Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hideously corrupt U.S. judge William Acker Jr. has "kicked the bucket," a step forward for justice in Alabama, a state that remains a judicial sewer


William M. Acker II
Just when you are rid of perhaps the worst federal judge in Alabama history, along comes another who seems hell-bent on proving she is just as bad.

In a rare piece of good news on "justice" in the Deep South, William M. Acker Jr., 90, died on June 21 after spending 34 years as a "judge" in the Northern District of Alabama -- the last 20 on senior status, before his full retirement in 2016. The wrinkled Reagan appointee had been on the federal bench in Birmingham since 1982.

Acker is the judge who cheated me raw in my First Amendment/discrimination lawsuit against UAB. Many of the ugly events that have happened to my wife, Carol, and me in the past six or seven years -- my kidnapping and incarceration; loss of our home of 25 years in Birmingham to wrongful foreclosure; our unlawful eviction in Missouri; Carol's shattered arm, requiring almost eight hours of trauma surgery (thanks to Greene County deputies) -- would not have happened if Acker had handled the UAB case lawfully.

Perhaps the best part about Acker's death is that it might allow for revival of my lawsuit against UAB. Wouldn't that be a hoot if the SOBs (and daughters of bitches, DOBs?) who thought they got away with cheating me the first time were to see my complaint slapped on their desks -- or wind up in their mailboxes, for those who no longer work at the university? It could happen.

The original case was not a hard case to decide, given that UAB human-resources official Anita Bonasera admitted in a tape-recorded phone call that I was targeted because of my reporting on this blog about the Don Siegelman case. But Acker, being a Bastard-Coated Bastard With Bastard Filling (BCBWBF), repeatedly ruled contrary to black-letter law -- and he even had the audacity to state in open court that he was going to cheat me, and then he did it. Naturally, his corrupt cronies on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta backed him up in a "Do Not Publish" opinion -- which is a little trick federal judges use to cheat certain litigants without screwing up the actual law in federal reporters.

The late Monroe Freedman, a Hofstra University professor who was considered the father of modern legal ethics as an academic subject, said he was sick of seeing crooked opinions like the one Acker produced in my case. From Freedman:

Frankly, I have had more than enough of judicial opinions that bear no relationship whatsoever to the cases that have been filed and argued before the judges.

I am talking about judicial opinions that falsify the facts of the cases that have been argued, judicial opinions that make disingenuous use or omission of material authorities, judicial opinions that cover up these things with no-publication and no-citation rules.

Freedman said that in a 1989 speech, and the quote made me feel like I was in awfully good company in reporting on scoundrels, like Acker, on the federal bench. Freedman died in 2015, and judicial corruption only got worse during the later years of his life.

As for the Northern District of Alabama, I've learned in recent weeks that Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins, who reportedly retired to senior status in June, might be just as crooked as Acker. We will deal with her in upcoming posts. But for now, let's tell the world that William M. Acker Jr. was a hideous criminal, and the world is a better place now that he's dead.

An American tradition is that we speak kindly (and falsely) of the dead, no matter how big a BCBWBF he was in real life. That applies to Acker, as you can see from this article about his death at al.com:

Colleagues of retired United States District Judge William M. Acker, Jr., are remembering him this week as a brilliant and compassionate jurist who ruled on a variety of cases during a three-decade career on the federal bench.

"Brilliant and compassionate," my ass. You will notice the article includes only quotes from fellow judges and lawyers -- none from parties who had cases before Acker. I wish they had asked me for a quote. Here is what it would have been.

I consider Bill Acker to be a worse criminal than Jarrod W. Ramos, who killed five people in the recent newspaper shooting at Annapolis, Maryland. At least Ramos had the decency to use his own money to purchase his weapon. Even the worst mass killers generally do that. But not Bill Acker and his fellow judicial crooks. They use taxpayer money, in taxpayer-funded facilities. to cheat taxpayers who have cases before them -- all the while treating constitutional rights like they were used toilet paper and showing utter disrespect for the rule of law. In other words, Acker steals your money to buy a gun and shoot you with it. Hell, Jarrod Ramos almost certainly has more integrity than that. 

