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The memory of a beloved pet inspires one couple's fight against injustice.

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    Luther and Melissa Strange
    A New York-based Web site known for its "fast facts" published an article on Tuesday about the wife of U.S. Sen. Luther Strange -- and it had a few problems with "facts." I know because it addressed our reporting here at Legal Schnauzer about Strange's extramarital affair with former campaign manager Jessica Medeiros Garrison. On that subject, heavy.com's reporting might have been "fast," but it certainly did not deal in "facts."

    As part of its election-day coverage on the Strange vs. Roy Moore U.S. Senate runoff, heavy.com ran an article about Strange's wife, with the title "Melissa Strange, Luther's wife: Five Fast Facts You Need to Know." On the same day, the Web site also ran similar factoid-filled pieces on Luther Strange; Roy Moore; and Moore's wife, Kayla.

    The item on Melissa Strange included "fast fact" No. 2, which carried this title: "A Blogger Claimed Strange Had an Extramarital Affair With a Campaign Aide, Who Won a $3.5 Million Settlement." That segment apparently was based totally on Garrison's "as told to" article with writer Liz Welch, published in October 2015 at the Hearst-owned fashion magazine and Web site Marie Claire. With that in mind, it's no surprise that the heavy.com segment is factually challenged.

    Factual problems begin with the headline; there was no settlement in Garrison's defamation lawsuit against me. There also was no discovery, no trial, and no jury -- only a determination by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Don Blankenship, who essentially acted as a one-man censor in the case. U.S. law long has held that defamation cases must be determined at trial, before a jury. That's because of the First Amendment's exalted status in American law -- and no judge, by law, can unilaterally act as a one-man censor. But that is exactly what Blankenship did in the Garrison case

    There also was no judgment on the merits in the case. It was a default judgment, the fallout from my unlawful five-month incarceration in Shelby County (Oct. 23, 2013 to March 26, 2014). That helped lead to a wrongful foreclosure on our house of 25 years in Birmingham, and with insufficient time to save our house after my release from jail, Carol and I were forced to move to Springfield, Missouri, where I grew up.

    Living like a refugee in Missouri, I could not defend myself against Garrison's allegations. In fact, I never received notice of her default application or the default hearing -- and the docket shows such notice never was sent. You'd be surprised how hard it is to appear at court hearings when you receive no notice that they are being held. That's what led to the default judgment.

    None of this is mentioned in the heavy.com article, written by Daniel S. Levine. The author clearly has zero knowledge of relevant law in the Garrison case, and it appears he made no effort to research it. But aside from the law, Levine can't get his facts straight -- and that's because he relied on a lousy original source, the Marie Claire article.

    In fact, the Marie Claire article is so bad that it is the subject of a defamation claim in a federal lawsuit that currently is on appeal in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit. That's right, I am suing Garrison,Marie Claire, and Hearst for defamation -- but Levine did not bother to learn about that.

    Let's check out the beginning of the section about my reporting on the Strange-Garrison affair:

    Strange and Melissa have been married for over 30 years, but in a 2013 blog post, Legal Schnauzer blogger Roger Shuler, claimed he had an affair with former campaign staffer Jessica Garrison. The post was titled “AG Luther Strange Has A Messy Extramarital Affair With Ex Campaign Aide Jessica Medeiros Garrison” and was published in July 2013.

    Read literally, that says I claim to have had an affair with Jessica Garrison. My response? (A) You'll never hear that claim coming from my mouth; (B) The sentence is so poorly written that it becomes inaccurate to an absurd level. Then, we have this:

    Garrison responded with an interview for Marie Claire and a lawsuit for $3.5 million. Garrison told Marie Claire that Melissa knew it wasn’t true and even called her.

    The byline on the article says, "By Jessica Garrison, as told to Liz Welch." Garrison is listed as the author, with Welch essentially serving as her stenographer. We can find no indication that Welch asked Garrison a single question, so it was not an interview. And there is no evidence that either checked the court docket for the simplest facts. For example, Garrison claims there was a trial in the case -- but if there was, it was held without me, the defendant. A check of the docket, of course shows there was no trial.

    What about this?

    The rumor continued to follow her, even though it wasn’t true. She sued and the judge awarded her $3.5 million.

    Levine makes a blanket statement that my reporting on the Strange/Garrison was not true. But there is zero evidence from an adversarial proceeding to prove that. As noted earlier, there was no discovery, which means Blankenship's default judgment was rendered on the basis of almost no evidence. Luther Strange and Garrison supposedly testified at a hearing, but I wasn't present, so there was no cross-examination. (And there is substantial evidence that Garrison committed perjury.) As we've shown in multiple posts, the ultimate finding of the court -- under relevant law -- was that my reporting was neither false, nor defamatory. But you don't read that at heavy.com.

    You also don't read that, as a matter of law, Garrison's $3.5-million judgment is void because I was not noticed on her default application or hearing -- and I have an unlimited amount of time to attack it. In other words, Garrison's judgment isn't worth a nickel, much less $3.5 million.

    Finally, we have this:

    Shuler vowed to fight the judgement. He was previously jailed for five months after his reporting on former Governor Bob Riley’s son. Shuler continues to report on Alabama politics today.

    First, I haven't just vowed to fight the judgment, I have fought the judgment, via the aforementioned federal lawsuit. But more importantly, consider that second sentence, in yellow. Shouldn't any journalist who writes that -- or any citizen who reads it -- say, "How does a journalist get thrown in jail for writing about Rob Riley, or anyone else"?  The answer: He can't, under the law. I was thrown in jail based on a preliminary injunction -- issued by a judge, no trial, no jury -- that has been prohibited by more than 200 years of First Amendment law. But Levine apparently did not bat an eyebrow when writing the sentence in yellow.

    Strangely, Levine acknowledges that he checked my blog before writing his piece, but he must not have looked for the multiple posts (such as this one) that show the Marie Claire article is pretty much a fact-free piece of rubbish.

    Heavy.com does serve up some heavy irony, which it apparently does not recognize. Let's consider this from the introduction to the piece about Melissa Strange:

    [Luther] Strange has been serving as Alabama’s Senator since President Donald Trump chose Jeff Sessions to be his U.S. Attorney General. The 64-year-old Strange was appointed by Governor Robert J. Bentley shortly before he resigned due to a sex scandal.

    How did the public come to learn about the Bentley sex scandal? Because I broke the story, here at Legal Schnauzer -- roughly seven months before the mainstream media picked up on it.

    Without knowing it, heavy.com acknowledges my track record of accurately reporting on subjects that many other news outlets won't touch. The Strange/Garrison story is a classic example of such reporting.

    But you wouldn't know that from reading heavy.com. It apparently is so busy being fast that it can't bother with being factual.

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    U.S. Attorney Jay Town announces indictments
    (From birminghamwatch.org)
    Yesterday's announcement of federal indictments against two Balch Bingham lawyers and one Drummond Co. executive is a rare sign that members of Alabama's white ruling elites (also known as "Big Mules") might be held accountable for their underhanded acts. It also brought a quote that might represent one of the most damning statements ever about the legal profession. The quote came from a member of a Birmingham law firm that has a recent history of making ludicrous arguments in court. We've seen that firsthand -- and our experience suggests defense attorneys will be making quite a few nonsensical arguments as they try to keep Big Mules out of federal prison.

    A six-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Joel Iverson Gilbert and Steven George McKinney, both partners in the Birmingham law firm Balch Bingham, and David Lynn Roberson, vice president of government and regulatory affairs for Drummond Co., with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud, and money laundering. The indictment alleges they conspired to provide former state Rep. Oliver L. Robinson Jr. with a valuable and confidential consulting contract in exchange for his taking official action favorable to Balch and its client, Drummond, regarding a Superfund cleanup site in north Birmingham.

    A press release from the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama provides no clues if additional indictments are coming. But according to one recent press report, U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) was present when a Drummond representative offered State Rep. John Rogers a bribe. Jessica Medeiros Garrison, Strange's one-time campaign manager and mistress, served in an "of counsel" role at Balch until exiting the firm in May -- and her social-media presence mostly vanished in the weeks after Strange's name was raised in connection to the Superfund case. For good measure, Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions, who already is at the center of the RussiaGate scandal, is closely aligned with Balch.

    We highly recommend a relatively new local Web site, banbalch.com. Its report on yesterday's indictments is titled "Will Balch Bingham Partner Turn Federal Witness?" From that post:

    Looks likes Balch has seen the writing on the wall and appears to have thrown the indicted partners under the bus. (Putting them on administrative leave and deleting their Web pages.)

    We note the silence from Steve McKinney. Will McKinney turn federal witness? Will he, too, start singing like a canary?

    On his web page at Balch (since taken down), McKinney wrote, “I 'get the call’ when an environmental problem has developed and legal or strategic help is needed fast.”

    So who called McKinney when Drummond needed help in suppressing the African-Americans in North Birmingham? Who did he report to about the Robinson Bribery scheme? Did any other partners or Balch lobbyists know about this scheme?

    The banbalch.com post ends with this, which offers sound advice and sobering thoughts:

    On that same now defunct web page, McKinney noted, “I come from a blue-collar home where education and a serious work ethic came in daily doses.”

    Maybe its time to use blue-collar smarts to shorten one’s possible prison sentence, a potential death sentence.

    At 62 years of age, even a 15 year federal prison term would mean McKinney could die in prison. Now that’s a bitter dose of reality.

    As for the extraordinary comment we mentioned at the beginning of this post, it came from Gilbert's defense attorney -- Jack Sharman, a partner at Lightfoot Franklin and White. Before the indictments were announced, Sharman said, as stated at Alabama Political Reporter:

    “Joel Gilbert is innocent of these charges,” Sharman said. “He did not bribe anyone. This is a case that never should have been brought. Joel represented a client in a legal dispute with the EPA, a powerful and, in this case, over-reaching federal agency. Everything he did while representing that client was lawful and ethical. He is a longtime partner at a leading law firm. A lawyer with a reputation for honesty and integrity, he did what is routine for good counselors to do for corporate and individual clients every day – he engaged a consultant through a written contract to perform real and lawful services.

    The way I read that, Sharman is saying: "The line between bribing someone and providing routine legal work is so thin that reasonable minds hardly can tell them apart." Gee, the Alabama State Bar should be delighted to learn that.

    It's not unusual for members of the Lightfoot firm to make off-the-charts legal arguments. We've seen it in what we call "The House Case," a federal lawsuit that is on appeal before the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. The Lightfoot firm represents multiple defendants -- Marie Claire, Hearst Corp., al.com, and Yellowhammer News -- in "The House Case."

    One of Lightfoot's arguments is that demonstrably false and defamatory statements are "substantially true." No kidding. They also argue that the Marie Claire fashion magazine is a "well-respected news source." Again, no kidding. You can check out a Marie Claire cover (left) and decide for yourself if it appears to be a serious news source. Here is how we reported it in a January 2017 post:

    Lawyers for Hearst Corporation take a demonstrably false claim from their Marie Claire fashion magazine -- that there was a trial in Jessica Medeiros Garrison's lawsuit against me -- and argue that it was "substantially true," and, thus, not defamatory. The same lawyers -- from Birmingham's Lightfoot Franklin and White firm -- represent the right-wing propaganda site Yellowhammer News (YH) and argue that its reporting on the Garrison case is not defamatory because it came from a "well-respected news source."

    Anyone can check the public docket in Garrison's underlying defamation case -- the one where she was awarded $3.5 million in a default judgment that, by law, is void for failure to notice the opposing party -- and see there was no trial. From our January report:

    As noted in an earlier post, Hearst can't keep its story straight. It claims the Marie Claire article was based in part on court records from Garrison's lawsuit. But the article repeatedly misstates facts that easily could be found from a check of the court records. For example, the article states there was a trial when there clearly was no trial. There wasn't even any discovery or summary-judgment proceedings that generally must precede a trial.

    Still, Hearst wants the court, and the public, to believe that the article's false statement regarding a trial is "substantially true" -- that a hearing and a trial are more or less the same thing. I'm sure that would be news to anyone who has the slightest knowledge of our justice system. I guess it means that a rhinoceros and a rabbit are substantially the same thing, given that both words begin with "r"

    Here is part of our argument in response to the Lightfoot nonsense:

    Hearst’s false claim that there was a trial in the Garrison matter: 
    . . . Hearst claims the statement is “substantially true” and “not capable of defamatory meaning.” Hearst claims “a trial is synonymous with an evidentiary hearing,” but it provides zero citations to law to support that statement. In fact, Hearst cites Alabama law holding, “A communication is considered defamatory ‘if it tends so to harm the reputation of another as to lower him in the estimation of the community . . . “ The statement in the Marie Claire article does exactly that to Roger Shuler. It claims that Mr. Shuler was hit with a $3.5-million judgment after a trial (supposedly a jury trial, as required by First Amendment law), after discovery and a trial on the merits. But none of that happened; there was no discovery, there was no trial, there was no jury, and there was no valid judgment. The report of a trial is false, and it clearly harms Roger Shuler’s reputation as a journalist and as a human being. It suggests Roger Shuler was found liable for a huge award by a jury of his peers; in fact, that did not happen at all.Finally, Hearst claims this ruling is a question for the court. If that is so, the court is required to make all findings while viewing matters in “a light most favorable to the nonmoving party (the Shulers).” On multiple grounds, the court is required to find for the Shulers on this issue.

