The Price We Pay For “Pro-Business” Courts

As I’ve said in prior posts, I firmly believe Americans can no longer claim we’re “a government of laws not of men” as John Adams, our 2nd US President once pronounced. Adams’ words came to epitomize the venerable “rule of law” in America. In his era, the critical debate was “rule of law” vs. “rule of man.” The prospect that America might become “a government of men not of laws,” is exactly what Adams and our founders feared most, and warned us to stay away from. In their day, “rule of man” referred to the British King George III, who . . . well, just take a look for yourself:

In 1776, the year of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine anonymously wrote a pamphlet titled Common Sense which stated: “in America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.” Adams, a contemporary of Paine, expounded on Paine’s Common Sense, and made sure the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 included the words “a government of laws not of men.”

In Adams’ and Paine’s day, the King was law, and he served no one except himself. Today, billionaire monopolies are the “King makers.” By purchasing our legislatures, individual judges and elected officials, they bastardize “the rule of law.” Their aim is make America a government of men, not law. This is what happens every day in Latin America, and why we call them “third world.” If we acquiesce, and accept their bastardization of America’s founding premise, we’re right back where we started in 1776. Put another way:

we cannot let this ↓ become this ↓

A couple of days ago Mississippi ruled that the 5th Circuit’s blanket validation of the ACC clause in Leonard v. Nationwide was erroneous, and not the law in Mississippi. (Corban v. USAA) The ruling came one thousand five hundred (1,500) days after Katrina hit on August 29, 2005. The 1,500 day journey to get an ACC ruling traveled this 4 year timeline:

  • August 2005 – Katrina
  • August 2006 – Leonard trial (District Court)
  • August 2007 – Leonard opinion (5th Circuit)
  • October 2009 – Corban opinion (Ms Sup Ct)

In the first 13 months, Katrina claims in three beachfront counties alone totaled $4,831,869,515.00. That works out to $400,273,214.00 in claims per month, or $13,254,079.00 per day, just in those three counties. So, until Corban, decided October 8, 2009, State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide applied the ACC as a take-it-or-leave-it settlement tool. During this entire period there was no legal opinion invalidating the “in any sequence” language of the ACC. Nor did any legal opinion make it clear that the ACC was solely applicable in one narrow situation: where “indivisible, contemporaneously converging” wind and water caused the loss, which the insurer had the burden to prove.

There’s really no accurate way to calculate how many millions of dollars in claims were falsely underpaid, and fraudulently settled during this time. Then, in 2007 when Edith Jones decreed that water effectively washed out accrued wind loss, no matter when it arrived, the insurance monopolies figured “game, set, match.” It took another 2 years before Corban reached the Mississippi Supreme Court, and the hideous Jones opinion was overturned.

All this time, every $13 million day, there was a simple way to get the ACC question up to the court it belonged in – the Mississippi Supreme Court. It’s called “certifying.” For decades, federal courts have deferred purely state law questions to state supreme courts. Mississippi has had a certification rule as far back as 1983. In pertinent part, the rule says: “When . . . there are no clear controlling precedents in the decisions of the Mississippi Supreme Court . . . the federal court may certify such questions or propositions . . . to the Mississippi Supreme Court for rendition of a written opinion . . . .” (MRAP, Rule 20). This is a lot of fancy rhetoric effectively saying “when in doubt, go ask the experts,” but the idea is to keep federal courts – the playgrounds of predator corporations – from freelancing into state law.

So why didn’t this happen with Katrina? Why didn’t the 5th Circuit “certify” the ACC question to the Mississippi Supreme Court, instead of flippantly condemning a third of Mississippi’s citizens to utter financial ruin? Did Sheila Birnbaum know something about the 5th Circuit we didn’t? What’s behind her remark in a recent speech: “I think we always knew that we had to get the cases up to the Fifth Circuit . . . .”