How badly did Acker screw me on the UAB case? I've written several lengthy posts on that subject (see here, here, and here), but it boils down to this. He granted the university summary judgment, without discovery, in clear violation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Eleventh Circuit precedent, as outlined in Snook v. Trust Company of Georgia, 859 F. 2d 865 (11th Cir., 1988). From Snook:

"This court has often noted that summary judgment should not be granted until the party opposing the motion has had an adequate opportunity for discovery. . . . The party opposing a motion for summary judgment has a right to challenge the affidavits and other factual materials submitted in support of the motion by conducting sufficient discovery so as to enable him to determine whether he can furnish opposing affidavits. . . . Generally summary judgment is inappropriate when the party opposing the motion has been unable to obtain responses to his discovery requests."

Law doesn't get much more direct and simple than that. I filed at least three motions to inform the court that discovery had not been conducted, and Acker admitted in open court that he was aware of that, and I was entitled to conduct discovery to counter UAB's motion for summary judgment.

We've reported on at least one of Acker's judicial colleagues in the Northern District of Alabama who knows the law on discovery and summary judgment and has applied it correctly multiple times. We've reported that  Acker himself has correctly applied the law in multiple cases. He just didn't do it in my case, and that's probably because he knew political thugs had pressured UAB to unlawfully terminate me, and Acker chose to protect those thugs. Specifically, Acker likely was protecting GOP cretin Rob "Uday" Riley and his associates, who were the driving forces behind my cheat job at UAB. We recently have uncovered evidence that suggests the Alabama State Bar might have been involved, too.

Speaking of Rob Riley, I'm not the only litigant Acker cheated in the name of protecting the son of former Alabama GOP Gov. Bob Riley.  He did much the same thing in a whistle blower case on which we reported, where Rob Riley's company (and individuals tied to UAB) reportedly were engaging in health-care fraud. The plaintiff's Mississippi lawyers were left so amazed at Acker's unlawful rulings that they hardly knew what to say. They did say it might be possible to re-bring the case later, "but we'll have to wait for him to die."

Well, thank God, that time has arrived, although a send-off remains on schedule for Acker. According to an obituary at al.com, a "celebration" of Acker's life will be at 11 a.m. on July 28 at Highlands United Methodist Church. How do you "celebrate" the life of a publicly funded criminal? From the obit:

Judge Acker was known for his humorous limericks and writings but most particularly for his legal writings. Two weeks before his death, although nearly blind, he completed a law review article which will be published in the Cumberland Law Review in the near future.

Acker was a funny guy? Tell that to the parties he cheated in court. Acker almost went blind near the end of his life? Let's hope he enjoyed his time in near darkness, and maybe he learned something from it -- like karma really can be a bitch.

As for the possibility of reviving my UAB lawsuit, I'm still researching that topic -- but I think it is a possibility. In terms of new evidence, all evidence in the case is new because Acker did not allow any discovery the first time around. This much is certain: If my UAB case winds up back on the docket, William Marsh Acker II won't be hearing it.

Before we leave, let's pay tribute to Dr. Perry Cox, the memorable character from Scrubs who created a classic phrase we borrowed above. Here's the video:





29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm usually a defender of you and your site, but this story, particularly your headline, are pretty gross. There's a way to write this without coming across as a raging asshole. Please try to do better so I can keep sending people here.

legalschnauzer said...

How would you have written it, knowing this guy is a thief and a criminal? And he's not just a thief toward me. If you do, or have, paid taxes, he stole from you, too. How do you "dance around" that subject?

Sorry, but Acker was evil, and I'm into telling the truth here.

If you find anything inaccurate, in the post please let me know.

Anonymous said...

You must have skipped class the day the lesson was "Don't Speak Ill of the Dead."

Anonymous said...

I understand your frustration, but I don't think you have to be this ugly about it.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:49 --

No, I don't think you do understand my frustration. If you haven't been in my shoes, there is no way you can understand how I feel about Bill Acker. Crooks stole everything Carol and I had ever worked for -- our home, our careers, our savings, our furnishings and personal belongings, our freedom, our peace of mind, everything -- and he let it happen.

I doubt you've had any experience -- sparked by another human being, an evil bastard -- that even comes close to that.

Anonymous said...

@7:42 --

Disagree. Why do we have to sugarcoat things? I've read the Snook opinion, and Acker intentionally cheated Mr. Shuler on that. There is no question about that, and Acker did act corruptly.

Are his victims supposed to have fond memories of that? I certainly wouldn't.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:54 --

Thanks for your insights, both legal and emotional. I wanted this post to shock, I wanted my anger to be palpable, I wanted it to be an uncomfortable read -- because it deals with uncomfortable truths.