    As you can see, Lightfoot lawyers can't keep their stories straight, often can't support their arguments with citations to law, and they even tend to wind up admitting that their own statements are horse manure.

    Look for more of that kind of thing as the Superfund scandal unfolds. We've seen it up close.

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    A capacity crowd of more than 1,000 people turned out for a screening in Montgomery yesterday of Atticus v. The Architect, a documentary about the political prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. According to a recent article at Smashing Interviews, the public soon might be able to read a book about the case, written by Siegelman while he was in federal prison. Current Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it appears, will be cast as one of many villains in the story.

    The documentary originally was set to be shown at the Capri Theatre in Montgomery. But former federal prosecutor Leura Canary, who helped ramrod the Siegelman case, serves on the Capri's board of directors and objected to the screening. The board voted to renege on its agreement to rent the theater for a group to show the Siegelman film.

    With assistance from Alabama Political Reporter, the screening was rescheduled for yesterday afternoon at the Davis Theatre, on the campus of Troy University in downtown Montgomery. The Davis, with a listed capacity of 1,200, is nicer and significantly larger than the Capri (cap., 700). Based on a video posted yesterday at the Don Siegelman Film Facebook page, the Davis almost was filled before yesterday's 3 p.m. showing.

    Siegelman spoke after the screening, marking his first public appearance in Montgomery since his release from prison in February.

    A report at al.com said the theatre was filled for the screening, including some big names in Alabama  politics:

    According to tweets from Brian Lyman of The Montgomery Advertiser, VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and State Auditor Jim Zeigler are among those in attendance.

    All of that should whet the appetite for those who would like to dive into a book about the Siegelman case -- and one is on the horizon. Marc and Melissa Parker, of Calera, publish Smashing Interviews (SI), and this is from their recent discussion with Siegelman. (Note: SI is a cool Web site, which goes well beyond politics and Alabama; The most recent interview is with Beach Boys legendary songwriter Brian Wilson. But back to Don Siegelman.)

    Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Did you begin writing your book while you were at Oakdale prison?

    Don Siegelman: I did. I started writing actually in 2007 right after I got settled at Oakdale. I sent letters to a couple of friends and asked them to give me their thoughts, and they were responsive, I think one to humor me and the other to encourage me. Al Gore sent me to his New York agent in 2008, and I’ve had conversations with another agent on the west coast years ago, and he renewed contact after I got out.

    But at that time, I submitted the first chapter and the synopsis of the other chapters that I had in mind and my general pitch as to why it should be published. I really wanted to write the book myself, and I didn’t want a ghost writer, so that propelled me to just keep writing while I was in prison and have everything pretty much on paper when I got out.

    The book apparently will portray Jeff Sessions as the slimy sewer rate that he is:

    Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Was it the FBI that brought charges against you?

    Don Siegelman:It was not the FBI that brings the charges against me. It was retired FBI agents who worked for Sessions in Mobile who were hired by the Attorney General’s office as contract employees initially. But it was those employees, those retired FBI agents of Sessions, who worked constantly for nearly five years doing nothing but trying to build a case against me, first in 2004 which failed, and then again in 2006.

    That suggests Sessions, while serving as U.S. senator, actively was involved in trying to prosecute Siegelman -- apparently with the assistance of Sessions protege and current U.S. Judge, Bill Pryor. Is that what a U.S. senator is supposed to be doing? Was Sessions using his office for political gain, and was Pryor helping him?

    Siegelman also provides insight on Nick Bailey, the former aide who wound up being the government's chief witness against him:

    Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): And Bailey spent time in prison on bribery-related charges and was released in 2008.

    Don Siegelman: Well, he had gotten himself into substantial debt and mortgaged his mother’s farm to invest in the cattle futures. All of this came out at trial, that he had pocketed $200,000 from different people, committed a number of felonies all with serious federal consequences, so he could easily have been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

    Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): So Bailey made a deal?

    Don Siegelman: This doesn’t come out in court. It comes out on 60 Minutes on February 4, 2008, that he was interviewed over 70 times and made to write and re-write his testimony over and over until he got his story the way the prosecutors wanted it. He did that in exchange for a commitment that they would recommend no time in prison, and that’s what they did.

    Finally, Siegelman shines light on Karl Rove and the cavalcade of GOP crooks who made the political prosecution a reality:

    Don Siegelman: We’ve kind of discussed the links to Karl Rove, but some of them we have missed. In 1999, I’m sworn in as governor. In less than two months, Karl Rove’s client, State Attorney General Bill Pryor, starts a Medicaid fraud investigation, which led eventually to a trial in 2004 where Judge U. W. Clemon said it was the most unfounded criminal case over which he has presided in his nearly 30 years on the bench.

    Karl Rove’s client comes back into play in 2002 when Bill Pryor stops my hand recount, which would have proven one way or the other whether I won the race or whether there was electronic vote fraud. He seized the ballots and the returns and those ballots and returns have never been seen or counted since. Pryor certified them illegally two days before Alabama law allows for certification after which he was appointed to the federal bench in Atlanta on the Eleventh Circuit through which my appeals have to go. . . .

    In 2002, it was Karl Rove’s client, Bill Pryor, who openly participated in stealing the election. Two other people were given credit for stealing the election. One was Rove’s employee, a woman named Kitty McCullough who later married and changed her name to Kelly Kimbrough and a guy named Dan Gans who claimed credit on his website. Dan Gans, immediately after the election was stolen, went to work for a Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff related lobbying firm called the Alexander Group. So to answer the question about the political operatives, the players were substantial, and there were substantial ties leading to Rove, leading to the White House and going directly, of course, to Abramoff, Ralph Reed, (Michael) Scanlon and (Grover) Norquist.

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    One week ago, on the eve of Alabama's GOP runoff for a seat in the U.S. Senate, candidate Roy Moore whipped out a pistol at a campaign rally, in an apparent attempt to counter charges from opponent Luther Strange that Moore wasn't sufficiently supportive of gun rights. (See video above.)

    Three days ago, after Moore handily had beaten Strange, the right-wing political site Yellow Hammer News said in a campaign analysis that Strange had made a mistake in questioning Moore's Second Amendment credentials -- that voters were enraged by any suggestion that "Judge Roy" might be the slightest bit "soft on gun rights."

    Last night, more than two months before Moore is to face Democrat Doug Jones in the general election, a gunman opened fire from above a crowd of concertgoers at a country-music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. At least 58 people are dead and more than 500 injured, and it is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, apparently killed himself. He is believed to have been a "lone wolf" attacker and was found with at least 10 rifles.

    Shots from an automatic weapon rang out as country singer Jason Aldean started a song on the main concert stage. (See video at the end of this post.)

    Aftermath of Las Vegas shooting
    (From washingtonpost.com)
    The shooting comes as the National Rifle Association (NRA) is pushing a bill in Congress that would make it easier to buy gun silencers. It comes just months after Donald Trump made it one of his top priorities upon taking office to revoke Obama-era gun checks for people with mental illness.

    Are Americans willing to tolerate slaughters like the one in Las Vegas in the name of Second Amendment purity? Have we become so averse to reality and riven with political differences that we value gun rights more than life itself? The answer to both questions clearly is yes.

    Does anyone even recognize this irony? Attendees at a country-music festival are likely to be predominantly white and Republican, which means they probably are staunch supporters of gun rights. Well, 58 such folks now are dead, with at least 515 injured -- and those numbers are rising by the hour.

    We have become a country that is willing to accept a seemingly unlimited number of mass killings in the name of Second Amendment purity. Consider this nuttiness from Yellowhammer News in its analysis of the Moore-Strange race:

    Then later during the run-off, I had to listen to another ad supporting Luther, this time saying how strong he is on the Second Amendment (which indeed he is). But then they had to blow it with another unnecessary jab.

    “Roy Moore,” the narrator said, “He’s a little soft on gun rights.”

    Luther lost me in the runoff because of that ad. Permanently.

    There’s plenty of truthful material to use against Moore, but claiming he’s “soft” on guns was the dumbest thing I had heard since … well … someone said Mo Brooks was in cahoots with Nancy Pelosi. Do they really think we’re that stupid?

    Luther’s outside supporters meant well, but they couldn’t have caused a worse reaction with the voters they were seeking to influence. I saw otherwise calm people grow red-faced with anger about those ads.Not because of where they came from. Not because they were negative, per se. But because they were taking cheap shots at well liked, and well known, conservatives.

    It seems like Alabamians know Mo Brooks and Judge Moore much better than the people who created those ads. We not only felt they were being unfair to two of our movement’s most unwavering conservatives, they were insulting our intelligence by claiming they were liberals or gun grabbers.

    Gee, we wouldn't want to have any "liberals or gun grabbers" -- not when we can have corpses strewn on the major thoroughfare in one of our most vibrant cities.

    As for the politics of gun nuttery, it's no better in Alabama among Democrats than it is among Republicans. Consider this report about Doug Jones' recent interview on NBC:

    Todd asked Jones a series of questions in the 7-minute long interview, televised nationally. On gun rights , Jones said he is “a Second Amendment guy.”

    “We’ve got limitations on all constitutional amendments in one form or another,” Jones said. “I want to enforce the laws that we have right now. The biggest issue, I think, that’s facing the Second Amendment right now is that we need to make sure we shore up the National Crime Information System, the NCIC system for background checks, to both keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but at the same time, cut down on error so that law-abiding citizens can get those.”

    Jones said he loves to hunt and has a case full of his own guns, but wants to make sure regulations are “smart.”

    Translation: A so-called "progressive" supports the gun culture that led to last night's massacre in Las Vegas. That's what serves as a "profile in courage" in a gun-saturated postmodern America.

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    Jack Shuler
    A Missouri couple who own more than $1 million in real estate have established a GoFundMe (GFM) site seeking money for their disabled son's therapy.

    The couple are Gina Hayes and David Neal Shuler, my sister-in-law and lawyer/brother. Is it proper for a couple of such wealth to seek crowd-sourcing funds, especially for their own family needs -- which public records indicate they clearly can pay on their own? I'm hardly an expert on the rules, regulations, and etiquette of crowd-sourcing, so I have a few questions:

    * Is GFM meant to directly assist people who own more than $1 million in real estate -- and that doesn't reach their total net worth, which likely includes cash, savings, investments, personal property, real property in other counties or states (the $1 million is just in Greene County, MO), and other assets. Gina and David Shuler might be millionaires several times over. Are they supposed to be directly benefiting from GFM?

    * Could this be unlawful, even fraud? I'm familiar with a site called GoFraudMe, which apparently researches possible incidents of crowd-sourcing fraud. Is this something GoFraudMe should look into?

    * Most of the cases of fraud that I've read about involve a precipitating event that did not really occur. For example, someone claims to need funds to recover from a house fire, but the fire did not happen. Is it fraud for a couple to seek money for an issue they clearly can cover on their own -- probably with no hardship whatsoever on the family?

    The issue for Gina and David Shuler is real. Their 15-year-old son, Jack, has Hurler syndrome, a vicious metabolic disease, which can effect almost every organ system of the body. Here is one online description of Hurler:

    Hurler syndrome is a rare disease of metabolism in which a person cannot break down long chains of sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (formerly called mucopolysaccharides).

    Hurler syndrome belongs to a group of diseases called mucopolysaccharidosis, or MPS.

    People with Hurler syndrome do not make an enzyme called lysosomal alpha-L-iduronidase. This enzyme helps break down long chains of sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans . These molecules are found throughout the body, often in mucus and in fluid around the joints.

    Without the enzyme, glycosaminoglycans build up and damage organs, including the heart. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

    Hurler syndrome is inherited, which means that your parents must pass the disease on to you. If both parents carry a nonworking copy of the gene related to this condition, each of their children has a 25% (1 in 4) chance of developing the disease.

    That description doesn't do the disease justice. The real thing is much more devastating than that sounds. Hurler, as I understand it, can break down about every organ or system in the body -- eyes, heart, lungs, bones. Until a few years ago, children diagnosed with Hurler were not expected to live long. I think it's safe to say Jack has made it to age 15 largely because he was able to receive treatment from a special clinic for Hurler patients at Duke University.

    Gina and David Shuler
    (From facebook.com)
    I remember hearing about Jack's diagnosis for the first time. I was still working at UAB then, and David called me to see if the university might have any faculty members who worked in the area of Hurler or related diseases. I did some research and discovered Dr. Jerry Thompson, who ran a laboratory at UAB that specialized in conducting bench research and running enzyme testing on potential Hurler patients. Dr. Thompson died in 2013, and this is from an article about his life and work:

    If a child was suspected of having a genetic metabolism disease, such as Hurler syndrome, Hunter syndrome or San Filippo syndrome, doctors would send a specimen of blood, urine or cells to UAB for Thompson to examine. Hurler syndrome is a rare, inherited disease of faulty metabolism in which a person cannot break down long chains of sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (formerly called mucopolysaccharides). Hurler syndrome belongs to a group of diseases called mucopolysaccharidoses, or MPS.

