Your Jefferson Parish Tax Dollars at Work: Parish pays Phelps Dumbar over $97,000 to sue bloggers and prevent access to public records.

As Lawyer X can well explain, corporate and insurance clients routinely pick apart billing statements and do not pay what is billed. It’s even more deplorable if the Parish does not have someone audit these bills and seek reduction.

So wrote a menber of the Slabbed legal team that saw the vender detail report detailing how much money the Parish has spent with the firm of Phelps Dunbar for handling 2 matters in suing the blogosphere for TheRiot and preventing access to public records. Our readers may recall things aren’t working out so well on the public records front as Phelps Dumbar got their asses kicked on appeal along with the taxpayer funded, Sandestin vacationing Judge Ross LaDart, who homecooked the case for the Team Young/Theriot.  I believe the Parish will end up paying for both sides of the legal bill on this case before this is done.

So what did Lawyer X have to say? For context purposes Lawyer X is a noted civil defense lawyer that has done lots of works for insurers and other corporate clients:

Yep. Yep.

and

Why did they not produce the actual bill and only produced the payment ledger?

Frankly the payment ledger is bad enough. So how much taxpayer money has Teams TheRiot/Young squandered fighting the now fired whistleblower Anne Marie Vandenweghe? Click the pic below the fold for the one page pdf. Hat tip Citizens for Good Government. ~ sop

25 thoughts on “Your Jefferson Parish Tax Dollars at Work: Parish pays Phelps Dumbar over $97,000 to sue bloggers and prevent access to public records.”

  1. When will the ARAB SPRING (or as AlJazeera/english says, “Arab Awakening”) come to the US shores?

    Think about it: Katrina; BP Gusher & disinformation campaign; Goldman Sachs, Lehman, AIG, FannieMae, FreddieMac, Washington Mutual, etc. taking our property values down by more than 30% resulting in rampant unemployment — and NOT a SINGLE PERSON GOES TO JAIL — Egyptian corruption has NOTHING on us!; GE sells the cheapest nuclear power plants in the world in the 70s and now we are being poisoned by Tepco and Fukushima.

    When oh when will the people wake up? Perhaps when after we paid between 5.5% and 7.52% of our pay EVERY pay period into FICA fund and the GOP decides to take our Medicare away or means test for OUR Social Security. We paid that percentage EVERY SINGLE PAYCHECK and they want to screw with our retirement?

    These warnings above ARE OUR WAKE UP CALL.

    THANK YOU SLABBED!

  2. Wow. Even at $300/hr. that breaks down to 323 hours for:

    A 6 page petition with no legal bearing (and very much on the edge of ethical/unethical filing) – which was quickly dismissed while also being a PR disaster:

    http://slabbed.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/breaking-steve-theriot-and-jefferson-parish-sue-bloggers-subpoenas-information-on-times-picayune-commenters-slabbed-mentioned-in-suit-not-subpoeaned/

    A 16 page exception basically stating there is no cause of action for a public records suit (again, very, very close to being outright unethical) – vs a woman who appeared on her own behalf – which got bitchslapped from above:

    http://slabbed.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/breaking-parish-to-anne-marie-fu-n-ur-public-records-suit/

    And the appellate reply (x pages) – which lost, badly.

    Three attorneys + at least 323 hours for that???

    AMV did not actually file suit until October 2010, right? By that time there was already something like $55,000 worth of billing.

    So does PD really not provide itemized bills (yeah? really, is that ethical?) or did JP simply not provide all the info they have thereby breaking the law?

    See THIS is the kind of thing they should have thought of beforehand, like gee if they filed suit maybe someone would seek the bills in a PRR one day. Duh.

    And what is Stanley Reuter doing for them? They were tacked on to the Phelps contract.

    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/05/john_young_abstains_from_vote.html

    You would think this kind of work would come into play at some point with these issues?:

    http://www.sfr-lawfirm.com/legalethics.htm

    http://www.sfr-lawfirm.com/stanley.htm

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:7hzW1NS_R6gJ:jp-appserver.jeffparish.net/AGENDA/05122010/agenda5122010/2rz901!.DOC+stanley+reuter+jefferson+parish&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESihkf93KLqMiDxj_w_-mz-1wly1BVzcGMplyr-Rfa5WNHDh4giGu15wOwwZQEootzxoR0eb2FZ7cw6XTdlL7qc-nEVHyPhiE4OD4HTAWWOEwtlNIPzsRJaaZ7TCwcVDrs9CvHP1&sig=AHIEtbT92YgsA0dFY1Meebd2lQL1YVeKYg

    If so, how much have they charged?

  3. JP previously hired PD in 2003?

    “Resolution #98570 – authorizing and requesting the Parish Attorney to
    negotiate a contract with and employ Mr. Harry Rosenberg and/or
    Phelps, Dunbar, L.L.P., to assist in the representation of Jefferson
    Parish in the matter entitled Jefferson Citizens for a Better Government, et al. v. the Parish of Jefferson, et al., USDC for the Eastern District of Louisiana No. 03-0345.”

    http://www.jeffparish.net/downloads/1382/1383-Minutes060403.pdf

    What was that about?

