This pleading came to me captioned Gates – Best Pleading Ever and in a strange slabbed sort of way it is as we find an example of a plaintiffs lawyer doing some of the sleazy things we’ve come to expect from State Farm lawyers like our old friend Scot Spragins of Kuehn infamy. Best of all it allows me to roll out some of Eric’s off air friends like Shane (D’Antoni) Gates and Danny Abel. To wit:
First, Plaintiff and Shane Gates (also known as Shane L. D’Antoni) are creditor/mortgagee and debtor/mortgagor on the very property as issue in this lawsuit, 56345 McManus Road in Slidell, Louisiana. 2 Thus when Baumgartner questioned Plaintiff at his deposition regarding his “unusual relationship” with Gates and why Gates seemed to be living at the McManus Road Property, Plaintiff’s reply that “Gates made a few mortgage payments” for Plaintiff has a whole new set of implications in light of the unearthing of the Bond for Deed, a transaction that has never been disclosed to State Farm or its counsel during the adjustment and lawsuit over this claim.3 Certainly in Plaintiff’s position as creditor/seller to Gates of the McManus Property, Plaintiff could have produced Gates for deposition and clearly knew at the outset when initial disclosures and discovery was made that Gates would be a witness in these proceedings.
As for Abel’s contention that “he has no control over Gates or Finley” the Weekly Standard interview given by Gates, Abel and Finley evidences that all three are the best of friends, that Abel employs Gates, “his distant cousin”, as his legal assistant and has done so since 1998 when Abel was one of the plaintiff’s counsel in the City of New Orleans’ products liability lawsuit against Smith and Wesson. As State Farm Exh. 4 demonstrates, Abel is a member and agent of the New Orleans Motorcoach, LLC corporation of which Gates is a member and Gates/D’Antoni is the registered agent for Omibibulean Society of New Orleans, La, LLC a corporation of which Abel and Gates are members.
Further, Abel has represented and continues to represent Gates in 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights lawsuits. See Shane D’Antoni v. City of New Orleans, et al, No. 96-cv-03083, dismissal affirmed. No. 97-3087 (5th Cir. 1998). On 10/17/07, Abel filed a §1983 action on Gates’ behalf against St. Tammany Parish Jack Strain, the Louisiana Heart Hospital of Lacombe and others. See Gates v. Strain, No. 07-cvb-06983. On 11/27/07, Abel filed a medical malpractice on Gates’ behalf with the Patient Compensation Fund. See 22nd JDC No. 2007-16650. For Abel to claim that he has no control over Gates is preposterous. Gates has been and apparently continues to be employed by Abel, his email address is provided in connection with Abel’s in the records of this Honorable Court, and notification of every document filed with the court in this lawsuit is copied to both Abel and Gates. Gates and Abel are in business together and Gates is represented by Abel in ongoing litigation filed in this court and in the 22nd Judicial District Court.
FN2: See SF Exh. 2. Bond for Deed contract between Shane D’Antoni and Eric Paulsen executed October 1, 2002 before Daniel Abel and recorded on October 10, 2002).
FN3: Additionally as set forth on pages 7 through 10 of State Farm Exh. 3, the Article from the Weekly Standard Magazine dated March 20, 2006 entitled “Will the Good Time Ever Roll Again?, a question arises as to the amount of insurable interest Plaintiff still has on the McManus Road property given Gates’ interview with the writer of the article and the terms of the bond for deed. Plaintiff, Gates and Abel have registered various corporations of which they members, directors or agents using the McManus Road Address. See State Farm Exh. 4, records from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Database.
Why does this lawsuit and Paulsen’s connections to Gates and Finley matter? We’ll explore that in part 2 as we take a trip in the way back machine to the old days when Shane D’Antoni and Danny Abel’s days with Wendell Gauthier will be explored. Feel free to begin making associations in comments.