    Thompson was recruited to UAB in 1972 to start a genetic biochemical lab that could test for such diseases.

    "That's what Jerry Thompson devoted his career to -- the detection of this disorder," said Wayne Finley, a retired researcher who recruited Thompson as an assistant professor of biochemistry and pediatrics in the Laboratory of Medical Genetics. "He established a laboratory that had national recognition."

    I helped arrange for David to speak with Dr. Thompson. As a lab-based researcher and diagnostician, Thompson was not involved in clinical care, and UAB had no such facility. But I feel certain he was at least able to help David better understand Hurler. It's also possible Dr. Thompson told David about the clinic at Duke, although David and Gina might have heard about that from someone else. Either way, it's possible that Jack's bloodwork was sent to UAB, and the diagnosis was made there, via enzyme testing.

    Given Dr. Thompson's reputation, it's quite likely that the road to Jack's treatment for Hurler began via lab work at UAB -- and I helped David make a key connection with the institution. What has my thanks been over the years? To be repeatedly stabbed in the back by my lawyer/brother, including being the target of the ugliest and most vile letter I've ever read, about anyone. It must be true that no good deed goes unpunished. I imagine David doesn't even remember how I tried to help him at a time of crisis. (Letter is embedded at the end of this post.) Perhaps attending law school sucks out your soul and leaves you unable to recognize those who've tried to help you in the past.

    Here is how Gina describes Jack's situation at the GFM page:

    It all started on a cold March day 14 years ago. A doctor told us Jack had Hurlers Syndrome and to take him home and spend our last days with him that he wouldn't make it past two or three years old. He was 13 months old then. Now he's 15 and a half. But only after one stem cell transplant 2 corneal transplants and 50 orthopedic surgeries later. Jack should be a normal teenager running around with his friends and loving this life, but instead he has been using a walker for seven months from 4 surgeries earlier this year from double spinal fusion to double knee surgery. His muscles atrophied and he is weak. He is a miracle and we were told he would never live. Jack goes to a progressive school where he is very smart and liked by all of his peers and friends. He is very smart and extremely funny and witty and shy and emotional and ask questions why this happened to him. I ask those same questions. Jack's story has been incredibly heartbreaking, long, miraculous, disastrous, costly and tearful and joyful. Jack is an incredible fan of baseball, especially his beloved Cardinals. Jack needs your help. He is going to a very costly rehab facility in St. Louis to learn to walk again, build up his strength and start his life again as a teenager. He has a lot of life to live, and give. Please help and please share this story with your friends and family. Thank you.

    The page, of course, makes no mention that Jack's parents are millionaires. Should it? Should a campaign like this even be on GoFundMe?

    I know one person who believes the answer is no. I was not aware of the GFM page until a "Source Close to the Situation" (SCTS is the official journalism term) notified me about it and expressed a fair amount of outrage that Gina and David would seek money when they had plenty of their own.

    We'll have more about SCTS's reaction, plus details about Gina and David's real-estate holdings, in a follow-up post.

    (To be continued)

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    A California woman settled an excessive-force lawsuit for $6.7 million last week after cops had broken into her home without a warrant and wound up breaking her ankle.

    If those facts sound familiar, it's because they are eerily similar to what cops in Missouri and Alabama have done to my wife, Carol, and me. (See video above of the California incident from a police body cam.)

    A cop prepares to kick in Danielle Burfine's door
    (From mercurynews.com)
    The breaking-into-a-home-without-a-warrant part is straight from the playbook of Shelby County, AL, deputies, who in October 2013, beat me in my own garage, doused me with pepper spray, and hauled me to a five-month stay in jail -- all over a civil case of alleged defamation, involving a preliminary injunction that has been prohibited by roughly 230 years of First Amendment law. Deputy Chris Blevins never showed a warrant, or even stated his reasons for being on our property, and later could  not produce a copy of any warrant when I was hit with a bogus resisting arrest charge.

    The breaking-a-bone part is straight from the playbook of Greene County, MO, deputies. who broke into our home for an unlawful eviction in September 2015 and broke Carol's left arm so severely that it required trauma surgery for repair.

    At the heart of the California case is a Santa Clara woman named Danielle Harmon Burfine, who refused to allow entry to her home without a warrant -- and cops wound up kicking in the door and roughing her up. Why were cops on the premises? This is from a story at sfbay.ca:

    They were there to arrest Harmon Burfine’s 15-year-old daughter on suspicion of arson in connection with a fire that caused an evacuation and $350,000 in damage at a Santa Clara high school roughly a week earlier on April 4.

    After forcing entry into the plaintiff’s home, officers grabbed her and swung her to the ground, smashing her ankle up against a stone wall. She suffered a fracture, and the injury may be permanently disabling, according to her attorneys.

    After multiple surgeries Harmon Burfine developed a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, in which the chronic pain in her injured leg has spread to other limbs.

    City attorney Brian Doyle said in a statement that while there was “significant disagreement about the extent of the injury” they do not dispute the claim that Harmon Burfine suffered a broken ankle when police entered her home without a warrant.

    How mind-blowing is this case? Here is more from sfbay.ca, starting with a quote from city attorney Doyle:

    Doyle said:

    “The City’s insurer determined that the most prudent course of action was to pay an amount that would result in a settlement.”

    But as a result of the settlement, evidence disputing the injury claim will never be presented at trial, according to the city. Santa Clara police Chief Michael Sellers called that disappointing in the city’s statement:

    “I fully support the police officers who acted in good faith to arrest this arsonist wanted on felony charges.”

    What do we have here? The city's insurer considered the police misconduct so egregious that it was willing to pay $6.4 million to make the case go away -- probably out of concern that a jury trial might result in a much larger damages figure than that. But you have the police chief saying he supports the officers, who "acted in good faith." Breaking a woman's ankle is "acting in good faith"? What kind of loons are serving as police chiefs and sheriffs in this country?

    They are the kind of loons who are clueless about the law they are supposed to uphold. We've written multiple times about Payton v. New York, a 1980 U.S. Supreme Court case that generally prohibits warrantless entry into a private home to make an arrest. But this dumb-ass police chief in California doesn't know about Payton -- and neither do dumb-ass sheriff's in Alabama and Missouri? Sheesh, no wonder the rule of law is on life support in the Age of Trump.

    What impact might the California settlement have on our cases? None, that I know of. We've already filed what we call "The Jail Case" over the abuse directed at me in Alabama, and service is being conducted (we hope) by the court as we write this. We also have "The House Case" over the wrongful foreclosure on our home of 25 years in Birmingham -- and it currently is on appeal before the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. We soon will be filing a federal lawsuit in Missouri over the brutality inflicted on Carol in Greene County.

    Could one or more of our cases result in damages like those in the California case? I have no idea. In my view, the California case sends two messages:

    (1) Governmental entities (cities, counties) that do not keep rogue law-enforcement officers under control put themselves at risk of serious liability;

    (2) At least one insurer, in one California jurisdiction, thought it wise to pay $6.7 million rather than risk an even bigger damage award if the case went to trial.

    An argument can be made that Carol and I have suffered worse abuse than did Ms. Burfine. For example:

    (1) We were arrested; she was not;

    (2) We spent time in jail -- me for five months -- and she did not;

    (3) Neither of our incidents involved criminal matters; her daughter was a suspect in an arson case;

    (4) Cops had no grounds to be on our property, much less breaking into our homes; cops had no grounds to break into the Burfine home, but they did have grounds to be there, due to her daughter's status as a criminal suspect.

    I applaud Ms. Burfine and her attorneys -- Michael Haddad and Julia Sherwin, of San Francisco -- for holding the bastard cops accountable. We intend to pull all necessary levers to seek accountability in our cases.

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    Judge Margaret Holden Palmietto
    Prosecutors must produce all citizen complaints from the past three years alleging excessive force against deputies who were on the scene for our unlawful eviction in September 2015, a Missouri judge ruled yesterday.

    The prosecution had argued that such information was not material to the "assault of a law enforcement officer" charge against my wife, Carol. But Public Defender Patty Poe argued that the encounter with police left Carol with a broken arm that required hospitalization and treatment, making the histories of involved officers material to the pending criminal case.

    Poe had asked in her Motion to Compel for such complaints against all Greene County Sheriff deputies over the past five years, but she acknowledged at oral argument that request might be a bit much. Judge Margaret Holden Palmietto agreed that it was overbroad, but she narrowed it to complaints over the past three years, against all officers who were present for our eviction. (Motion to Compel is embedded at the end of this post.)

    Either way, we take the ruling as a significant victory for Carol. It appears to be an acknowledgement from the judge that this case is at least as much about violence committed against Carol as it is any alleged criminal act on her part. In fact, the case is 100 percent about violence against Carol because evidence shows that the victim, Officer Jeremy Lynn, acknowledges he "caused physical contact" with Carol -- and that is the central element in RSMo 565.083, Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer, Third Degree. That Lynn admits causing physical contact means Carol is innocent of the charge against her.

    From Carol's arrest on Jan. 30, 2017, until Sept. 20, 2017, this case ambled along under the false assertion that Carol had perpetrated an assault, rather than being the victim of police brutality. The tone of the case began to shift during the September hearing -- away from a "cover charge," created by cops to discourage a federal civil complaint, and toward reality -- when Poe raised the issue of Carol's injuries in open court for the first time.

    Prosecutor Nicholas Jain vigorously objected to any notion that he must produce citizen excessive-force complaints against deputies. But Judge Palmietto's ruling yesterday means he will have to do it, at least for officers who were on the scene of our eviction -- and that includes Sheriff Jim Arnott.

    One issue is getting the prosecution to identify all of the officers on the scene that day. So far, they have identified only four deputies -- Debi Wade, Jeremy Lynn, Scott Harrison, and Christian Conrad. But more officers there than that were present, so it appears prosecutors, cops, or both are trying to protect somebody.

    Our understanding is that Jain is digging for other material -- dispatch logs, dash-cam recordings, electronic communications between and among officers -- that both sides have agreed he must produce.

    The veil of corruption that has shrouded this case from the outset slowly is being peeled back. Will that process continue, and if so, what will it reveal?

    That question is particularly intriguing because the issue of whether Carol assaulted an officer, in essence, already has been determined; the "victim," Jeremy Lynn, admits in his incident report that he "caused physical contact" with Carol, and under relevant Missouri law, that means she could not have assaulted him. Here are Lynn's own words:

    There was a female, however, that had been trying to force the door closed and she was standing just behind the door and trying again to force it closed. She was very aggressive and fighting against the door. She was grabbed by her arms and restrained to stop her from harming one of us or herself. During this process she was pulling her arms away from me and tried to push me back with her arms and body. She was told to calm down repeatedly and ignored those commands. She was eventually handcuffed and taken outside.

    Carol and her attorney have not yet filed a motion regarding Lynn's statement, but when they do, it will mark about the sixth ground upon which the charge against Carol must be dropped. Lynn's statement shows that he initiated contact with Carol, and she tried to get away from him, as opposed to "getting physical" by pushing him, as alleged in charging documents.

    As it becomes clear to the court that the prosecution has no case, attention should turn fully to what this matter is really all about -- gross physical abuse against Carol and creation of a "cover charge" to help cover up that abuse.

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    Jeff Sessions and Luther Strange
    (From altoday.com)
    U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) and Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions talk tough about immigration, but recent reports show they make money from a program that essentially sells visas to wealthy foreigners, mostly Chinese.

    Strange's financial stake in the EB-5 visa program came to light via a Sept. 18 article at altoday.com titled "Luther Strange's disclosure exposes double talk on immigration." State Auditor Jim Zeigler spoke out three days later about the visa scandal surrounding Strange, who lost to Roy Moore in a GOP runoff for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Strange, who was appointed to the seat by former Gov. Robert Bentley, will remain on the job until Moore and Democrat Doug Jones meet in the general election on Dec. 12.

    A source tells Legal Schnauzer that Sessions also makes money from the EB-5 program, and it was Sessions' Senate seat that Strange was hoping to fill on a permanent basis. From the altoday.com article on Strange:

    Since going to Washington back in February, Strange has worked hard on earning his immigration stripes. In May, he introduced legislation to force sanctuary citizens to pay for the president’s border wall. “They can either follow the law,” Strange said while announcing his bill, “or fund the wall.”

    What’s surprising however, is finding out the senator has a personal equity ownership in an EB-5 visa development project — a controversial program in which wealthy foreign nationals can purchase visas.

    Established in 1990, the EB-5 Visa program allows real estate developers to sell legal immigration status to wealthy foreign nationals for $500,000, thus allowing the very rich to buy their way into legal status. Under the program, those foreign nationals, their spouses and their unmarried children under 21 years old are able to apply for green cards.

