|Carol Tovich Shuler|
Patty Poe's effort to exit the case came after a meeting last Monday (10/30) in which she repeatedly lied to Carol about relevant law in the "assault of a law enforcement charge" at the heart of State v. Carol T. Shuler (No. 1631-CR07731) -- the docket of which can be viewed at case.net. I was present for the meeting and tried my best (not always with success) to keep my mouth shut -- but I don't think I've ever heard a lawyer tell so many lies in a relatively short sitting. And this was from someone we once held in high regard, for whom we once had high hopes.
Carol made it clear in the meeting that we weren't buying the bullshit Poe was feverishly shoveling. So, two days later (Wed. 11/1), Jain filed State's Notice of Jail Waiver, meaning he is not seeking jail time in the matter. Poe followed up by filing her Motion for Leave to Withdraw yesterday morning. (Both documents are embedded at the end of this post.)
Poe notified us of the filing via e-mail, saying in part:
Additionally, the State filed a notice of jail waiver (attached). Therefore, I will be withdrawing my representation pursuant to RSMo 600.042.4(2). My motion to withdraw will be heard on November 22 at 9:00 AM, you need to be there anyway. If the judge sustains my motion to withdraw you will need to hire private counsel or represent yourself. The good news is, they can only seek a fine, community service, or some type of class instead of jail time.
I will not be doing any further work on your case.
It's news to us that Poe was doing any worthwhile work on Carol's case -- other than repeatedly making assertions that are contrary to relevant, and easily understood, law. The Missouri statute that Poe cites as grounds for withdrawal states:
4. The director and defenders shall provide legal services to an eligible person:
(2) Who is detained or charged with a misdemeanor which will probably result in confinement in the county jail upon conviction, including appeals from a conviction in such a case, unless the prosecuting or circuit attorney has waived a jail sentence;
As you can see, Jain's waiver of jail time provided the grounds for Poe to withdraw. Was this an orchestrated effort to help give Poe and the PD office a graceful exit from a case they did not have the stomach, or the integrity, to handle? Obviously, yes.
Is it likely that Poe's boss (Rod Hackathorn, Greene County PD) and perhaps Hackathorn's boss (Michael Barrett, State PD) were involved -- along with Jain's boss (Dan Patterson, Greene County PA). Yes, that is highly likely, especially when you consider "the director and defenders" language highlighted above.
Is this a classic example of two groups of lawyers taking unethical actions to cover their collective asses -- while also carrying water for a sheriff, Jim Arnott, who is so corrupt he should wind up in federal prison for his actions in knowingly bringing false charges against Carol? No doubt, in my mind.
The Poe and Jain motions are due to be heard at Carol's next hearing, at 9 a.m. on Nov. 22 before Judge Margaret Holden Palmietto.
I see these latest developments as a case of almost all good news and very little bad news. The main bad news is that Poe, who came on board in May, cost Carol about five months of time. Also, it means Carol might have to represent herself -- a notion that does not thrill her; but in my view, it's way preferable to having an untrustworthy lawyer, one who has no problem looking you in the eye and lying to your face.
The good news? I see a number of possibilities:
(1) We might land a private attorney, someone who has the smarts and integrity to see this for what it is -- a meaty case that stands to make a difference in the sewer-like justice system of southwest Missouri;
(2) It's nice that Carol no longer is facing possible jail time, but if prosecutors think that is going to encourage her to plead guilty to something she did not do, they had better think again;
(3) Carol's pro se motions, which should have caused the charge to be dropped months ago. might now see the light of day. Poe was blocking them because it was her "opinion" that she did not agree with legal arguments in the motions. Did Poe ever make any citations to law that pointed to problems with the motions? Nope. Will Carol, or her representative, be calling for Palmietto to hear the motions -- or ones similar to them? I sure as heck hope so;
(4) We no longer have to listen to Poe's stale con-woman act. Carol and I have had lawyers lie to us for more than 17 years, over two regions of the country, and we are more than a little tired of it. We also catch onto it pretty quickly. I'm not sure Patty Poe is even 30 years old, so she is awfully young to have already become a sell-out. Perhaps that's the only way she sees to get ahead in the postmodern legal world -- and she might be right about that. But I want no part of her cynical, dishonest, game-playing routine.
What drove this deal that Poe and Jain (and perhaps their superiors) cooked up? Just how gross was Poe's duplicity toward Carol in recent weeks and months? We will address those questions in upcoming posts.
For now, let's consider this irony: Poe's office recently served notice that it is so slammed with work that it could not handle a first-degree murder case. If they are so busy, why do they have time to lie to Carol -- over and over? Why does Poe have time to tell Carol that her case likely will go to trial when, by law, it must be booted on a whole host of grounds? They want to have a trial, in a case where even the alleged "victim" admits he "caused physical contact" with Carol, not the other way around -- meaning Carol could not, under Missouri law, have "assaulted" him?
I'm not sure why someone like Patty Poe goes into the legal profession, but her handling of Carol's case suggests it certainly is not to further the cause of justice.