Also, I wanted it to be clear that I have zero respect for Bill Acker, and others who violate the public trust, such as our current occupant the White House.

Based on @7:42's comment, I must have succeeded in that.

Anonymous said...

If someone stole my house and let someone cheat me out of my job, LS's words pretty well sum up how I would feel about him. In fact, LS's words probably are mild compared to what mine would be.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:10 --

Thanks. I would ask readers to consider this: Have you ever been forced to watch while dirty cops brutalized your wife and broke her arm? Have you ever had a dirty cop point an assault weapon at your face?

Those things don't happen to Carol and me without Bill Acker and his corrupt rulings. I want the world to know what he did to us. This blog is about shining light on the truth, not covering up the truth.

Anonymous said...

How did Acker tell you to your face that he was going to cheat you?

legalschnauzer said...

@9:22 --


That's explained in this post:


https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2012/04/federal-judge-william-m-acker-jr-tells.html

legalschnauzer said...

It's also explained in this post:


https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2012/05/chief-judge-joel-dubina-provides-cover.html

Anonymous said...

When a judge tells a party that "you had better study up on a writ of mandamus," that means he's going to rule against you on every little matter, forcing you to spend about $500 on each filing fee for an interlocutory order from the 11th Circuit in an effort to force him to rule lawfully in your case. In other words, the judge is saying, "It's going to cost you a fortune and take an incredibly long time to resolve your case."

Any judge who would say such a thing to a party is saying that he's going to cheat, and such a judge is -- to borrow Mr. Schnauzer's words -- an evil bastard.

At one point, I recall Mr. Schnauzer publishing a transcript of the hearing where Judge Acker uttered these words. So, the cheat job is a matter of public record. Makes the judiciary and the entire legal profession look bad, and I resent what Acker did -- even though it didn't affect me personally.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ronald Reagan, for appointing such "highly qualified" judges.

Anonymous said...

I was around Acker enough to know how he rolled. The "humorous" writings mentioned in his obit often involved mocking others, and he clearly had racist tendencies.

He was outraged that Harry Truman had integrated the U.S. military, and became an active Dixiecrat, helping nominate Strom Thurmond for president. When the Republican Party became the party that tolerated racists, Acker became a Republican.

Acker was a relic from our racist past, and he was all about protecting the interests of the white ruling class. He was a phony and an enemy to any notion of progress. A bad guy, and we are better off without him.

Anonymous said...

Watch out, the Schnauzer is liable to bite today.

Anonymous said...

Acker looked like he was dead 15 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Federal judges either ought to do the job full-time or get their asses off the bench. This "senior status" stuff is a bunch of bullshit. If you can't do the real job, retire and let someone else do it.

Anonymous said...

Love the Dr. Perry Cox video. What a great character

Anonymous said...

Acker was a classic example of why federal judges should not have lifetime appointments. It's supposed to make them bold, to help them rule correctly against powerful interests. It does just the opposite -- it emboldens them to act corruptly.

Anonymous said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2018/07/10/an-arkansas-man-complained-about-police-abuse-then-town-officials-ruined-his-life/

An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
by Radley Balko July 10 at 8:28 PM

When body-camera footage of an aggressive or abusive police officer goes viral, the response from law enforcement groups is often to caution that we shouldn’t judge the entire system based on actions of a few bad apples. That’s fair enough. But what does it say about the system when the cops gets away with their bad behavior? What if, despite video footage clearly showing that the cops are in the wrong, sheriffs and police chiefs cover for them, anyway? What if local prosecutors do, too? What if even mayors and city attorneys get into the act?

Adam Finley had such an interaction with a bad cop. He was roughed up, sworn at and handcuffed. When he tried to file a complaint, he was hit with criminal charges. The local police chief turned Finley’s wife against him, which (according to both Finley and her) eventually ended their marriage. The fact that video of the incident should have vindicated him didn’t seem to matter.

Finley’s trouble — first reported by the Jonesboro Sun and Stan Morris at NEA Report — began in December 2016 in Walnut Ridge, Ark. It’s a small town of about 5,000 in the northeast part of the state — its charmingly humble claim to fame is that the Beatles once changed planes there. Officer Matthew Mercado of the Walnut Ridge Police Department pulled Finley over, near the railroad yard where Finley works. But Finley hadn’t committed any traffic infraction. Instead, Mercado apparently suspected that Finley didn’t really work for the railroad and therefore was trespassing, or perhaps engaged in some sort of criminal mischief.