    The Web site then exposed a key entry on Strange's required "New Filer Report" of Feb. 8, 2017, showing he owns an “indirect 16.665% ownership” in Sunbelt EB-5 Regional Center, a multi-million dollar Limited Liability Company. It sells visas giving legal status to wealthy foreigners and their families who then by-pass legal immigration requirements.

    Strange's duplicity caught the eye of Jim Zeigler, as outlined by Alabama Political Reporter (APR):

    “Strange has been talking against illegal immigration in his campaign, but it is only talk,” Zeigler said. “He did not put his money where his mouth is.”

    “Luther Strange is making big money off wealthy foreigners, enabling them and their families to come to America, get legal, and compete against American businesses,” Zeigler said. “This is exactly the type of self-serving that we do not need in Washington.”

    Jeff Sessions also is involved in the scam, a source tells Legal Schnauzer:

    If you start tracking the evil elf, the only immigration program he has ever been for is the EB-5 program, which his political mafia is running. I might add he is behind almost all the bills for the program; it was in his committee,  and Luther Strange is a part owner of the Sunbelt EB-5 Regional Center that sells visas to Chinese and Russians. 
    Roy Moore and Mo Brooks told on them, so here is the deal: It was Luther and Jeff that set up Sunbelt EB-5 Regional Center, and  for each visa, they get paid half a million to a million -- plus their lobbyists and lawyers get paid to put it through. And their senate jobs are used to get immigration folks at DHS to do what they want, so they get donations for putting through visa deals. 
    I might add they benefit from passing laws that send folks home, and building a wall makes more folks want to pay their half a million to come back. They also make off with the investment money they are given. It is a huge elaborate scam system involving our immigration deal. . . .  The harder they make it to come here, the more they can charge folks to get a visa.

    Are Strange and Sessions (and Donald Trump, for that matter) really tough on immigration? Evidence continues to surface that they view immigration as a money-making scheme.

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    James F. Henry
    An Alabama lawyer claims via e-mail that our post about his presence on the Ashley Madison list is false and defamatory. That's curious because his wife left a comment on our post, admitting his name was on the list and making light of the whole thing. It's also curious because the e-mail came from a lawyer who does not appear on the membership roll of the Alabama State Bar, suggesting he might have been practicing law without a license.

    James F. Henry, from the Birmingham firm of Cabaniss Johnston Gardner Dumas and O'Neal, asks that our post -- about his name appearing on the list of paying customers at the Ashley Madison extramarital-affairs Web site -- be removed. Our post on Henry is dated March 23, 2016, when he was with the Bradley Arant firm in Birmingham. Why did Henry just now conclude that a fairly old post is false and defamatory? An answer to that question eludes us.

    We've had a number of peculiar encounters with Ashley Madison types and their lawyers, demanding this and threatening that. The most recent came from Andy Schroeder, CEO of South Central Steel in Harpersville, AL. So far, nothing has come of any of them, and that might prove to be the case with the James F. Henry missive. But Henry's claim could be the oddest of an odd lot.

    The e-mail, on Henry's behalf, came from a lawyer named David M. Deutsch. When I searched for Deutsch's name at the Alabama State Bar, I came up with nothing -- and that made me go "Hmmm." A general Web search turned up a lawyer by that name at the Deutsch Law Firm, with offices in New York City and Boca Raton, Florida.

    Here is Deutsch's introductory e-mail to us on James F. Henry's behalf:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Please be advised that we represent James Henry. It has come to our attention that the following article was posted and available for public view on your blog:


    There are a number of false statements made in the post listed above:

    1. Mr. Henry was not a paying customer of Ashley Madison.

    2. Posting a picture of Mr. Henry's house and speculating on its value in conjunction with your false statements is a violation of Mr. Henry's privacy.
    3. Mr. Henry has been divorced from Kelly Henry since 2007. You falsely state that he was married.

    4. Additionally, you falsely imply that Mr. Henry was neglecting his family and his clients. In addition, you falsely speculate about whether Mr. Henry has children and imply that he may be neglecting them.

    The continued publication of this defamatory post is causing ongoing compensatory damages and emotional distress.

    We respectfully request that the link be removed from the blog. Your prompt assistance to this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    If I can provide you with any further information, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Thank you in advance for your help.



    I've had a fair amount of practice in dealing with stuff like this, so it didn't take me long to respond:

    Mr. Deutsch:

    You have cited nothing that is false or defamatory in the post, and it will not be removed.

    1. Mr. Henry does appear on the list of Ashley Madison paying customers. That's what the post says, and it is true. His current wife admits in a comment on the post that it's true. You might want to check that out.

    2. Posting a picture of a house, a picture that is available to anyone with an Internet connection, is an invasion of privacy? You must be joking. I guess you are going to sue the real estate firm that put the photo on the Web, or Google Earth, which puts millions of house photos on the Web?

    3. You will notice that the post includes a comment from Linda Henry, who corrects the marital information and admits her husband's name is on the AM list. Mrs. Henry says he was married at the time of the post -- to her, not the other wife. Via that comment, I corrected the information about his wife's name. Overall, the post is accurate in regards to marital information.

    4. This is as baseless and ridiculous as your other assertions.

    A note: Anyone who files a groundless lawsuit against me will be met with counterclaims, bar complaints, and any other appropriate response. You have not, and cannot, point to anything inaccurate in the post -- and it will not be removed. You might have been wise to check with Mrs. Henry before dashing off this e-mail.



    James F. Henry's wife, Linda Henry, left a comment on our post, admitting her husband's name is on the Ashley Madison list? Yep, I'm not imaginative enough to make this stuff up, folks. Perhaps this thought flashed briefly through Mr. Deutsch's cranium after reading my response: "Yikes, that pokes a slight hole in the defamation claim we were planning."

    Actually, that's not the only problem Mr. Deutsch would have bringing a defamation claim on Mr. Henry's behalf. More on that -- and Mrs. Henry's comments, which apparently were news to Mr. Henry and his lawyer -- in an upcoming post.

    (To be continued)

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    Milton McGregor
    U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones, a Democrat, conspired with Republican operative Rob Riley to funnel information to the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the Alabama bingo prosecution and VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, a retired attorney and prominent whistleblower said in a recent Facebook post. McGregor happened to be one of the largest clients for Haskell Slaughter, the firm where Jones worked at the time.

    In other words, Dana Jill Simpson said, Jones was willing to stab his own law firm, and one of its most important clients, in the back -- all, apparently, to help advance the interests of the Riley Political Machine and associated white, conservative elites.

    Disloyalty seems to be a recurring theme in Doug Jones' back-channel machinations of recent vintage. Exhibit A is former governor Don Siegelman, whom Jones charged $300,000 for criminal defense and then bailed out of the case because of a conflict, apparently without returning any of the money. Exhibit B is Milton McGregor, and according to Simpson, Jones played a role in making sure federal investigators wiretapped the VictoryLand owner and Haskell Slaughter lawyer Tommy Gallion.

    Simpson says she contacted Gallion to report what she had learned about Jones and Riley's activities with the DOJ, and neither Gallion nor McGregor believed Jones would stoop to such a level. Writes Simpson:

    But a couple of months later, it all came out that, indeed, [Jones] would -- and the feds had been listening in on Mr Gallion and indicted Milton on bullshit that cost him millions to defend, even though he won.

    The McGregor-related chicanery started with Rob Riley developing a pipeline to Justin Shur, a DOJ lawyer who became the primary prosecutor on the bingo case. According to Simpson, Jones gathered information about McGregor and passed it along to Riley, who passed it along to Shur. That led to McGregor and Gallion being wiretapped, with McGregor being indicted.

    Simpson says she went through contacts in D.C. to get Justin Shur removed from the bingo case. She writes (with editing for clarity):

    I got Justin Shur thrown out of that case when I discovered what was going on and provided information to folks [at DOJ] that he had been partying it up with Rob [Riley's] folks.

    Shur wound up leaving the DOJ and now works in private practice at the D.C. firm of  MoloLamken. Exactly what kind of partying were Shur and the "Riley folks" doing, and who was included among the Riley folks? That's a question worth pursuing.

    Here are a few other key questions in all of this: Was the information Jones provided accurate? It apparently did not sway a federal jury, which cleared McGregor of all charges. Was Jones privy to  information because McGregor was a client of Haskell Slaughter, where Jones worked? If so, did Jones betray his own firm and did he betray attorney-client confidentiality? Should this be the subject of a complaint to the Alabama State Bar, and could it lead to serious sanctions against Doug Jones -- perhaps including disbarment. How would that look to those who might consider voting for him in the U.S. Senate race?

    Doug Jones
    As Jones squares off against Roy Moore for the Dec. 12 general election, he undoubtedly will be appealing to progressive voters, especially blacks, playing off his connection to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing case.

    Liberals who might buy that appeal should look closer at Doug Jones' record of disloyalty. Jill Simpson already has predicted that Jones likely will receive the backing of pro-business, white conservatives -- the Karl Rove acolytes who supported Luther Strange over Roy Moore in the GOP primary. Is it possible Jones will take his marching orders from them, as opposed to acting on behalf of liberal voters?

    It seems not only possible, but highly likely.

    Readers of a certain age probably remember one of the classic scenes from The Graduate. It involves Mr. McGuire and Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman):

    Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

    Benjamin: Yes, sir.

    Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

    Benjamin: Yes, I am.

    Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

    Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

    I just want to say one word to you about Doug Jones: Disloyalty.

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    Jack Shuler
    Is it OK for wealthy people to seek crowd-sourcing funds for their own family needs, which public records indicate they easily could pay for themselves?

    That question was at the heart of our recent post about Gina Hayes and David Neal Shuler (my lawyer/brother and sister-in-law), who have started a GoFundMe (GFM) page to raise funds for their disabled son's therapy. Jack Shuler, 15, has Hurler syndrome.

    Different people might answer the question in different ways. But the individual who tipped me off to the story -- I call that person a Source Close to the Situation (SCTS) -- had strong feelings on the matter, and they were not favorable to Gina and David. Said SCTS:

    Here's my bitch of the day. Gina and David are on gofundme raising money for rehab for Jack. Now i feel sympathy for Jack, but gina and david don't need any sort of financial assistance. what does david make a year? $250,000??? or more. Gina probably made $100,000 before she retired [as an air-traffic controller]. my god they live in Millwood in a house appraised at $634,000. disgusting.

    people like them don't deserve any help with medical bills when so many are suffering with no help. outrageous. arrogant. privileged.

    It didn't take me long to decide I agreed with SCTS. In fact, I could even add a few descriptive terms to describe David and Gina's actions -- "shameless,""tasteless,""conniving,""self-centered,""attention-seeking."

    David Shuler and older son, Noah,
    on a ski vacation.
    (From facebook.com)
    My understanding is that David and Gina have not let much cramp their style. They have taken vacations to California, Utah, and various parts of Europe, family members have told me.

    How wealthy are these folks who claim on GFM to need money? As SCTS notes, they live in Millwood, a golf-course/tennis club community southeast of Springfield, MO. Their residence, 3825 San Poppi Ct., is listed as being in Ozark, MO. Greene County property records show the residence is appraised at $621,300, so SCTS was almost right on the nose.

    That figure, however, does not reflect the house's actual market value. It has 4 bedrooms. 4.5 baths, 5,557 square feet, and Zillow puts the market value at $718, 345.

    The residence is only the beginning of Gina and David Shuler's real-estate holdings. They own seven properties in Greene County, Missouri, totaling more than $1 million. The exact appraised total is $1,161,500. A reasonable estimate of the market value is $1.3 million.

    Here is a list of the properties, and their appraised values:

    (1) 3825 San Poppi (residence)
          Sq. feet: 5557
          Appraised value: $621,300

    (2) 4135 S. Parkhill Ct. (duplex)
          Sq. feet: 1676
          Appraised value: $137,900

    (3) 4112 S. Ferguson Ave. (duplex)
          Sq. feet: 1941
          Appraised value: $146,600

    (4) 3817 E. San Poppi Ct. (lot)
          Acres: 0.2429
          Appraised value: $63,000

    (5) 2001 N. Boonville Ave. (duplex)
          Sq. feet: 1384
          Appraised value: $55,000

    (6) 310 E. Camino Dr. (duplex)
          Sq. feet: 1114
          Appraised value: $66,900

    (7) 304 E. Camino Dr. (duplex)
          Sq. feet: 1227
          Appraised value: $70,800

    Do these folks really need help via donations at GFM? The financial figures noted above probably don't come close to their total net worth, which likely includes cash, savings, investments, personal property, real property in other counties or states (the $1 million is just in Greene County, MO), and other assets.

    Couldn't Gina and David Shuler take out an equity loan or second mortgage on just one of their properties and pay for their son's therapy themselves? Could they cut back a bit on snazzy vacations and make the payments themselves? If the answers to those questions are yes, why are they asking for money on GoFundMe? Do their actions represent a special kind of gall, even fraud?

