|Andy and Monica Johnson Schroeder|
In a post dated July 12, 2017, we reported that Schroeder -- a graduate of Briarwood Christian High School and Auburn University, and now president/owner of South Central Steel Inc. (SCS) in Harpersville -- appears on the list of paying customers at Ashley Madison. He is married to Monica Johnson Schroeder, a vice president at Capital One who has held several positions in real-estate finance. The couple has two sons -- Chase, who played football at Briarwood and is president of Mountain Top Events in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Drew, who is a current Briarwood student (class of 2019) and a member of the golf team.
All of that is undeniably true, but attorney Tommy B. Majors -- of the Majors Law Firm in Eagle Point -- fired off a "cease and desist" letter (dated August 7, 2017), instructing me that I was about to face a lawsuit if I did not take corrective action regarding defamatory reports about Andy Schroeder. Did Majors point to any specific information in my reports that was false? Nope, but I was to remove it anyway.
Majors invited me, or my attorney, to direct questions to him. When I took him up on that, he provided one of the strangest replies I've ever seen. Here is a portion of the "cease and desist" letter. (The full letter is embedded at the end of this post.)
Andy Schroeder is an accomplished and respected professional in the community who leads South Central Steel Inc., with integrity and hard work. Mr. Schroeder has spent years in the community building his and the company's reputation.
It has come to our attention that you have engaged in spreading false, damaging, insensitive, and defamatory rumors about Mr. Schroeder on your Legal Schnauzer blog. . . . .
The false and defamatory statements published in your blog post on 12 July 2017 and resulting harm to Mr. Schroeder and his family is a perfect example of defamation under Alabama law. Further, the absolute failure to make any attempt to substantiate or verify your allegations in the published blog post indicates a wanton and reckless disregard in posting such false, damaging statements. Due to the extreme nature of your publication, we demand that you:
(2) Immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation of Mr. Andy Schroeder; and
(3) Provide us with proper written assurance within three (3) days.
Failure to comply with the cease and desist demand within 3 days shall result in the filing of a complaint against you and any other interested parties. Such a suit shall be seeking equitable relief from your defamation, including permanent injunctive relief and appropriate restraining orders, monetary damages, court costs, and attorney fees.
I recommend that you consult with an attorney regarding this matter. If you or your attorney have any questions, please contact me directly.
When I did contact Majors directly, as instructed, the result was . . . well, peculiar, to say the least.
(To be continued)