The encounter quickly escalated. But as you can see in the video below, the escalation was entirely due to Mercado’s behavior, not Finley’s.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:51 --

Excellent story. Well written and very important subject matter. Thanks for sharing, and I hope LS readers will check it out. Here is URL to video of this police-citizen encounter:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=pRbjc068wts

Anonymous said...

I'd be pissed, too, if a judge treated me like that.

legalschnauzer said...

@5:46 --

Acker did treat you like that -- a key point I hope readers will try to understand. A criminal offense, by definition, is an offense against society. That's why criminal cases are styled State v. Jones (at state level) and U.S. v. Smith (at the federal level). They are considered offenses against society, not just the individual victim. The plaintiff, in essence, is society, which includes you and everyone reading this post.

One of the specific offenses Acker committed is honest services fraud, at least as it used to be defined. SCOTUS changed the meaning a bit, in a 2010 case called "Skilling," but it used to be referred to as "theft of honest services." I'm not sure if that term still is used. Congress should re-write the honest services fraud statute, but legislators are too lazy and incompetent to have done so.

Here is an LS post about "theft of honest services":


https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2012/09/why-does-public-tolerate-corrupt-judges.html

legalschnauzer said...

Here is key language from the LS post about honest-services fraud. The post is about two Eleventh Circuit judges -- Tjoflat and Edmondson -- who cheated me on the UAB appeal. They also were on the panel that sent Don Siegelman to prison. Tjoflat still is active on the appellate court and still is cheating people, acting on cases in which he has a financial interest. Details on that in upcoming posts:




The definition of honest-services fraud was narrowed with the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in a case involving former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling. In Skilling, the court found that honest-services fraud could be present only in cases that involved a clear bribe or kickback. The theory behind honest-services fraud, however, has not changed.

We addressed the theory in an April 2008 post titled "A Thief Overseeing Thieves." What is at the crux of the honest-services law, which is covered under 18 U.S.C. 1346? It is defined in a case styled U.S. v. Sawyer, 239 F. 3d, 31 (1st Cir., 2001)? Here is how we described it, quoting from Sawyer:

"Underlying Sec. 1346 is the notion that a public official acts as trustee for the citizens and the State . . . and thus owes the normal fiduciary duties of a trustee, e.g., honesty and loyalty to them. THEFT of honest services occurs when a public official strays from this duty.'" (U.S. v. Sawyer, 239 F. 3d 31, 39, First Circuit, 2001.)

That brief paragraph drives home three pivotal points:

* The public official, in this case a judge, acts as a trustee for ALL citizens--not just the parties in a particular case;

* The public official, in this case a judge, owes a fiduciary duty to ALL citizens;

* When a public official strays from that duty, he commits THEFT of honest services.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is another post about honest-services fraud, this one involving our experiences in Shelby County, AL. Again, a judge is a trustee for all citizens, not just the parties in a particular case. Do judges take their role as trustee seriously? A lot of them obviously do not:


https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2008/04/thief-overseeing-thieves.html

Anonymous said...

So, you think you can revive your case against UAB.

legalschnauzer said...

@6:03 --

That's a tricky area of law, a new one to me, so I need to do more research. I haven't researched it thoroughly because I figured that as long as Acker was alive, there was no point. The case would just go back to him, and I'd get more of the same.

I do think it's possible that UAB will be revisited with my lawsuit. I also think it's possible they will be visited with a public records request for emails and other documents about my case. The latter definitely can be done. I think the former can be done, but not certain about it.

e.a.f. said...

When the decision to make life time appointments in the American judiciary, people just didn't live that long. Now they go on forever, almost. In Canada we solved the problem. All Judges retire at 75. it gets courts a new perspective and it also gives younger lawyers a new job. They don't have to wait. No matter how bad the judge is, they retire at 75. of course some judges in Canada have lost their jobs for saying the "wrong" things. Wasn't that hard either to get rid of them. Judges are just people and as such make mistakes. Some of those mistakes can cause people a lot of problems so they ought to be able to dismiss them. Or as we say up here, some positions, people have to meet a higher standard. That includes cops.