Curious, I checked into the 5th Circuit’s history on certification. Here’s what the Mother Court (US Sup Ct) said about the 5th Circuit as far back as 1974: “The Fifth Circuit’s willingness to certify is in part a product of frequent state court repudiation of its interpretations of state law. See the cases summarized in United Services Life Ins. Co. v. Delaney, 328 F.2d 483, 486-487 (CA5 1964) (Brown, C.J., concurring).” See Lehman Brothers v. Schein, 416 U.S. 386 (1974). So as long ago as 1974 the 5th Circuit’s reputation for state law interpretation was one of “frequent repudiation.” This makes it even more egregious that the ACC wasn’t timely certified to our Supreme Court.I’d sure like to know the cumulative salary we taxpayers are paying these judges who thought nothing of destroying people’s entire life savings, and economically condemning one third of our state just so some racketeering monopoly could preserve its record profits. The 5th Circuit currently has 21 judges on its payroll. You do the math, if the value of their annual pay packages, considering vested health insurance, pension benefits, etc. totals out to even $300,000 a year, conservatively estimated, that’s $6,300,000.00 a year we’re paying these people to dispense impartial justice.

It’s time to put a stop to endemic corruption. I advocate that we pressure Congress to apply the honest services doctrine to every federal judge and court staff member. Is there any good reason why we the people – the ones funding these sworn government servants – shouldn’t be entitled to honest services from them? The alternative is simply unacceptable – scrap the rule of law, and acquiesce that our government is now third world. The definition of honest services as it’s used in the federal mail fraud statute, 18 USC 1346 reads: “the term ‘scheme or artifice to defraud’ includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

Senator Patrick Leahy has repeatedly tried to get an honest services bill which would apply to members of Congress. Why not do the same thing with our judicial system? How else are we going to stop the corruption and save the rule of law?

19 thoughts on “The Price We Pay For “Pro-Business” Courts”

  1. Hoo-Rah, Bam-Bam! $13 million per day for @1500 days generates a lot of “influence” to pass around. One day, “someone” is going to publicize my Complaint(s) of Judicial Misconduct against Fifth “Circus” Judges, post-KATRINA, which involve “heavy doses” of prohibited ex parte communications designed to “influence” the Judges decision-making by means prohibited by law. And remember this: The Judges’ SHIT stinks just as much as yours or mine does, maybe worse.

  2. I posted about the certification process 2 years ago. I also explained that we begged the 5th Circuit to certify the VPL question to the La. Supreme Court in Chauvin. Of course they didn’t and issued a true abomination of an opinion.

    Keep in mind Judge Duval also asked the 5th to certify the issue of whether or not levee breaches fell under the ISO definition of flood after ruling they did not in his 30 plus page decision in Inr e: Canal Breaches. The 5th’s response to a sitting federal judge’s request? No thank you— we’ll decide it.

    As an attorney it amazes me that judges, who are former lawyers, do not recognize and take seriously, their roles as judges.

    Keep in mind these are the same judges who are appointed, not elected. Anybody who thinks appointing judges is better than electing them need only look at the garbage coming out of the Eastern District of La. and 5th Circuit to understand why they are wrong.

  3. To NRB: Keep the following in mind: Duval-Daley-Fayard’s decision in the “Insurance” case(s), which was reversed by the Fifth “Circus”, was calculated to do one thing, and one thing only: To bestow great financial benefit on Duval-Daley-Fayard’s “close personal friend of long-standing”, Calvin Fayard, who represented the “lead” Insurance plaintiff, and who was “annointed” by Duval-Daley-Fayard to the position of “Plaintiffs’ Liason Counsel” in the Insurance cases. If this decision had been upheld, it would’ve cost the insurance industry over $40 billion. THINK for a moment: CGL policies contain a flood exclusion, but the Government offers flood coverage with a limit of $250,000 for a pittance, but when a loss occasioned by flood occured, the insureds who made the conscious decision NOT to purchase flood coverage claimed that the flood exclusion in the CGL policies was ambiguous, and provided the coverage which they consciously failed to purchase, because they didn’t think they would ever need it. THAT is what Duval-Daley-Fayard ruled, essentially, all calculated to give a “gift” to his friend, Calvin. Thank goodness for the Fifth “Circus”, at least in that case, which was an abomination in the District Court. WHERE IS THE GODDAMNED FBI?

  4. Ashton the feds upon further warning, to not contact one judge after being told to by another judge, re: corruption by judges. That instate federal agents work on behalf of their states officials. Since they were at my home on behalf of our settled claims stolen by clear and open fraud I had to ask.