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    Alex Wubbels' arrest
    One Utah police officer has been fired and another demoted in response to the forcible arrest of a nurse, which was captured in a video that went viral on the Web. Detective Jeff Payne was fired on Tuesday (Oct. 10), and watch commander James Tracy was demoted yesterday -- all from a July 26 incident where Payne demanded that he be allowed to draw blood from an unconscious patient, and nurse Alex Wubbels refused, stating that it was against hospital policy.

    It took the Salt Lake City Police Department 2 1/2 months to dish out punishment for egregious misconduct. Meanwhile, here in the Heartland, Missouri law enforcement officers (LEOs) have been stonewalling for more than two years on producing information about our unlawful eviction, on Sept. 9, 2015, which  resulted in my wife, Carol, being beaten so severely she was left with a broken arm that required trauma surgery.

    The cover-up has been so intense that we still don't know the name of the officer who broke Carol's arm. And to take matters to grotesque levels, the Greene County Sheriff's Office (GCSO), led by Jim Arnott, pressed for "assault on a law enforcement officer" charges against Carol -- and Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson went along with it, bringing an obvious "cover charge"that is designed to discourage Carol from bringing a federal civil rights/police brutality lawsuit.

    Why do I say the cover charge is obvious? The "victim" is Officer Jeremy Lynn, and a Probable Cause Statement alleges Carol "got physical" with Lynn by "repeatedly pushing him." Curiously, Lynn states in his own investigative report that he grabbed Carol, and she tried to pull away from him. The key element in the relevant Missouri statute says the accused must "cause physical contact" with an officer, without his consent. Well, Lynn admits he caused contact with Carol, not the other way around; that means Carol is innocent -- and both Arnott and Patterson should have known that before bringing the charge. That it was brought anyway points to an ulterior motive -- and hence, the cover charge.

    What happened to Nurse Wubbels was dreadful, and she has said multiple times the incident left her "scared to death." But compared to what has been done to Carol, Wubbels got away relatively unscathed. Carol has been arrested twice, taken to jail twice, had her arm shattered, probably had a concussion that never was diagnosed or treated, and still faces bogus criminal charges. Thankfully, none of that happened to Wubbels.

    Here is another place where the two cases diverge: In roughly 2 1/2 months, Wubbels received some measure of justice, with disciplinary action taken against the officers who committed or oversaw her abuse. It's been 25 months since Carol was beaten -- and that's what it was, a vicious beating -- with no sign of justice on the horizon.

    The cop who beat Carol hasn't even been identified, much less punished. The GCSO's own procedures manual calls for a wide-ranging investigation after a "critical incident" that results in a "serious physical injury." But we've seen no sign of any investigation.

    We have, however, seen numerous signs of a cover-up. The most obvious is the cover charge Carol still is fighting in criminal court, with her next appearance set for Nov. 22. But Carol's efforts to obtain discovery for her defense offer other glaring signs of an attempted whitewash.

    X-ray of comminuted break in
    Carol Shuler's left arm

    Here are a few examples from "State's Response to Defendant's Motion for Disclosure . . . " For the sake of brevity and clarity, we will paraphrase both Carol's request and the State's response. (The document is embedded at the end of this post, where the non-paraphrased version can be read.) Let's look at just a handful of obvious requests, which should not be matters for much debate. But as you will see, the prosecution isn't anxious to produce the material requested:

    What about the names?

    2. Request: Full names and addresses for all GCSO personnel who were on the scene during the eviction.

    Response: We've provided the names and addresses for persons the state intends to call as witnesses and provided their written and recorded statements. Any information beyond that is not material.

    The Skinny: Everyone on the premises is a possible witness to an alleged crime. But the prosecution seriously thinks identifying all such witnesses is "not material."

    Who's that talkin'?

    8. Request: Copies of all communications, in any format, between or among GCSO officers re: the eviction, either before, during, or after 9/9/15.

    Response: We've provided law enforcement reports, and that should be sufficient. Anything else is not material.

    The Skinny: This goes directly to the motives of deputies and the GCSO leadership. It's hard to imagine anything being more material than this.

    Images, we want images!

    9. Request: Copies of any video recordings or still images taken during the eviction -- including recordings from dash cams, body cams, or any other recording device.

    Response: We're not aware of any such evidence relating to the offense with which the defendant is charged.

    The Skinny: The prosecution doesn't say this material is non-existent, it just claims not to be aware of its existence. Perhaps that's because the prosecution hasn't looked for it? And get a load of that phrase highlighted in yellow above. The state says it knows of no such evidence, relating to the assault charge against Carol. Well, that's no surprise, since Carol didn't assault anyone. But Carol was the victim of an assault, and it's hard to argue with a straight face that she isn't entitled to evidence that would prove she was victimized.

    Who's on the outside?

    28. Request: Copies of all communications, in any format, between GCSO personnel and external parties about the Shulers and their eviction. Possible external parties include, but are not limited to, Springfield attorneys Craig Lowther and David Shuler, Springfield landlord/businessman Trent Cowherd, and Springfield resident Don Schlueter, and any political/legal figures from Alabama.

    Response: We have provided names of witnesses the state intends to call, along with their written and recorded statements. Any information beyond that is -- wait for it -- "not material.

    The Skinny: Carol is accused of a crime that even the "victim" admits she did not commit. That suggests someone was out to set her up. Lowther, Cowherd, and David Shuler clearly were involved in arranging the unlawful eviction, and Carol is entitled to know who else might have been communicating with the GCSO, encouraging them to falsely arrest and imprison her.

    That last request is particularly important, and here's why: Unlike the Wubbels case in Utah, this does not involve just police misconduct.  It involves apparent misconduct by two or more attorneys, a landlord/businessman whose last name is fairly prominent in the community, and perhaps political/legal figures who are corrupt and influential.

    For example, we've met with several Missouri attorneys and come away with the impression that they would be happy to sue the sheriff and his deputies, but they are reluctant to go after the lawyers, landlord, and perhaps other scoundrels involved.

    All of that makes our task a bit more difficult than what Nurse Wubbels faced in Utah. But I can't help but be reminded of -- and inspired by -- the words of the late great Tom Petty:

    Well I know what's right
    I got just one life
    In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
    But I'll stand my ground
    And I won't back down

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    Robert Tingle Jr.
    The managing member of an accounting firm in Hoover appears on the Alabama list of paying customers for the Ashley Madison extramarital-affairs Web site.

    Robert E. Tingle Jr. co-founded the Truitt Tingle Paramore and Argent firm in 1990. The firm's office is on Stadium Trace Parkway in Hoover. Tingle is married to Melanie N. Tingle, and the couple lives in Shelby County. They have two daughters. From Robert Tingle's bio at the firm Web site:

    Robby co-founded the firm in 1990. As the managing member, he oversees business and personal tax management for clients. Robby also manages software implementation and instruction. He has deep expertise working with clients in several industries, particularly car dealerships and auto parts suppliers, veterinarians, manufacturing companies, closely-held businesses, and other professional services companies.

    Truitt Tingle markets itself as a firm that clients can count on as a "friend":

    Our mission is to earn clients for life by offering sound, proactive financial guidance, focusing on solutions that will help you manage and grow your operation. Equally important to us is building lasting relationships with our clients that reach beyond professional ties. We care deeply about you and your success.

    Perhaps Mr. Tingle, via his activities on Ashley Madison, has taken that "friendly" notion a bit too far. Here is more about his background:

    Robby earned his bachelor of science in business administration from Auburn University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. Robby is active in his church, including service on the church finance committee. He is married with two daughters. In his free time, he enjoys travel and golf.

    According to her Facebook page, Melanie Tingle has a B.A. in English from UAB and an M.A. in secondary education from the University of Montevallo. and she has taught at Thompson Middle School for 12 years. From her bio at Alabaster City Schools Web site:

    Melanie Tingle
    I have been married for twenty-eight years to Robby Tingle. I also have two grown daughters and a son-in-law. In addition, I have a quirky, old dog named Nikki. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, and cooking.

    We sought comment from Robert Tingle for this post, but he has not responded to our queries.


    Article with links to 1-20 in Ashley Madison series

    (21) Craig Oliver, attorney, Springfield, MO (1/24/17)

    (22) Craig Lowell, attorney, Wiggins Childs, Birmingham (1/26/17)

    (23) Thomas Mancuso, tax attorney, Montgomery, AL (2/16/17)

    (24) Nicholas Arciniegas, attorney, Washington, D.C. (2/21/17)

    (25) Griffin McGahey, vice president, High Cotton USA, Birmingham (3/16/17)

    (26) Matthew Couch, attorney, Cabaniss Johnson, Birmingham (3/23/17)

    (27) Dr. Keron Vickers, chiropractor, Birmingham (4/4/17)

    (28) D. Paterson Cope, president, wealth management, Birmingham (4/20/17)

    (29) Shawn Baker, developer, Blackwater Resources, Birmingham (4/24/17)

    (30) David Deusner, attorney/forensics, Control Risks, Birmingham/Washington, D.C. (4/26/17)

    (31) David J. Harrison, attorney, Geneva, AL (6/8/17)

    (32) Michael Mullis, managing partner, Kelley and Mullis, Birmingham (4/12/17)

    (33) David Healy, attorney, Ozark, MO (6/15/17)

    (34) Tom Layfield, executive director of ALRBA, Montgonery, AL (6/19/17)

    (35) Thomas T. Lamberth Jr., mortgage banker, BBVA Compass, Birmingham (6/20/17)

    (36) Ron Ten Berge, exec. partner, Frontenac Private Equity, Chicago/Birmingham (6/28/17)

    (37) Andy Schroeder, president, South Central Steel, Harpersville, AL (7/12/17)

    (38) Richard Barsness, CEO, Incredible Pizza Co., Springfield, MO. (8/3/17)

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    Oleg Deripaska and Paul Manafort
    Revelations last week that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has $60 million of financial connections to a Russian oligarch could shine light on corruption involving some of the biggest names in Alabama politics, according to a prominent whistle blower and opposition researcher.

    That's because Alabama GOP luminaries such as Jeff Sessions (Trump attorney general and former U.S. senator), Bob Riley (former governor), and Bill Canary (head of the Business Council of Alabama) have worked with Manafort on a $40 billion-dollar Air Force refueling-tanker deal that was to include the oligarch, Jill Simpson says.

    If Special Counsel Robert Mueller digs deeply on the ties between Manafort and Oleg Deripaska, it could lead to Jeff Sessions' office -- and from there to any number of individuals connected to Bill Canary and Bob Riley, Simpson says. Canary already has fallen out of favor with a number of business elites, including executives from Alabama Power, so any ties to the Trump-Russia scandal are not likely to help his standing.

    Simpson, who testified before Congress about a Republican plan to conduct a political prosecution against former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman, said Manafort worked closely with Alabama officials on a proposal that called for the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) to build the Air Force tanker, in part, at a planned construction facility in Mobile, Alabama. Deripaska, a billionaire, is part owner of a company that was to provide aluminum for the project.

    The Pentagon wound up choosing U.S.-based Boeing over EADS, perhaps in part because of EADS' ties to seedy characters, including the Gaddafi family in Libya and individuals tied to Vladimir Putin in Russia. From a 2011 post on the competition:

    The Russia Connection -- The Gaddafi family reportedly developed ties to EADS through big-money interests in Russia. Prime among them is Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who partly owns a company that was to provide aluminum for the EADS planes. Deripaska has close ties to Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, and Russian interests reportedly have a significant stake in EADS. Was the Pentagon comfortable with this arrangement, given the rise of organized crime in Russia? Probably not.

    Did Alabama political figures jump in bed with Russian organized crime, tied to Putin, in an effort to land the tanker project for EADS? Are Alabama officials still connected to the Russian mob, now that Donald Trump appears to be Putin's chosen puppet in the White House?

    An NBC report late last week could shine white-hot light on those questions.  From the report:

    Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, has much stronger financial ties to a Russian oligarch than have been previously reported.

    An NBC News investigation reveals that $26 million changed hands in the form of a loan between a company linked to Manafort and the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin.

    The loan brings the total of their known business dealings to around $60 million over the past decade, according to financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.

    Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign in August 2016, following allegations of improper financial dealings, charges he has strenuously denied. He is now a central figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Investigators have said they are looking into Manafort's financial ties to prominent figures in Russia.

    The Manafort-Deripaska relationship shows signs of money laundering. Reports NBC:

    Lawyers specializing in money laundering said the loans appeared unusual and merited further investigation.

    “Money launderers frequently will disguise payments as loans,” said Stefan Cassella, a former federal prosecutor. “You can call it a loan, you can call it Mary Jane. If there's no intent to repay it, then it's not really a loan. It's just a payment.”

    The documents go on to reveal loans of more than $27 million from the two Cyprus entities to a third company connected to Manafort, a limited-liability corporation registered in Delaware.

