Monthly Archives: April 2010

Up to their necks in Possumneck – a tornado damage and “help needed” update

Let’s start with a big SLABBED “thank you” to all who have offered assistance.  Mississippi has an “official clearinghouse” for those who want to volunteer or make a donation.  However, I would be remiss not to mention the Red Cross as an option as virtually every news article on last weekend’s tornado has mentioned one or more assistance services the Red Cross has provided.

If you want to make a more personal donation, I suggest contacting a neighbor-helping-neighbors — the owner of the Black and White Department Store in Yazoo City.  A friend from Yazoo City who knows the store’s owner told me he was providing “gift certificates” to those who need new clothes.

I plan to purchase a gift certificate and ask that it be given to a high school senior who will be graduating next month.  You can purchase over the phone 662- 746-2571‎ or mail a check to 236 South Main Street; Yazoo City, MS 39194-4010.

Now, the story from Possumneck –TIMBER! Continue reading

How about a bit of housekeeping

I’ve been out and about with the day job without much time to post of late and though I haven’t heard from Nowdy I suspect she’s been busy with the disaster in Central Mississippi while everyone around these parts is watching an epic environmental disaster unfold with the blowout explosion of the BP Deepwater Horizon, resulting loss of life and oil spill. Like so many people from this area I spent time on the rigs both in the gulf and off the coast of California earning money to put myself through college. Boots and Coots is most likely on the job as the Haliburton era begins with a bang. From the look of things, the house that Dick Chaney stunk up should get a quick payback on that timely $240MM investment. Meantime local businessmen with jobs on the line pray for a miracle.

We have a Louisiana 24 Judicial District special election tomorrow featuring an alleged “despicable corrupt skank” against a private practice lawyer. Both are Republicans though I think only one has a decent shot at consistently upholding the law and not being drug down into the cesspool of corrupt machine politics. The Times Picayune recently ran a Paul Purpura story on the race where it becomes clear Debbie Villio is Sheriff Newell Normand’s political bitch as our boy Newell gets down and dirty on Villio opponent Ray Steib:

In a television commercial this week, her campaign chairman, Sheriff Newell Normand, assails Steib for his criminal defense work, saying he employs smoke screens “to keep criminals out of jail.”

Steib said Tuesday he is concerned about crime, too, and his campaign will respond in kind on television, tying Villio to former Parish President Aaron Broussard, who appointed her to her code enforcement job and resigned in January amid a federal investigation of his administration. Continue reading

Jim Brown on the Arizona Immigration Controversy

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

IMMIGRATION CONTROVERSY DIRECTLY

AFFECTS LOUISIANA!

What if by some magical occurrence, every illegal immigrant was removed from Louisiana? Well, there would be few roofs replaced on houses, and most of the state’s golf courses would grow up in weeds. Take a good look around your local community, and you will find, even in smaller towns, that numerous menial jobs are held down by Mexicans and other Latinos. Little or no English spoken, and yes, please pay in cash if possible. With no illegals, Aunt Mary would have to clean her own house and it would be an effort to get washed utensils at your local restaurant.

It’s just not Arizona where large numbers of illegal immigrants have congregated. Louisiana has an estimated 250,000 undocumented workers, with more than 100,000 concentrated in the New Orleans area alone. It’s a fact of life that, just like in a number of other southern states, illegals make up a significant number of the state’s workforce. And the numbers are growing. Continue reading

What took you guys in Northbrook so long……

Nowdy sent me an email letting me know our friends from Northbrook Illinois have signed on to our twitter page. Now aside from publically calling for Tom Wilson’s resignation and calling Allstate’s Board of Directors “a band of idiots” for expertly assisting Mr Wilson in the destruction of shareholder value I have no idea why they would want to follow little ol’ us down here.  :-)

Layla sends her regards Tom. And Layla sweet, nice voice!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx5KnOcgXDM]

Neil Barofsky sat down with Bloomberg reporter Richard Teitelbaum recently giving a wide-ranging interview on his time as the Special Inspector General (SIG) over what has become the $700 billion “hydra-headed beast encompassing 13 financial aid plans” known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP for short. The piece gives a good bit of insight into Barofsky’s past as a federal prosecutor including his time as a one time kidnap target of the FARC, a Columbian NARCO terrorist organization we previously explored in connection with the politically connected ownership of Republic Insurance in the Lindner family. Here are a few excerpts of the article where we also find out Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is now in the crosshairs beginning with Barofsky’s office space at Treasury:

The space assigned to him as head of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or SIGTARP, was shoehorned into the basement, three floors below U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s offices.

