoid people were watching me.
Do I really have investigative superpowers, with plans to use them to torture Garrison and her young son? Not exactly. As we explained in several posts, including this one, her address at the time (119 Main Street in the Crestline section of Mountain Brook) was a matter of public record. It was in her divorce/child custody case, as plainly can be seen below:
The parties were divorced . . . on October 21, 2009 . . . [and] the parties have joint legal and physical custody of their minor child. . . . The Plaintiff (hereinafter "Mother") initially petitioned this court on December 9, 2010, for full custody of the minor child due to a material change in circumstances, and included in her petition notification of an anticipated relocation. The Defendant (hereinafter "Father") responded, objecting to the proposed relocation, and counter-petitioned for a modification of custody. The Mother was able to secure alternate employment that did not require her to move more than sixty (60) miles from the residence of the Father, and she amended her Petition for Modification of Custody accordingly. The Mother's new address is 119 Main Street, Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Father's address remains 1609 Alaca Place, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
That's how I found Jessica Garrison's address, by looking up a record that could not be more public. Anyone else on the planet could do the same thing by walking in the Jefferson County Courthouse, going to the clerk's office on the fifth floor (or third, I can't remember which) and asking to see the Lee Garrison/Jessica Garrison child-custody case out of Tuscaloosa County. So much for my investigative superpowers, but I guess Garrison wanted to have a moment of hysteria on the stand. That a lawyer could not figure out her address was available on her recent divorce/custody case . . . well, it blows the mind.
Luther Strange tells a tall tale that hides Bill Baxley's underhanded tactics
Strange addresses Dothan blogger Rickey Stokes and his coverage of the Strange/Garrison affair, noting that Stokes had pursued the story aggressively before apparently backing off. Strange doesn't say why Stokes backed off, but the reason has been obvious for quite some time -- especially for those who read this blog.
From page 17 of the transcript, as Baxley questions Strange:
Q. Okay. Now, let me ask you this: Did Ricky Stokes write something in his blog adversely to you on that occasion, the first occasion?
A. On the first occasion, he had repeated -- and I don't have the exact chronology, but he had repeated the allegations that the Legal Schnauzer had made.
Q. So he repeated something that Mr. Shuler had written?
A. That's correct.
Q. Subsequent to that, after that did Ricky Stokes later publicly in his blog apologize to you and say he didn't believe what he had written?
A. He did subsequently publish something that said these allegations I believe are highly questionable and backed off of his previous reporting.
We've reported on all of this here at Legal Schnauzer, and we know exactly what happened. We also know that Strange and Baxley pull some con artistry here on the court. Follow us briefly on this timeline of relevant events:
* July 31, 2013 -- We publish a post about Strange's refusal to answer Rickey Stokes' questions regarding the then-attorney general's extramarital affair with Jessica Garrison. That's the first Stokes article Strange references in his testimony above.
* August 21, 2013 -- We publish a post about Stokes' reversal, where he claims my reporting is "highly questionable as to truth and accuracy." This is the second Stokes article Strange references in his testimony. Stokes says his reversal is based on a conversation with a source he "would trust with my life in his hands." We note that the source likely is someone connected to the Baxley family, which is from Stokes' home base of Dothan. And we note that the source probably did not disclose that Bill Baxley was representing Jessica Garrison in her lawsuit, giving him a vested interest in trying to discredit me. We suggest that Rickey Stokes and his readers have been conned.
* September 30, 2013 -- We publish a post in which Stokes admits Bill Baxley conned him into writing the post that claimed my reporting was "questionable." From our post about Rickey Stokes and his public confession that Bill Baxley conned him:
In a comment posted to wiregrasslive.com at 1:48 p.m. on September 1, Stokes confirms that our suspicions were right on target: Bill Baxley was the source of his post claiming our reporting was "highly questionable"-- and Baxley did not disclose his personal stake in the matter, via his threatened lawsuit on Jessica Garrison's behalf. . . .
Translation: Bill Baxley blew copious amounts of smoke up Rickey Stokes' anal cavity -- and Stokes fell for it.
Perhaps I have a warped sense of humor, but I found both of these pieces of testimony amusing, especially when you know their backstories -- as I do, and as I've outlined here. To be sure, however, these are serious matters.
Consider a few questions:
* Was Luther Strange, Alabama's chief law-enforcement officer and now a U.S. senator, involved in Bill Baxley's con job on Rickey Stokes? Did Strange come up with the idea, or did he at least know it was going to happen, to help make sure Stokes no longer would confront him with uncomfortable questions in public places? If so, is that the kind of man Alabamians want representing them in the U.S. Senate?
* If Jessica Garrison had such a strong defamation case against me, why did Baxley (and maybe Strange) resort to chicanery involving Rickey Stokes? Why did Baxley, Strange, and Garrison take all sorts of underhanded steps to ensure they would not have to engage in discovery, go to trial, or testify under oath before a jury?
Humor aside, the testimony highlighted above adds to the evidence that Jessica Garrison never had a legitimate defamation case -- and she, or someone close to her -- made sure my wife, Carol, and I were subjected to a wrongful foreclosure, ensuring that I would be in Missouri and not in Birmingham to defend myself.