    The circuit judge became a supreme court judge and our attorney became a state senator, clearly state officials.
    I guess the feds job description has changed. Rather protect the crimes upon the public. Their jobs include protection of corrupted state officials. That would explain a hell of a lot going on. This too went before the clowns of the 5th, circus.

  5. To “mftmsft13”: Your post is a “little” hard to follow, but I interpret it thusly: (1) I am NOT “crazy” or a raving lunatic (my wife and kids will disagree); and (2) There is “more than meets the eye” regarding the “Joint Defense and Cost Share Agreement” which the “Jew-Nighted” States entered into with the State of Louisiana in July 2007, but kept secret until the trial of the Robinson/MRGO case in April and May 2009. The previously “secret” agreement means that the USA has been “helping” the State defeat the claims of innocent “Victims of KATRINA” against the State , even if the United States has immunity. I believe that there is something REPREHENSIBLE about such an agreement. WHERE IS THE GODDAMNED FBI?

  6. I am aggravated by your obsessive rants regarding the ACC clause and how important Corban is to the future of insurance adjusting. The ACC Clause is irrelevant, and Corban is irrelevant except for the Corbans and litigation waiting on that Mississippi Supreme Court

  7. In reality, policyholders face the daunting task of proving some preexisting wind damage where storm surge has occurred and is the more likely the primary destructive force. Kodrin is the greatest example of success in the face of this challenge. Obviously, having a hometown jury to decide the weight of the evidence is helpful

    There is alot in your reply I’d like to address but I’ll start here. We’ve blogged extensively on Kodrin – that case was unique for several reasons including the plaintiffs producing clear evidence of wind damage as the cause of destruction of the residence. That hometown jury meme is Rossmillerian fantasy bullshit.

    So you’lll know in Kodrin the jury was charged with finding the damage was caused by either wind or water with no middle ground. In cases such as Weiss such a jury instruction was done for strategic reasons, if I had to guess the main one being preventing even the Fifth Circuit from fucking up the trial court decision. Kodrin is the proof that strategy works IMHO. Had the Kodrin’s lawyer done a better job of building the bad faith case that too would have survived like Dickerson did which was heard the same day at the 5th Circuit.

    You may want to visit this post to learn a bit more on Kodrin.


  8. It is hard to make this stuff up but she prefers the role of aristocracy in the Judical system. I guess Bush hoped she would make him King?

    Judge Jones —

    “””Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America and one of the first writers to observe the United States from the outside looking-in, “described lawyers as a natural aristocracy in America,” Jones told the students. “The intellectual basis of their profession and the study of law based on venerable precedents bred in them habits of order and a taste for formalities and predictability.” As Tocqueville saw it, “These qualities enabled attorneys to stand apart from the passions of the majority.

    Lawyers were respected by the citizens and able to guide them and moderate the public’s whims. Lawyers were essential to tempering the potential tyranny of the majority. “Some lawyers may still perceive our profession in this flattering light, but to judge from polls and the tenor of lawyer jokes, I doubt the public shares Tocqueville’s view anymore, and it is hard for us to do so.

    “The legal aristocracy have shed their professional independence for the temptations and materialism associated with becoming businessmen. “””

  9. Bottom line: Prudent (and “rich”) people will have homeowner’s AND flood coverage (the latter in excess of the $250,00 policy limit, if their home is worth “more than $250,000), and if their home is SLABBED in the next hurricane (What the FUCK were you doing living on the Coast, anyway?), they can sue the homeowner and flood insurer for coverage and bad faith damages. And the lawyers get rich, too! My advice: Move inland.

  10. Even worse…

    From a CBS news article—
    (One of the three judges who originally ruled that a capital criminal defendant does not necessarily have a right to an awake attorney is Edith H. Jones. The really good news is that Judge Jones, a Reagan appointee, has been mentioned as a possible nominee for the United States Supreme Court if President Bush gets to name a new Justice. One would assume that Judge Jones would be able to convince the other eight Supreme Court Justices of the wisdom of her decision. After all, none of them is all that young, and I’m sure they all appreciate the importance of napping. So, it’s bound to become the Law of the Land. That’s great news for lawyers. Just as some of them have been doing for years, they will all be able to do their work in their sleep.

