Slabbed kisses the Blarney Stone and tells the story of Katrina’s Nutty Irishman

This is the hardest post I’ve ever authored due to the subject matter of controversial lawyer and occasional Slabbed commenter Ashton O’Dwyer and his Katrina experience which is frankly incredible. Like Bellesouth before him Ashton has been judged harshly by the blogosphere. Unlike Belle, Ashton has brought a good bit cyber-ire on himself through the use of racially charged words to describe people of color such as US Judge Ivan  Lemelle.

I’ve found that those not from the heart of the GO Zone (for the most part) do not completely appreciate the mental trauma inflicted by the sudden changes brought by Katrina. Everyone was impacted, including those that grew up and moved away as the familar was lost forever and the connection to the community completely shattered by the upheaval. In my own circle of friends including those from my childhood I’ve found the ability to cope with these stresses varied greatly and depended on a number of circumstances. And a few, like Wilford Asher of Waveland simply snapped.

And it is with that perspective that we need to backtrack in time to September 2005 when Ashton O’Dwyer’s loss was compounded and then some. Before I link the legal docs let’s visit with James Gill at the Times Picayune who wrote about this a few months back:

O’Dwyer blamed his maltreatment — as he does many of his woes — on a conspiracy of powerful public officials. This time, however, it did not require an overheated imagination to conclude that he had been singled out for some rough justice.

And it was pretty rough. O’Dwyer was sitting in his driveway around midnight shortly after Katrina drinking a glass of wine, when the cops materialized. He was, even by his own account, somewhat provocative and was hauled off to the temporary hoosegow at the Union Passenger Terminal.

There he was locked in a metal cage and repeatedly pepper sprayed and shot with beanbag rounds. Released after 16 hours, he was never charged with a crime. Photographs of his wounds support his brutality claims.

His arrest, according to his suit, came after state Supreme Court Justice Kitty Kimball declared, “Somebody has to shut that guy up; he’s giving us all a bad name.”

He sure was. O’Dwyer, having defied the mandatory evacuation order, had become the darling of out-of-town reporters covering the aftermath of the storm. He warned there would be gunfire if anyone tried to evict him from his mansion, where “the rich white men who built this city put their homes” on high ground. He announced his secession from New Orleans, Louisiana and the USA. He was “Lord of the Flies/Robinson Crusoe” and head of an independent nation named the Duchy of Kilnamanagh.

Opinions of O’Dwyer varied. Some thought he was a harmless nut; others weren’t so sure he was harmless. His experience at Camp Greyhound indicated that the latter view had prevailed.

In his suit, O’Dwyer alleged that Charles Plattsmier, head of the state Office of Disciplinary Counsel was at the meeting where Kimball made her remark. Plattsmier undertook to find out more about O’Dwyer’s former partners at a large law firm, which had let him go after the storm.

O’Dwyer claims that the president of the state bar association and a staffer from the state Justice Department then turned up at his house to advise that he was causing irritation “at the highest levels of government.” A couple of days later state troopers duly showed up and collared him.

Kimball, Plattsmier and the state police asked U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan to dismiss the suit, but she refused. The appeals court overruled her on grounds that O’Dwyer had failed to establish “a causal connection” between what was allegedly said at the meeting and the troopers’ invasion of Kilnamanagh.

That was no doubt fair enough as a matter of law. Still, if the facts are as O’Dwyer describes them, and they don’t prove a “causal connection,” his arrest was one hell of a coincidence.

Being overruled may never be a pleasant experience for a judge, but Berrigan may not be too upset on this occasion. The prospect of further dealings with O’Dwyer cannot have gladdened her heart, for he has pretty much driven her up the wall in previous appearances.

She warned him in 2007 that he would face sanctions if he continued to pepper his pleadings with derogatory and intemperate language. He responded with a memorandum that, among other compliments, called his opponents “human scum” and “vermin.” An assistant attorney general was labeled a “spear chucker,” and law enforcement a “goon squad.” Berrigan last year ordered him to deposit $10,000 in the court registry and promised that future “unprofessional” behavior would bring further penalties.

A couple of months later all the federal district judges in New Orleans disqualified O’Dwyer from representing clients before them for five years, not just because of his fondness for abuse but for filing frivolous and unsupported claims and misrepresenting the conduct of opposing attorneys.

This evidently confirmed O’Dwyer in the belief that the judiciary, the attorney general’s office and various other sinister forces were out to screw him and his clients. He sent out an e-mail characterizing U.S. Judge Stanwood Duval and his “rich and powerful friends” as “crooked.”

Such behavior may be reminiscent of a mad dog, but they were still wrong to treat him like one when Camp Greyhound was in business. It is a pity that nobody will be held to account.

For those so interested we have Ashton’s statement to the authorities along with his amended civil complaint (since dismissed by the 5th circuit) and the affidavit of David Kent.

For his part it is also clear Ashton is madder than hell and the manifestations of that anger continue to this day.  He needed engineering help after Katrina and hired Ocean-Oil Expert Witnesses Inc to help out. Being a partner doing maritime law Lemle & Kelleher paid well but his partners de-partnered Ashton after Katrina and paying an expensive hourly rate in support of litigation requires deep pockets. There is a difference between wealth and partners pay.

