Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Financial turmoil swirls around Missouri lawyer Brady Musgrave, perhaps providing incentive to pressure Scott Wells into a guilty plea on child-porn charges

Brady Musgrave
Many Americans seem to assume all attorneys rake in fistfuls of dollars. Brady A Musgrave, a lawyer from Springfield, Missouri, is proof that is not true. In fact, our research shows Musgrave, his wife (Amy Michelle Musgrave), and his law partner (Kristin Jones, of the Jones and Musgrave Law Firm) are running on financial fumes.

That leads to this question: Does operating in an environment of financial distress -- like a member of "the great unwashed" -- affect the cases Brady Musgrave takes and how he handles them? Specifically, did it cause him, at least in part, to pressure and threaten Scott J. Wells into a guilty plea on federal child-pornography charges the government clearly could not prove? (See here and here.)

Wells currently is trying to get the plea withdrawn, but it does not appear Musgrave is doing anything to help him, even though he remains the attorney of record in the case. Is Musgrave simply refusing to do his job? If so, why, and will the court let him get away with it?

From the moment I started investigating U.S. v. Wells, it emitted noxious odors -- the kind you might get from members of the legal tribe retaliating against Wells for beating prosecutors in a 2002-04 case of alleged child sexual abuse, which fell apart when a court found my brother, David Shuler, provided "ineffective assistance of counsel" and an accusing witness was caught falsely claiming Wells had scars on his penis. Or perhaps they were retaliating against Wells for bringing a legal-malpractice case against David Shuler, which Wells almost certainly would have won if his lawyer, John J. Allan of St. Louis, had not mysteriously pulled out at the last minute, claiming he needed more money from his client -- even though the docket shows he likely had the case, and a sizable damage award, already in the bag.

Amy Musgrave
Would a member (or several members) of the Missouri legal tribe want to get Scott Wells badly enough that they would offer a hefty payday for any attorney who can get Wells unlawfully incarcerated for 15 to 20 years? We don't have a rock-solid answer to that question yet, but public records suggest such a payday might be particularly enticing for Brady Musgrave, given his shaky financial picture. It's so shaky, in fact, that if I were looking for legal services, I would be concerned about hiring a firm where both partners (and one partner's spouse) are in arrears to a variety of entities.

As for Brady Musgrave himself, he does not even own his home. Public records show his house -- at 3494 W. Erie Street, Springfield, MO -- is owned by Charles Musgrave of Kansas City. Is that Musgrave's father? We posed that question to Brady Musgrave via email, but he has not responded.

How bleak is the Musgraves' financial picture? Let's start with this: The Missouri Department of Revenue has filed tax liens against them each of the past two years. (Certificate of Tax Liens are embedded at the end of this post.) The 2017 tax lien is for $1,224.44, and records show it has been satisfied. The 2018 tax lien is for $1,313.48, and records show it has not been satisfied.

This is just the first of many signs that financial turmoil is swirling around Brady Musgrave, counselor at law.

(To be continued)

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