    Mr. Burdine hired a new attorney for the appeal. His original lawyer — the sleepy one — died. According to the legal thinking in Texas, I assume that Mr. Burdine could still have his first lawyer if he wanted him despite his being deceased. After all, if it’s OK for him to have a lawyer who sleeps through the trial, why couldn’t he have one who just happens to be dead? In fact, perhaps it would be to Mr. Burdine’s advantage to choose a dead lawyer. He could choose any lawyer in the history of jurisprudence. I know if I ever get a speeding ticket in Texas, I’m hiring Clarence Darrow.)


  11. To Steve: I posted a similar comment over the weekend, but apparently it got “lost” in cyber-space. Anyway, my biggest “beef” against Judge Jones, who happens to be the Chief Judge of the Fifth “Circus”, is her mishandling of the Complaint(s) of Judicial Misconduct against former Federal Judge Sam Kent of Galveston, who is now doing “hard time” in a Federal Penitentiary. Kent was accused of “harrassment” of a female member of his Staff, but the Judicial Council of the Fifth “Circus” circled the wagons around him and gave him a “slap-on-the-wrist”, namely a public reprimand, over Jones’ signature. Kent, that “cocksucker”, later pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation of his misconduct, during which it was revealed that he had committed sexual battery on his employee. Jones and the Judicial Council were revealed as INCOMPETENT in connection with the investigation of the employee’s allegations, causing me to “wonder”: If she (and her colleagues) could be so incompetent in connection with a “he said; she said” investigation, then what ELSE has been “FUCKED UP” by these INCOMPETENTS?

  12. Prediction:

    Jones’ name will never be uttered again within miles of the US Supreme Court. That was a bleep on our radar, mainly cause of Rove, and he’s been defrocked forever. Oh yeah, some cheap ass cable channel will plug him a little, but trust me, he’s gone. (Sidebar: I blame the NY Times as much as anyone for putting legs on Rove). Texas gave us both of these people.

    Jones will become a non-factor in law. She’s already marginalized herself as the female version of “Judge Limbaugh.” Her legacy as a jurist rates zero.

    Jones is another example of how we confuse intellect with character. She has impressive academic grades, and yet is so ill-suited to act as a judge my 5 yr niece could detect it. She was chosen, as they all are, not because they possess judge qualities, but because of political affiliation. She was counsel for the Republican party in Texas, so when they got in office, they rewarded her with a judgeship. Just like Charles Pickering of the family values pimp club was rewarded by Sen Treat Lott with a judgeship. Pickering delivered the Southern Baptist convention block vote to Lott, when he (Pickering) headed the old rugged crossers.

    A disturbing thing to me is how the family values pimps take their moniker literally – from Barbour, Pickering on down, once big daddy gets elected, they start running siblings, daughters, sons, cousins and any old body they can claw off the family tree. It’s disgusting. Despite Charles being denied a 5th Circuit seat (thank God, any God), and his pimp son being exposed, we still have one (Stacey Pickering) trying to claw his way up the political tree.

  13. I’ve made the following points previously, in other comments on this Web-site. Although Federal Judges, particularly Federal Appellate Judges, are placed on a pedestal by the public, because they are mysteriously “aloof”, live in an ivory tower, wear black robes, and must be smarter than the rest of humanity (I mean after all, how else did they get where they are now?), they are really no better than any other damn politician. They all owe political favors to those who put them in power, and believe me, “power” is more important than money to some people. They are susceptible to the very same stimuli that influence drug dealers, but they betray the public trust clothed in “secrecy”, and dupe the public with trite phrases like, “We just follow the law.” I sincerely hope that my Complaint(s) of Judicial Misconduct against a number of Federal District and Appellate Court Judges “go” somewhere good, but if they don’t, and if I am not killed in the process, I’m going to write one helluva book one day. WHERE IS THE GODDAMNED FBI?

  14. Ashton your certainly not crazy, in fact thanks for saying things in a way I’d like to. Since it would be construed as a threat upon those ass holes of state, federal and court of appeals perhaps I shouldn’t.