After raking up over $90K in professional fees Ocean-Oil did what CPA professional liability carriers tell their insureds to never do…sue to collect unpaid fees. Judge Ivan Lemelle is evidently the new guy at the NOLA Federal District Court because he drew the case along with under publicized (on slabbed at least) Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan.

Ashton, the post Katrina civil disobedient that he is, completely disrespected the court and disrespected Judge Lemelle in acts that I opined offline gave him “balls bigger than grapefruits”.   Judge Lemelle’s response was measured by contrast in tone but Ashton still lost his fee dispute.

I bang on pols, judges and highly paid corporate shills but I can’t bash either Ashton or Judges Lemelle and Duval. We’ve met the bad guy and he is us. Intolerance never defeats intolerance. Somehow all the Katrina warriors  must be brought home, including Ashton O’Dwyer.


7 thoughts on “Slabbed kisses the Blarney Stone and tells the story of Katrina’s Nutty Irishman”

  1. For some reason I kinda knew he had been put through it. Other than losing all he owned. The fact no one cared probably explains a lot. Then the political factor. A sure way to a hardened heart that only fate can heal. Until you’ve loss everything you own and wittiness unjust acts to prevent recovery you’d think you have rights.

    There’s just no doubt a lot of folks are simply victims of political power plays and ton’s of fraud. It’s bad though losing your home can’t get anything done about it. Then there was the toxins in all those FEMA, trailers. As well some problem with the funds reaching the actual victims in most cases.

    Wouldn’t the federal RICO statues apply here.?

  2. The authorities must be interested Robert and in this case a clear violation of the man’s civil rights has been ignored.

    The authorities including Federal Judge Sarah Vance ignored clear evidence of fraud in Weiss v Allstate.

    Mike Chaney ignored clear evidence of fraud on State Farm’s part in his market conduct study. The MID lawyer in charge of the study now works for a firm that represents State Farm.

    Meantime how many nickle and dime FEMA frauds against individuals have been prosecuted?

    Whether it is recognized as such it is human nature to take the path of least resistance. In my line of work it is manifested by small individual returns being audited far more by IRS than high income taxpayers who can afford someone like me to represent them.

    Alot of times people are their own worst enemies however and it is easier to ignore the person who is lashing out than the one who tries to make things easy for the person in control of a situation.

    The concept of justice for all is a myth. As a general rule money buys justice and if have no coin then you’re SOL.


  3. Its understandable the path of least resistance comes into play. No doubt that path holds an undeniable amount of corruption. The only thing worse than the general crimes to [ for like of a better word ] steal what is rightfully others is explaining a situation your attorneys who for some reason they didn’t understand. Next watching them use that information to threaten defendants into settlement. Knowing now that the inform is life threatening and settlements gained one your behalf is now being spent to pay the courts to ignore your loss and sufferings and dismiss every action for any relief.

    You know it’s bribery when settlements had on a person never reach them because the only cause the court has is your settled claims and for some reason [ bribery ] requested relief is denied.

  4. As an engineer I am frustrated by the lack of interest or response to errors from not following Department of Army Engineering Manuals & Regulations since 1965 and no one ie responsible or liable for damages due to levee failure. The failures were brought on by these acts not the acts of Katrina. Katrina was just one more event that finished off the outfall canals. The improper design of pump stations, no operators on duty, no required cut-off valves and so much more was found on the COE website and Dept of Army website.

    Working with Ashton and supplying that information to him without anyone in the legal authority probably finished off his frustration and led to his angry outbursts. I do not believe that anyone knowing all the uncovered facts would not be angry over what destroyed this city. It was multiple acts over 40 years that led to that awful day. The local sponsors & the COE are both responsible. The judges never heard or understood the truth, including the three panel Fed Judges. This information was compiled and furnished to many different government agencies and officials with no comment.

    If I had been treated as Ashton was I too would have said some unkind words about all. Fortunately for me I did not have to speak with or to any, but I let my writing speak for me. Ashton could not let his arguments be read because they dismissed them.

    Anyone wanting a copy of my findings of some 20+ pages can send e-mail to me @ [email protected]

  5. That firm Mr. AROD worked for was involved in our claims in Hinds county. From what I’ve seen I wonder if there were any attorney groups in this state not involved. I guess I’ll always wonder if everyone involves understands the reasons they just flat out hate us over those millions or billions taken from us. Here’s a hint [ SATAN] I don’t expect understanding it’s a long story. If you were to beg a differ than explain just what force drives a group of individuals to deny relief to claims violating rights with the given amounts had. It isn’t greed it’s hate, evil. It is however the only one understanding that makes sense. If you wish to know those who serve the darkness just challenge the devil personally and his servants will do his bidding. Faith can not be bought. Surely being the least and the last of all matters before me on earth. I hope to fair better in a place most will never see. Yes I’m a believer always have been. I look towards a day when all knees will be bent and those who think God didn’t know their minds.

    Katrina was bad. But how could others know how life after the loss of your home occurred how you would feel especially if no one cared. How it would feel to be ripped off by a corrupted system of politics. How toxins play a part of your life when you life’s in dangers from your own home. And how money spent to aid you is used against you. Other than what happened how could you know. Compared to what occurred to us it isn’t what went around goes around at least injury issues were low.

    The settlement had was Marie v. Vicksburg et,al. and after settlement it became the state of Louisiana and Mississippi state agencies, attorneys, judges, state officials, and thousands of persons committing fraud V. The Marie’s.

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