    In a recent post at her Facebook page, Simpson describes her research on Manafort and Deripaska:

    This past winter and late last fall of 2016, I laid out exactly how Oleg Deripaska had washed (laundered) millions through Cyprus and the Caymans. Well turns out the grand total was $60 million, which was about what I thought. When folks got to looking closely at the $19 million Manafort was sued over -- which I had the paperwork on, as I track . . . Oleg for press folks . . .  well, oh my, it became obvious what was going on.  Oleg would give Manafort the money as a loan then mark it off the books for deals but never clear it for tax purposes, and when folks started looking at how Oleg sued Manafort in the Caymans but never filed a bar complaint, it was slowly becoming apparent that [the lawsuit] was all a big hoax.

    How did Manafort and longtime GOP consultant Richard H. Davis develop connections to Alabama. Simpson says it developed via EADS and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour:

    I first started tracking Manafort and Rick Davis when they started dealing with Riley, Sessions, and Canary through Haley Barbour on the EADS tanker deal for Oleg Deripaska. I might add I went all the way to Russia to track what was up in 2008 with Manafort and Oleg and did a ton of stories. It will be fun to watch what the FBI does now that they realize how much Manafort was making working for Russian Government against our country.

    Simpson has not been quiet about the ties between Manafort, Russia, and Alabama. She spelled them out to reporters who were looking into the Siegelman case:

    I might add when I came forward [on the Siegelman case], I explained all this operation with Russia to 60 Minutes; it was how I got on the show. Folks said ugly things about me back then, but I told the truth on all I knew about Manafort and Rick Davis and the Riley/Sessions/Canary gang -- and their involvement with the top Putin Russian Business Spy Oleg Deripaska, who at that time was cooking a deal to get to supply the aluminum for U.S. tankers for EADS. 
    I [talked] with reporters in New York and at the National Press Club about this. I might add I am the source that outed that whole story in 2008. Had I not known how they operated, from being a Republican back then, I never would have been able to out their whole Russian operation for progressives to push the FBI to investigate in 2016.

    Simpson practiced law for 20-plus years, but she no longer is a member of the Alabama State Bar, thanks to a peculiar chain of events she apparently traces to the Alabama Gang, led by Jeff Sessions. She is firing back now as an opposition researcher, with information that could help FBI and Mueller investigators put Sessions and his cronies in a very bad place. She wrote the following to her Facebook readers:

    Now y'all know how Oleg Deripaska became my hobby, as I have said many times in the last year -- since I was hired to [research] it . . . in late 2016 and early 2017, it is a heck of story and goes right to Jeff Session's doorstep. I might add that is why he and Russian ass-kissing buddies tried to destroy me in 2014 and 2015, but all the a-holes did was make me more determined than ever to see they went to jail. If I never work again, I am still satisfied I kicked their ass with my research in 2015, 2016, 2017.

    Could that research, in fact, cause Sessions, Riley, Canary, and other Alabama politicos to wind up in federal prison? Stay tuned.

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    Sadie Grace Andrews
    (From al.com)
    A 3-year-old girl died over the weekend when she drowned from falling into a grease pit at an Auburn, AL, ice-cream parlor. It's hard to imagine a more horrific form of accidental death, and it raises all sorts of legal issues -- many of which are present in our personal tale of trying to keep a criminally inclined neighbor and his brethren off our property.

    Sadie Grace Andrews died about 1 p.m. on Saturday when the accident happened at Bruster's Real Ice Cream on East University Drive. A 911 call was placed about a missing child, and a quick review of surveillance video at the store showed what happened: Sadie and two of her siblings were playing when she apparently stepped or jumped on an unsecured lid that came loose and caused her to fall into the grease pit. From a report at al.com:

    The grease trap is a six-foot deep, in-ground container. Sadie was playing in the area, which has picnic tables and a grassy area where children play, an official said.It wasn't the first time the Andrews family had visited the ice cream shop for the children to play and have treats. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Sadie stepped onto the lid of the grease trap, which apparently wasn't locked or secured, and fell in when the door opened. The door closed on top of her, he said.

    Police said officers had already been dispatched to the scene because the girl was missing. When officers arrived, CPR was being was being performed. She was taken to East Alabama Medical Center, where efforts to revive her were unsuccessful, police said.

    The tragedy raises a number of social and technical questions. For example, why weren't Sadie's parents better able to look after her? She was one of six children, so did the parents simply have more kids than they could watch? Also, why was an unprotected grease pit in an area where anyone could step on the lid?

    These and many other questions likely will be raised in court proceedings. That's because the incident raises a number of legal issues that can become a costly thicket for many home and business owners. My wife, Carol, and I know because such issues -- and our efforts to protect ourselves from them -- led to the personal legal saga that is chronicled on this blog. All of the horror stories with which regular readers have become familiar -- my unlawful incarceration of five months, loss of our home in Birmingham to a wrongful foreclosure, Carol's broken arm here in Greene County, MO -- originated with issues like the ones present in Sadie Andrews' accidental death at the Auburn ice-cream parlor.

    Why did such issues confront us? We had the misfortune of having a man named Mike McGarity move in next door to us in late 1998. McGarity has the trappings of a standard-issue suburban dad -- a wife, two kids, a job at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. But his belligerent and threatening tone, which we encountered regularly, hinted that something dark was going on. We eventually learned that McGarity, in fact, has at least eight criminal convictions in his background.

    Bruster's Real Ice Cream in Auburn
    (From dailymail.co.uk)
    And yet, this menacing fellow decided he, his kids, his kids' friends, other adults, and a veritable cast of thousands (other neighborhood kids, many of whom we didn't know, didn't know their parents) should be able to turn our yard into a playground -- without bothering to ask for our permission. When I instructed McGarity to keep himself and his minions off our property, I was greeted with "I'm going to sue you for harassment" and "We're going to keep on coming."

    Why was that a concern, aside from the fact McGarity had proven he's an ass, the kind of person we didn't want to deal with? (When asked to control the ear-splitting barking of  his coonhound dog, McGarity's reply: "You just need to get ear plugs."). Well, it involved the kinds of legal issues that will be confronting Bruster's Real Ice Cream in the months ahead.

    One such issue is called "premises liability." Here is how findlaw.com defines it:

    When someone enters your property, they have a reasonable expectation of not getting injured. This means that you, as a property owner (or non-owner resident), are responsible for maintaining a relatively safe environment. This is known as "premises liability." For example, a courier delivering a package may sue you for injuries if he slips and falls on an oil slick in the driveway.

    Bruster's Real Ice Cream now faces major headaches over premises liability. Sadie Andrews and her family, under the law, had a reasonable expectation that the property owner would maintain a relatively safe environment. Instead, she stepped on the lid of a grease pit and drowned in the muck below.

    What if McGarity, or another adult or child from his yard, had slipped and fallen on our property? The injured party likely would have sued us, even if we had maintained a safe environment. (Note: McGarity had already hinted that he was a litigious sort, threatening to sue us for harassment because we tried to exercise our right to keep him off our yard. This just added to the mountain of reasons we did not want him, or anyone affiliated with him, coming on our yard.)

    What if a child had fallen on our concrete driveway and sustained serious head trauma? Our insurance rates likely would have skyrocketed, and we might have been dropped as an insured altogether.

    Premises liability cases, under Alabama law, involve numerous variables, so its hard to predict the outcome of a particular case. But even if the homeowner prevails in court, the defense of such a lawsuit is likely to be expensive and might still count as a mark against you with an insurance company. The best idea is to try to prevent injuries on your property, and that's exactly what we tried to do. Little did we know, at the time, that McGarity was a hardened criminal, he has access to attorney Bill Swatek and his lengthy disciplinary record, Swatek receives favors from corrupt judges in Shelby County, and Swatek has ties to the national Republican political establishment (through his son, Dax, a GOP "consultant.")

    A classic Alabama premises-liability case is styled Tuders v. Kell, 739 So.2d 1069 (1999). (Ironically, Rob Riley was one of the plaintiffs' lawyers in the case.) It involves two couples and a mother with two children (Tuders), who were passengers on a boat at Neely Henry Lake when a severe thunderstorm approached. With lightning beginning to strike, they sought the nearest available shelter in a pier and boat house, still under construction, belonging to Kell. About 15 minutes into the storm, the boathouse collapsed, killing three members of the Tuders party and injuring others.

    The Tuders filed a wrongful-death and personal-injury lawsuit, based largely on principles of premises liability. The case went to the Alabama Supreme Court, and the landowner (Kell) prevailed. But one can only imagine how much it cost to defend the lawsuit, and it's likely Kell's insurance rates went way up or he lost his insurance altogether -- all because individuals decided to use his property without permission.

    Another common legal issue, especially where children are involved, is called "attractive nuisance." Here is how it is defined at insurancequotes.org:

    This law states that landowners can potentially be held responsible for a child injured on the landowner’s property due to an attractive nuisance. This is normally any kind of object that is potentially dangerous while simultaneously being inviting to children.

    This likely will be an issue in the Bruster's case. Was Sadie Andrews attracted to the loose lid that wound up costing her life? Our situation also involved kids, and if one had gotten hurt on our property, could a lawyer have argued that trees in our yard served as an attractive nuisance? The answer is yes. That argument might not have prevailed in court, but the cost to Carol and me would have been enormous, either way.

    A classic attractive-nuisance case in Alabama is styled Foster v. Alabama Power Co. 395 So. 2d 27 (Ala: Supreme Court, 1981). It involved a 15-year-old boy, who climbed on a transmission-line tower, came in contact with a high-voltage wire, and fell to the ground, sustaining permanent personal injuries. The power company prevailed at trial, upheld on appeal, but the cost of defending the case likely was huge.

    The Andrews family
    (From dailymail.co.uk.)
    Our situation involved one issue that was not present in the Bruster's case: trespassing. As a business operating at midday, Bruster's was open to the public, so Sadie Andrews and her family had every right to be there. Our private property was not open to the public, so McGarity and his gang had no right to be there; they were trespassers.

    In general, a landowner has no duty to trespassers, other than to refrain from wantonly or intentionally injuring them. That can change, however, when children are involved. Courts have wrestled with age as a factor with trespassing children -- some jurisdictions holding that liability adheres only when the child is under a certain age, such as 16 or 14.

    Alabama has removed age restrictions, but a landowner still can be held liable for injuries to a trespasser, as spelled out in Lyle v. Bouler, 547 So. 2d 506 (Ala: Supreme Court, 1989):

    A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm to children trespassing thereon caused by an artificial condition upon the land if

    (a) the place where the condition exists is one upon which the possessor knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass, and

    (b) the condition is one of which the possessor knows or has reason to know and which he realizes or should realize will involve an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children, and 
    (c) the children because of their youth do not discover the condition or realize the risk involved in intermeddling with it or in coming within the area made dangerous by it, and

    (d) the utility to the possessor of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger are slight as compared with the risk to children involved, and 
    (e) the possessor fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise to protect the children.

    Notice item (a), highlighted above. It says a landowner has a special duty to act if he knows children are likely to trespass. An article at alllaw.comsays pretty much the same thing, calling it "Exceptions for Discovered Trespassers":

    When people trespass with some regularity, property owners may begin to expect continued trespassing. In such a situation, the rationale of the general rule [that landowners owe no duty to trespassers] is destroyed. Now, the property owner can anticipate that dangerous conditions could pose safety hazards to people on the property. Thus, many states require property owners to warn discovered trespassers of dangerous conditions.

    Mike McGarity and his gang of trespassers put us at significant legal risk, and we got cheated over and over again because we tried to protect ourselves from a menace with a criminal record.

    Bottom line: We weren't aware of any dangerous conditions on our property, but what if McGarity or a child stepped in a hole that a ground squirrel had dug.? I saw such holes on our yard fairly regularly, and tried to fill them as soon as I spotted them. But what if I didn't get to such a hole in time, and a trespasser broke a leg? We likely would have been liable for damages -- and we certainly would have incurred major expense to defend a lawsuit from a belligerent criminal -- with access to a corrupt lawyer and crooked judges in Shelby County.

    Is it any wonder we tried everything we could think of, under the law, to keep McGarity and his minions off our property? Is it any wonder Bruster's -- while not having to worry about the trespassing issue -- is likely to spend millions to settle a case that will revolve around issues of premises liability and attractive nuisance?

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    James F. Henry
    Birmingham attorney James F. Henry claimed our Ashley Madison post about him was false, apparently not realizing his own wife had left a comment on the post, admitting that his name was among the paying customers at the extramarital-affairs Web site. Oops!

    Henry communicated his concerns via an e-mail from a lawyer named David M. Deutsch, whose name appears nowhere at the Alabama State Bar. Oops, again!

    I did make one mistake on the post in question. I reported that Henry -- who is with the firm Cabaniss Johnston Gardner Dumas and O'Neal -- was married to Kelly Jo Henry. In fact, they had been divorced for several years, and Linda Henry -- the new Mrs. Henry -- corrected me on that matter via a comment on the post. Linda Henry had a number of interesting things to say in her comment, which her husband and his lawyer apparently had not read:

    Linda Henry said...