“They eventually discovered a broken sewer main beneath the floor,” says Barofsky, 40, adding that he doesn’t think any slight was intended by relegating him to the malodorous quarters. Still, he says with a smile, “I wasn’t given the prime real estate in Treasury.” Continue reading

Shaving with Hanlon’s Razor – the unsealing and disclosure of Rigsby qui tam (Part 1- 2006)

“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

It hardly seems possible there is anything about ex rel Rigsby v State Farm that has not been subjected to scrutiny and speculation; but, starting around a month before the May 2009 pre-trial hearing and continuing during the many that have followed, something on the docket would catch my eye and I’d make a note to take a closer look later.

“Later” came when I saw mention of a familiar name on the blog Main Justice:

A Southern District of Mississippi prosecutor is in the mix for the Northern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney nomination, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told Main Justice…Assistant U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams is being considered by the Obama administration for the Northern Mississippi slot…

Ms. Adams has been the “face” of the government in the Rigsbys’ qui tam case.  Her signature, not that of Dunn Lampton, “the U.S. Attorney who wasn’t fired,” is affixed to the documents filed by the government.

However, this series of posts is not about Ms. Adams, reportedly now a leading candidate for appointment to one of the two USA positions in the State.  Instead these posts are a year-by- year timeline reporting the events reflected in the docket of ex rel Rigsby v State Farm, supplemented with events recorded on the docket of other cases when required to document events related to the unsealing and disclosure of the Rigsbys’ qui tam Complaint.

Nonetheless, the government’s position on the unsealing and disclosure of ex rel Rigsby v State Farm often left the Rigsby sisters as vulnerable as a “sitting duck”.

Did “the government” shave the case with Hanlon’s Razor or malice? SLABBED reports, you decide.

Continue reading

“Our livelihood and our brotherhood” – and the “brotherhood” of Massey Coal

“How can we fail them? How can a nation that relies on its miners not do everything in its power to protect them?” Obama said. “How can we let anyone in this country put their lives at risk by simply showing up to work, by simply pursuing the American Dream?”

President Obama delivered an eloquent “eulogy to the workers who died in the worst mine accident in a generations” as Obama: W.Va. miners died in pursuit of better life reported:

“In coveralls and hard-toe boots, a hardhat over their heads, they would sit quietly for their hourlong journey, 5 miles into a mountain, the only light the lamp on their caps, or the glow from the mantrip they rode in,” Obama said.

“Most days, they would emerge from the dark mine, squinting at the light. Most days, they would emerge, sweaty, dirty, dusted with coal. Most days, they would come home. Most days, but not that day.”…

“All that hard work. All that hardship. All the time spent underground. It was all for the families… these miners lived — as they died — in pursuit of the American Dream.”

Money earned working in the Massey-owned mine made it possible for the 29 miners to pursue the American Dream that became a nightmare for their families after the explosion at Upper Big Branch.  Massey’s owner had a bigger version of the American Dream – one that created the nightmare of equal justice for all revealed in Caperton v A.T. Massey Coal Co:

Justice Brent Benjamin of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia refused to recuse himself from the appeal of the $50 million jury verdict in this case, even though the CEO of the lead defendant spent $3 million supporting his campaign for a seat on the court–more than 60% of the total amount spent to support Justice Benjamin’s campaign– while preparing to appeal the verdict against his company. After winning election to the court, Justice Benjamin cast the deciding vote in the court’s 3-2 decision overturning that verdict… Continue reading

Not another dern Tee Vee lawyer: Slabbed takes a second peek at Scott Walker lawyer Bernie Grimm

Bernie Grimm

I noticed we sent several outclicks up to Bernie Grimm, Scott Walker’s Washington DC based attorney from my last post on Scott Walker’s recent meltdown. After I hit “publish” it occurred to me I already knew Bernie (well kinda anyway) from his time as a talking head on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox news show. Since we are fairly well read in local legal circles I thought a follow-up post was in order as this Walker saga will be with us for a while from the looks of things.

After doing a bit of googling on Bernie, I found his life and times in ways mirror better known Grimm’s fairy tales so lets begin with the Cat and Mouse in Partnership and examine how a criminal defense lawyer ends up working at a white collar crime firm:

After 20 years of defending the District’s street-level criminals, solo practitioner Bernard (a.k.a. Bernie) Grimm is preparing to concentrate on white-collar defense. He will start as a partner in the white-collar group at Cozen O’Connor on Jan. 1st. Continue reading