    I’d like to clarify my issues with the fucked up justice system. That huge paper mill in Bogalusa released a cloud of toxins as the only means of disposal. Their poison landed on my home in an secluded area. Having gone no further. Turning it into a country wide class action, to rewrite history. The state courts used our claims for settlements prior to and after attorneys fraudulent and attached class action failed it’s trial. The district [ this trick ] courts as well court of appeals have approved this action. Why?

    Due to an assumption we would die from related injuries the court continues to refuse any relief. The destruction of our home by unlawful seizure with toxins holds no meaning. WTF. In short the Motherfuckers are engaged in grand larceny on a grand scale. Hey but what can I do? All I have are the five volumes proving their dumb shit with settlements of a known 276 million and 2 billion sought for.
    The Louisiana action has been settled but here in Mississippi they still hoping we would just die sometime soon. Our claims have been made pending since August 1998.

    ps. Where is the Goddamned FBI makes for a great title though.

  15. An insurance company using their blood sucking skills to help the public. How refreshing—

    Get Ready for Dracula to Ring Your Doorbell
    Make it a Safe Halloween for All Trick-or-Treaters

    Press Release
    Source: Allstate
    On 9:00 am EDT, Thursday October 15, 2009
    Buzz up! 0 Print
    Companies:Allstate Corp.
    FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Every Halloween, children envision ghosts, goblins, and the possibility of amassing a treasure trove of candy. On the other hand, concerned parents worry about their children’s safety during this yearly candy-gathering ritual.

    Related Quotes
    Symbol Price Change
    ALL 32.15 +0.30

    {“s” : “all”,”k” : “c10,l10,p20,t10″,”o” : “”,”j” : “”} (Logo: )

    “Halloween is a cherished tradition, but the excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful,” says Allstate Field Vice President Thomas Clarkson. “There’s no real ‘trick’ to making Halloween a treat for the entire family. Both children and adults need to think about safety on this annual day of make-believe.”

    The following tips from the Allstate Insurance Company and the National Safety Council offer some excellent guidelines for ensuring that children have a fun and SAFE Halloween:

    Ensure children under age 12 are supervised by an adult or older responsible youth. Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters intend to follow.
    Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
    Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit, never enter a stranger’s home and establish a return time.
    Drivers should watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
    Dress children only in fire-retardant costumes.
    Keep costumes hemmed so they don’t cause children to trip. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.
    Decorate Halloween costumes with light-colored and light-reflecting material if kids will be out after dark.
    Use facial make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
    Give children an early meal before sending them trick-or-treating. Tell children not to eat any treat until they return home and – when in doubt, throw it out

    Memories of Halloween trick-or-treating last for years after the candy is gone. Make it a safe holiday by looking out for young participants taking part in one of our oldest annual traditions.

  16. It’s a piece of paper that costs $1000 per page per year.

    That Jared Loughner guy got THIS right … “What is government (or an insurance policy) if words have no meaning?”

    Pure Genius. Problem is that he woke up on the ‘dark side’ like Colonel Kurtz in the movie Apocalypse Now. (Where Kurtz talks about being shot in the forehead with a “Diamond Bullet” during his sitdown talk with Martin Sheen, Captain Williard)

  17. To alledge is one thing, to prove it with documents, well uh, thats the same thing too. Hey, some of those papers could be worth something in the right hands. The court corruption of man vs. law can drag a person down the road of life for a really long time. But seriously, where is that constitution or even fair or honest dealings from the courts? The historical account of what was fought for and the early years of that must to have meant something at one time. We have come a long way to get right back to the problem and the only way it can be dealt with is, $$$$. With state selective prosecution or the lack thereof, etc. etc.

    Although these type of events to rob the public via ManLaw use of public office or counterpart$ thereof are widespread. The fact these officials are paid to do a job. I’d have to believe that the Honest Service issue needs to be enforced where applicable and no real battle has been had before the court to clearify the possible meanings or extent of honest services. As to the fact the court rules politically, knowing you have four years or less to rob the public ManLaw applied rulings best fit the crime. It’s the long delayed process of cheating the victims openly which brings to question just WTF do we have here ?

    Talk of manlaw >>

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