    Hi there! :)

    When I heard you'd written an article about Jim, I came right on over to your little blog to see for myself! All in all, it's not bad! You know what they say about there being no such thing as bad press! ;)

    I really am appalled to see that you've listed Jim's wife as Kelly, when I'm Jim's ACTUAL wife, Linda! Jim and Kelly divorced nine years ago. We've been married for almost 7 wonderful years! Call it silly, but these things matter to a girl!

    I think it's nice that you included some info from his bio, and that you referenced a case of his. Heaven knows he's the hardest working man I know. He has definitely stepped away from many a family meal or outing to meet the needs of his clients! We understand, of course, we're just so blessed that he gets to do what he loves every day! :)

    I suppose the purpose of the article was sort of "exposing" the Ashley Madison thing, but everyone's had access to the list for ages, so it's hardly news! I'd seen something on Ashley Madison on TV, was showing Jim, and so I'm the one who actually registered! Fortunately, Jim has a sense of humor about it! I'm a lucky girl! :)

    Warmest regards,

    Mrs. Linda Henry

    March 23, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    Mrs. Henry sounds like an awfully good sport, with a delightful sense of humor. I'd probably get a kick out of interviewing her for a Legal Schnauzer post. What would be the subject? I don't know, but it sounds like Mrs. Henry would be a hoot, regardless.

    It turns out that Mr. Henry's lawyer should have visited with Mrs. Henry before dashing off an e-mail to me. That way, he would have known that Mr. Henry's name is, in fact, on the Ashley Madison list.

    As for David M. Deutsch, I saw that he was not a member of the Alabama State Bar, so that prompted further research. I found a lawyer by that name at The Deutsch Law firm, with offices in New York City and Boca Raton, Florida -- with admissions in New York and Florida, and no other states.

    Upon learning this information, I got back to Mr. Deutsch via e-mail:

    Mr. Deutsch:

    Is this you at the following link?


    If so, your bio indicates you have bar admittance in New York and Florida, but not in Alabama. Why then, have you sent correspondence to me, indicating you represent James Henry, an Alabama resident? Are you practicing law without a license in Alabama?

    That apparently caused some throat-clearing on Mr. Deutsch's end, because I received this response:

    Mr. Shuler,

    Thank you for your note.

    I passed along the contents of your previous email to Mr. Henry.

    Should Mr. Henry wish to pursue this matter further within the Court system, I have advised him to retain an attorney that is a member of the Alabama bar.



    Did I let it rest at that? No, I did not. After all, they call me Legal Schnauzer for a reason. If someone encroaches on my territory, with bad or thoughtless intentions, I bark and I dig -- or maybe both. If the encroachment is serious enough, I might respond with a, "Get the hell off my lawn!" So, I fired back at Deutsch, thusly:

    My question:

    By sending correspondence to me, claiming to represent Mr. Henry, were you practicing law without a license in Alabama? You claimed to represent him and took action on his behalf, even though you are not licensed to practice law in Alabama. That sounds like a problem to me.

    Did that draw a reply from Deutsch? Nope. Did he actually practice law without a license? Well, he claimed to represent Mr. Henry, an Alabama resident. And he took action on Mr. Henry's behalf by sending a law-related e-mail to me. Does that constitute practicing a law without a license? The answer is, "I don't know." That's a fairly murky area of the law, and my research has not led me to any solid conclusions.

    But I'm going to keep digging -- and we plan to provide an update in a follow-up post.

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    Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson
    Like many Americans, I have supported the death penalty at some point in my life. I once thought, contrary to substantial evidence, that it served as a deterrent to violent crime. I assumed cops, prosecutors, judges, and juries were competent and honest enough to pretty much always get it right in capital cases.

    My views on the death penalty began to change about 17 years ago, when the legal travails described in this blog began. That's when, for the first time in my life, I came face to face with our "justice system" in a personal way. I saw the system is riddled with dishonesty, fraud, self-dealing, back-stabbing, criminality, and utter disrespect for the rule of law. I saw that our justice apparatus is so broken that it routinely turns out judgments that are unreliable, unjust, and contrary to facts and law. I learned our appellate courts too often are unwilling to correct the grossly unlawful outcomes that trial courts spew out.

    Such a system has no business taking anyone's life, no matter how heinous we think their crimes, so I have become an ardent opponent of the death penalty. I've come close to concluding that such a system has no business taking anyone's freedom either, so I'm almost anti-incarceration, across the board. On top of that, such a system has no business depriving citizens of their money, their homes, their real property, their personal property, their children, and much more. In other words, I've pretty much concluded our civil-justice system has become such a sewer that it needs to be drained and closed.

    It would be fine with me if we turned our jails and prisons into racquetball courts, community health centers, technical colleges, manufacturing plants. I'm fine with turning our courthouses into rec centers, schools, primary-care clinics, museums.

    What are we to do about crimes and other wrongs? I'm starting to think Charles Bronson might have had the right idea with his "take matters into your own hands" approach.

    Nothing drives home these points quite like the pending criminal case against my wife, Carol, here in Greene County, Missouri. We've written a string of posts that show there was no probable cause to arrest Carol, much less prosecute her. The so-called officer/"victim" in the one remaining charge against Carol admits he "caused contact" with her, not the other way around, meaning she did not assault him.

    The court docket shows Carol, acting pro se, filed documents in March, April, and May 2017, that should have, by law, forced dismissal of the case. (See case.net, 1631-CR07731 - ST V CAROL T SHULER.) And yet, Judge Margaret Holden Palmietto told Carol in open court that she was not going to consider Carol's motions until she had a lawyer or waived her right to an attorney. Carol chose to have an attorney, and that's how we wound up with a public defender who seems to be developing a personal view of the law that is wildly out of touch with the real law.

    Aside from that, Carol's representation issue has been resolved for quite some time, and we still see no sign that the judge has even read motions that have been sitting for four to six months.

    How bad is the case against Carol, how much of a farce is it? Not only does the "victim" acknowledge that he wasn't victimized at all, a key element of the offense has been missing all along. (More on that in a moment.)

    Those who fondly remember the classic TV sitcom Cheers, might recall public reaction when Shelley Long left the series for a movie career that proved to be stillborn. Many wondered, "What was she thinking?"

    A similar question might be asked of Greene County Prosecuting Attorney (PA) Dan Patterson. "What was he thinking when he brought State v. Carol Shuler?" His case looks like a balsa-wood shed after an encounter with Hurricane Irma. Let's review where it stands:

    The Probable Cause (PC) Statement and Misdemeanor Information (MI), taken together, more or less brought three charges against Carol:

    (1) In the PC Statement, Officer Debi Wade claims Carol "barreled into her head-first." I witnessed this supposed event from about 15 feet away, and nothing even close to that happened. Patterson apparently agrees with me because his office did not bring the claim against Carol in the MI, its charging document.

    Can Wade's claim, as an attorney close to the case has suggested, be incorporated into the charges against Carol -- even though the MI charging document makes no mention of it? The answer is no. (See State v. Metzinger, Mo. Ct. of App., 2015.) That means Wade's claim is dead on arrival; in fact, it never arrived at all because the prosecutor didn't bring it.

    (2) Count 2 in the MI was a charge for trespass. It had a slight problem: The PC Statement, which is supposed to provide evidence to support the charge, said not one word about it. Public Defender Patty Poe moved for dismissal, and despite Assistant PA Nicholas Jain's spirited argument, Judge Palmietto booted that charge.

    (3) Count 1 in the MI was for Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer, Third Degree. Under Missouri law, the issue in such a charge is: Did the defendant cause contact with a law enforcement officer? Carol is alleged to have pushed Officer Jeremy Lynn. But Lynn admits in his incident report that he "caused contact" with Carol, by grabbing her. This is the one remaining charge against Carol, but it should be booted soon.

    What about that element of the offense that has been missing all along? Under RSMo. 565.083, a defendant commits the offense when "such person knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical contact with a law enforcement officer . . . ."

    Notice that word in yellow: knowingly. It must be present for this offense to have been committed. What does "knowingly" mean? The answer is found in RSMo. 556.061 (Code Definitions), which reads, in part:

    (31) "Knowingly", when used with respect to:

    (a) Conduct or attendant circumstances, means a person is aware of the nature of his or her conduct or that those circumstances exist; or

    (b) A result of conduct, means a person is aware that his or her conduct is practically certain to cause that result;

    Was Carol aware that she was "assaulting" Jeremy Lynn? Hell, Officer Lynn's own words show HE wasn't aware she was assaulting him. So how could Carol be aware of it? Plus, court documents show we timely filed a Notice of Appeal (with fees), and the Missouri Court of Appeals had received our notice. Carol had a reasonable belief that put a stay on the eviction, and in fact, it did.

    Despite that, Carol found a strange man breaking into her home -- without lawful grounds for doing so -- and grabbing her. Under those circumstances, Carol "knowingly" was trying to protect her home and its inhabitants -- as she is entitled to do under Missouri's Castle Doctrine Law. Jeremy Lynn probably is lucky he didn't get a frying pan smashed into his cranium, which Carol was entitled to do under the law. Either way, the "knowingly" element is missing, meaning the assault charge is kaput.

    So, what does PA Dan Patterson have to show for bringing State v. Carol Shuler? He has:

    (1) A "sort of" claim from Debi Wade that never even made it into the charging document;

    (2) A trespass charge that had no evidentiary support, and was dismissed;

    (3) An assault charge that even the "victim" admits, in so many words, isn't supported by evidence.

    The people of Missouri, whose tax dollars support such prosecutorial nonsense, have every right to ask Patterson: "What in the hell were you thinking?"

    And this is a guy who surely has helped send people to death row. He can't handle State v. Carol Shuler; he certainly should not be handling matters of life and death.

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    Jeremy Crow
    (From facebook.com)
    A lawyer, who works for an Alabama-based organization that promotes effective use of fertilizer to boost agricultural output in developing countries, appears as a paying customer at the Ashley Madison extramarital-affairs Web site.

    You could say Jeremy D. Crow deals with sh-t -- and you would not be joking. He works as a senior contracts officer at the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) in Muscle Shoals. IFDC was established in 1974 as an outgrowth of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Its Muscle Shoals headquarters opened in 1976, with division offices opening in Togo (1987) and Bangladesh (1992). Today, IFDC operates four divisions in more than 20 countries.

    What does IFDC do? This is from its Web site:

    Since 1974, IFDC has focused on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in over 100 developing countries through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise. . . .

    The organization’s collaborative partnerships combine cutting-edge research and development with on-site training and education. IFDC has contributed to the development of institutional capacity building in 150 countries through more than 700 formal training programs, primarily as part of IFDC’s long-term agricultural development projects. Demonstration plots, farmer field schools and in-field trainings have assisted millions of farmers in developing countries.

    Crow grew up in Hamilton, AL, and graduated from Birmingham School of Law, working in construction law at Najjar Denaburg before landing in sh-t (you might say) at IFDC. Crow's Facebook page provides few personal details, although his profile photo indicates he likes hunting and hunting dogs. Based on public records currently available to us, his marital status (past or present) is unknown.

    We tried to contact Crow, seeking comment for this post, but he has not responded to our queries.


    Article with links to 1-20 in Ashley Madison series

    (21) Craig Oliver, attorney, Springfield, MO (1/24/17)

    (22) Craig Lowell, attorney, Wiggins Childs, Birmingham (1/26/17)

    (23) Thomas Mancuso, tax attorney, Montgomery, AL (2/16/17)

    (24) Nicholas Arciniegas, attorney, Washington, D.C. (2/21/17)

    (25) Griffin McGahey, vice president, High Cotton USA, Birmingham (3/16/17)

    (26) Matthew Couch, attorney, Cabaniss Johnson, Birmingham (3/23/17)

    (27) Dr. Keron Vickers, chiropractor, Birmingham (4/4/17)

    (28) D. Paterson Cope, president, wealth management, Birmingham (4/20/17)

    (29) Shawn Baker, developer, Blackwater Resources, Birmingham (4/24/17)

    (30) David Deusner, attorney/forensics, Control Risks, Birmingham (4/26/17)

    (31) David J. Harrison, attorney, Geneva, AL (6/8/17)

    (32) Michael Mullis, managing partner, Kelley and Mullis, Birmingham (4/12/17)

    (33) David Healy, attorney, Ozark, MO (6/15/17)

    (34) Tom Layfield, executive director of ALRBA, Montgonery, AL (6/19/17)

    (35) Thomas T. Lamberth Jr., mortgage banker, BBVA Compass, Birmingham (6/20/17)

    (36) Ron Ten Berge, exec. partner, Frontenac Private Equity, Birmingham (6/28/17)

    (37) Andy Schroeder, president, South Central Steel, Harpersville (7/12/17)

    (38) Richard Barsness, CEO, Incredible Pizza Co. Springfield, MO (8/3/17)

    (39) Robert E. Tingle Jr., manager, Truitt Tingle accounting firm, Hoover, AL (10/12/17)

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    Roy Moore
    (From joemygod.com)
    Just three days ago, we reported that Alabama pro-business elites -- including Jeff Sessions, Bob Riley, and Bill Canary -- have enjoyed long-standing ties to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Just nine days ago, we reported that Birmingham attorney Doug Jones, now a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, colluded with GOP operative Rob Riley to funnel damaging information about defendants in the Alabama bingo case to federal prosecutors.

    Those two stories collided with a bang yesterday, with reports that the Twitter account of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, Jones' opponent, came under a Russia-based cyber attack. The Moore campaign said more than 1,000 fake Twitter accounts, originating from Russia, started following him over the weekend. A Moore spokesperson promptly pointed a finger at the Jones campaign, and a prominent Alabama opposition researcher and whistle blower says they probably are on target.

    Jill Simpson, who helped bring the Don Siegelman political prosecution to light, says TwitterGate is a sign that Jones is not running a typical Democratic campaign, the kind that normally focuses on issues that matter to progressive voters. Instead, many of Jones' influential backers are Republicans, who long have resorted to underhanded campaign tactics, such as the cyber attack on Roy Moore. Simpson said three weeks ago that if Moore beat Luther Strange in the GOP runoff -- and he did, handily -- Strange's pro-business supporters would fall in line behind Jones.

    Well, that already appears to be happening, with the attack on Moore's Twitter account. From a post yesterday at Jill Simpson's Facebook account (with editing for clarity and brevity):

    It appears Doug's Republican friends at the Canary and Riley camp thought they could dump a bunch of . . . Oleg Deripaska Russian spy bots on Moore's Web site and get away with it.

    Well Roy has caught them and apparently reported those bots immediately. And the way he knew it was caused by Doug's sorry bunch is they had alerted the press within minutes of it happening. Everyone should watch closely as Doug Jones is not running the typical Democratic campaign in Alabama; even his ad says that he will work with Republicans to get stuff done. He does not say that about Democrats; in his ad, he specifically mentions working with Republicans.

    [Jones] is the big Alabama Business Council and Chamber of Commerce candidate; they have let everyone know through the press in the past week they don't support Moore. Doug Jones is their swamp monster in the race, and both the religious right and the progressives know it -- and it is disgusting what a fast trick the Canary team has pulled on the true Democrats in Alabama, who ought to throw Canary and his gang out of Democratic headquarters. Doug has been the Riley-Canary pick all along.

    How did Doug Jones come to be a Republican Trojan Horse? Simpson explains:

    The corrupt Riley-Canary bunch love Old Doug Jones, the so-called Democrat who in his ad says he will go to Washington to help Republicans get things done. Democrats in Alabama are nuts if they vote for this very corrupt Riley-Canary Democrat. 
    Why do the Republicans like Jones so much? Because he helped them send our beloved Progressive Democratic Governor Don Siegelman to prison -- and helped them harass Milton McGregor, a person they see as an opponent to their big casino donor, the Poarch Creek Indians. And I might add Milton always funded Democrats when they were winning, but Republicans have tied him up in court messes.

    Doug is a snake in the grass. Just ask real progressives and grassroots folks in Alabama;  we have being dealing with his Rob Riley and Bill Canary bullshit for years. The problem for us is that Jones is big buddies with the Clinton and Biden DNC elites crowd. Doug must have them fooled and probably will snitch on them, as well, before all is said and done -- and yet, they came down here and told our state leadership to support him,  along with Canary saying this, so we are stuck with him, but he is not a good progressive Democrat.

    If elected, how might Jones benefit from his cozy relationship with Alabama Republicans? Simpson spells it out:

    Jones is going to go to Washington and do exactly what his ad says -- work with Republicans like Riley and Canary; we all know it, and Jones will help fill the Riley and Canary coffers with Senate lobbyist money from out of state, to be use against our true progressive candidates in 2018 and 2020, if we don't stop him. 
    Hell, he has been working with them for years down here. They have given Jones one government-assignment job after the next, under the Republican administration, run by Karl Rove. 
    Jones made his money working with Rob Riley in a $51-million civil case against Mr Siegelman's co -defendant, Richard Scrushy. All the while, Jones was screwing up  Siegelman's criminal defense. Jones is the famous dumb-bell lawyer who extended the statute of limitations for the prosecution. No lawyer you ask know would agree to extend a criminal statute of limitations, but Doug did, and it was for Bill Canary and Rob Riley. About six weeks before old Don's case came up, Doug got out of it.

    As we've reported here, Jones charged Siegelman $300,000 for a criminal defense he did not perform -- and we've seen no signs that Jones ever returned a penny of that money. Evidence is overwhelming that Doug Jones repeatedly stabbed Don Siegelman in the back -- helping to support the most gross political prosecution in American history. Now, Jones apparently is counting on Alabama Democrats to be blind enough to think he actually backs their interests. Joe Biden already has come to the state, touting Jones'"integrity."

    Doug Jones
    (From wkrg.com)
    Even the one positive on Jones' record -- his participation in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing case, resulting in Bobby Frank Cherry's conviction -- is tainted with grimy Republican fingerprints. Writes Simpson:

    We now pretty much know when Jones started snitching [for Republicans]; it was when Canary gave the go-ahead to Bill Pryor [then Alabama's attorney general] to hire Doug on the Cherry case. Ever since then, he has been in the Republican's good graces, doing their bidding and selling out his own clients -- and it's our belief he did it for his personal benefit, to eventually run for office.

    As for me, I have zero doubt -- knowing the Canary and Riley clan's connections to Oleg Deripaska -- they pulled a dirty trick on Roy Moore, to benefit Doug Jones. Most folks don't realize it, but Paul Manafort's partner was Rick Davis, and he is very good friends with Canary, Riley, and Sessions -- what we call the Alabama Gang. Got to hand it to them; they tried a very nasty trick and Roy called them on it.

    What was the purpose of the attack on Moore's Twitter account? It apparently was designed to con the public into thinking Moore had support from Russia. The Jones campaign, Simpson says, is the one actually tied to Russian interests:

    Most folks in the nation don't realize it, but the Russian problem in the Republican Party is rooted in Alabama's Riley-Canary bunch. They got in bed with Oleg Deripaska years ago, and we progressives in Alabama have been talking about Manafort for eight or nine years loudly -- and two years before that, when I came forward [in the Siegelman case]. Roy Moore has for years stood up against the corrupt Canary bunch, which is why they go after him so hard. I don't agree with Roy's views, as they are too conservative for my taste, but many Alabamians believe as he does, and they don't want a corrupt leader from the Canary-Riley team. And well, Doug Jones is corrupt to the core, and progressives know it, so what the heck do we do on election day?

    Simpson suggests the best course of action for Democrats is to stay home on Dec. 12:

    I know many of my friends are writing in progressive names, and some are writing in Don Siegelman. But folks really need to think here. We have to ask: Do we vote for Doug, who is supported by corrupt Republican wolves -- and they plan on sending him to D.C., so he can make them a bunch of money to run against our good progressive candidates we are grooming? I hope the answer becomes: We stay home and don't vote for a Republican snitch; after all, he is the very person responsible for helping ruin the Alabama Democratic Party, snitching for Republican masters like Canary and Riley. . . .  
    [Republicans] made him rich enough to run, thanks to his HealthSouth case with Rob Riley, but do we want a Republican snitch representing Democrats and progressives in D.C.?

    Simpson already has seen signs of threats coming in her direction for speaking out against Jones:

    I, too, had an ugly trick played on me, in that I was called and told Doug Jones was going to be endorsed by Siegelman on November 2, which broke my heart. But then I learned it was not so and just a dirty Doug supporter trying to cause trouble. 
    I also was told, when I confronted the person about it, that Doug, with his connections since being formerly connected to the DOJ, could have me investigated and harassed by all kinds of regulatory folks, like the IRS. So I think folks should know Jones and his people are up to no good, and one of his supporters warned me what was next if I don't shut up. 
    I told the person who called me I am not scared of Doug Jones. Plus, I pointed out that when Jones offered, through the same person many months before, to get my law license off disability -- a trick Rob Riley and his Republican buddies came up with -- they could kiss my ass. I wasn't helping and would do everything in my power to beat the jerks, as I have known all along what they did. I missed a hearing for a broken neck, awaiting surgery, and that  never should have been a cause for threatening to disbar me, which is why I went out on disability. . . . 
    By the way, I've enjoyed being away from the practice of law, as it has gotten so corrupt; if a fairy showed up and gave me three wishes, not one of them would be about practicing law in a corrupt system like Alabama, where Canary and the BCA rule the roost. 
    On a positive note, Alabama Republicans are between a rock and a hard place -- with Roy Moore, who holds some way-out beliefs on the Christian-right fringe, and Doug Jones, who is basically the corrupt Republican running as a Democrat, who has been their snitch for years. 
    My suggestion to progressives is stay home, don't vote for either, and send a message to D.C. to give us real progressive candidates. We can't let them make a bunch of lobbyist money to use against us in 2018, when we will have a great slate of real progressives. 
    Doug Jones is not the answer for Alabama progressives. He will make a bunch of lobbyist money for Bob and Rob Riley and Canary. I might add they had their voters stay home in the Roy-Luther race, but will turn their folks out for Doug Jones. They think progressives will turn out for Doug, but we have to say no. Doug is not a progressive, and he will not help us. Watch his ad; he says he will work with Republicans.

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    David Armistead
    (From b-metro.com)
    The director of enterprise sales at TekLinks in Birmingham appears as a paying customer at the Ashley Madison extramarital-affairs Web site. And he has a familiar name to those who follow Alabama politics.

    David Armistead earned his bachelor's degree at Millsaps College in Mississippi before continuing his studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    Armistead comes from a political background. He is a Facebook friend with Bill Armistead, former chair of the Alabama Republican Party and current campaign manager for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.

    The two Armisteads appear to be related, but the exact connection is not clear. David Armistead originally is from Tupelo, Mississipi, while Bill Armistead lives in Columbiana, Alabama, home of the hideously corrupt Shelby County Courthouse and Sheriff's Office. For good measure, Columbiana also produced ousted and corrupt Alabama Gov. Robert "Luv Guv" Bentley.

    David Armistead was featured in a recent b-metro article about millennials in the workplace. From the article:

    David Armistead is a Gen-Xer who is now director of enterprise sales at TekLinks, a national tech company specializing in cloud services, managed services, and value-added resale. Armistead remembers what it was like to be the new guy on the block—and it wasn’t all that different. “Our generation heard some of the same things,” he says. “People said we weren’t as hard working and all that. I think every generation talks that way about the one that comes after.”

    If they behave and work differently, Armistead adds, it’s because Millennials are a product of their environment, specifically the tech and social media environment. They just happen to be a little better at keeping up.

    “We could try to stay stuck in the old way of doing business, but we would be the ones left behind,” says Armistead. “So it’s not necessarily the Millennials who are the ones changing the workplace, or that we’re having to cater to their needs. The way Millennials approach work is a reflection of how our lives are different today.”

    Armistead was married to Laura Roy Armistead, they had four children together, and they bought a $425,000 house in Homewood in 2015. They now are divorced. Is that because Ashley Madison became part of Mr. Armistead's "social media environment"?

    We're not sure. We sought comment from David Armistead for this post, but he has not responded to our queries.


    Article with links to 1-20 in Ashley Madison series

    (21) Craig Oliver, attorney, Springfield, MO (1/24/17)

    (22) Craig Lowell, attorney, Wiggins Childs, Birmingham (1/26/17)

    (23) Thomas Mancuso, tax attorney, Montgomery, AL (2/16/17)

    (24) Nicholas Arciniegas, attorney, Washington, D.C. (2/21/17)

    (25) Griffin McGahey, vice president, High Cotton USA, Birmingham (3/16/17)

    (26) Matthew Couch, attorney, Cabaniss Johnson, Birmingham (3/23/17)

    (27) Dr. Keron Vickers, chiropractor, Birmingham (4/4/17)

    (28) D. Paterson Cope, president, wealth management, Birmingham (4/20/17)

    (29) Shawn Baker, developer, Blackwater Resources, Birmingham (4/24/17)

    (30) David Deusner, attorney/forensics, Control Risks, Birmingham (4/26/17)

    (31) David J. Harrison, attorney, Geneva, AL (6/8/17)

    (32) Michael Mullis, managing partner, Kelley and Mullis, Birmingham (4/12/17)

    (33) David Healy, attorney, Ozark, MO (6/15/17)

    (34) Tom Layfield, executive director of ALRBA, Montgonery, AL (6/19/17)

    (35) Thomas T. Lamberth Jr., mortgage banker, BBVA Compass, Birmingham (6/20/17)

    (36) Ron Ten Berge, exec. partner, Frontenac Private Equity, Birmingham (6/28/17)

    (37) Andy Schroeder, president, South Central Steel, Harpersville (7/12/17)

    (38) Richard Barsness, CEO, Incredible Pizza Co. Springfield, MO (8/3/17)

    (39) Robert E. Tingle Jr., manager, Truitt Tingle accounting firm, Hoover, AL (10/12/17)

    (40) Jeremy Crow, lawyer, Int. Fertilizer Dev. Center, Muscle Shoals, AL, (10/18/17)

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