    Plus one more attorney added as a “subsconsultant” (costing how much more???):

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:Fjm6R_2jyysJ:jp-appserver.jeffparish.net/AGENDA/10132010/minute10132010/2vjg01!.doc+site:jeffparish.net+phelps+dunbar&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgObfx_w2uT3y6CDnFz_biI0mopzRGq1eIiTJGAyrbFYd4X3A2N5TBHegJ4eW3YMc84vXo1v4MIFFW7wr2xiiyygj6-rBNfWirz5_A9_4bxhhcoPi1IBOGutXOMUiz_2a-6TVhw&sig=AHIEtbQL9VxBaFopdEPBns-cIMIMDajq5Q

  4. I would LOVE to see basic intelligence test results for these so called “HONORABLE” Officials.

    REALLY…
    Just because they have enough MONEY to BUY AN ELECTION….
    They are RUINING OUR PLANET.

    PUBLIC SERVANTS are a THREAT to the PUBLIC .

  5. Keith,
    May I politely suggest you take off the blinders and drink a cup o’ joe yourself. The GOP isn’t taking away “your” Medicare and Social Security. You can thank every politician, Democrat and Republican, since the day both of those entitlements were enacted for that and Obamacare, as it stands, will serve as the final nail in the Medicare coffin. I understand your anger over the disappearing money from our paychecks, but the bottom line is, that money is gone forever and it is not coming back to any of us. ‘Dat dog just don’t hunt no more.

  6. vonzippa – for the record; I stand squarely with keith, without animus toward yourself. But I surely will take as theft from my person should I not receive so much as a single penny short of the full annuity due me from Social Security “premiums” I have paid for nearly 50 years! And the thieving bastards I will first hold responsible are the irresponsible ideologues now called “republicans” who are the “robber barons”, and wannabees of the era. All the others would be next!

    And I am very “midieval” in my beliefs in how such treasonous scoundrels should be punished!
    I believe the “usual terms” STARTED with”..life, titles, and lands are to all be forfiet, all property siezed for compensation, and all family & heirs to be imprisoned until restitution be fully made.”

  7. Almost $100,000 in legal fees spent by the Parish of Jefferson to defend an administrative hearing, not even a full-blown trial or real court proceeding. Not one single deposition taken. No discovery sent or received by either side. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!

    If the leaders of Jefferson Parish cannot be better stewards of our money, then perhaps they need to find work elsewhere. Phelps Dunbar has engaged in theft of public money – in plain sight. I would love to see the detailed billing statements. I am sure there were plenty of “Interoffice conferences” and other “fluff” charges that an insurance company would cut to shreds if it was paying the bill.

    1. John Young used to call State Farm’s NOLA area big gun law firm Haley McNamera home. Surely he knows about that level of billing scrutiny IMA.

      sop

  8. Patricia, you are way too kind to Mr.Theriot. How about an Abu prison picture with electrodes on the genitals of Mr.Theriot. Oh, pardon my ignorance I forgot. Well, we could shove an electronic probe up his girly parts right up to her G spot and give her the juice until her hair doo looks like Buckwheat’s and her orgasmic screams are heard all the way into the Dunbar offices.

    Still too kind huh. Well, its just early morning and I’ll think of something harsher after I fondly recall the good government face of Sissy Robert’s atop his fire engine leading his $200,000 Unethical Parade of Campaign Toys and fully complete my terlit duties.

  9. Is this related?

    “WHEREAS, the potential liability of the Parish in Personnel Appeal No. 2010-003 requires that the Council go into executive session to discuss legal strategy in this matter… ”

    March 24, 2010

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:iJL7IfM6IoAJ:jp-appserver.jeffparish.net/AGENDA/03242010/minute3242010/2qy403!.DOC+site:jeffparish.net+%22personnel+appeal%22&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESh9dUod-Xml94-wsl2Av8VwUWoWhaKHiDcPyyXsgWH5okB3kHIAH3xnfRe0-ml-nzwzyVE2eO7d2_MDT6H4iP_5h6C5Ej3EX1MLmW94PB2FoqQcU0obHXqWR3jfPQjyYxQE3Lwe&sig=AHIEtbT1DVUdyxswuT0BiGQ4lppd7lo7kg

    April 14, 2010:

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:g1DDNrvB7ogJ:jp-appserver.jeffparish.net/AGENDA/04142010/minute4142010/2rkk01!.DOC+site:jeffparish.net+%22personnel+appeal%22&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiHpJsC6s9WErYkEa0yqfrTS_l2fa6V0ZNeTg_6aPD-m1_ZKHjbowBy9eMeVkPb68DxUyYQTsX8Kr9nM5CP-WvQJQ0hUyMdBSKlWK4-L8X1jE9sDjHIdv4Ugqk7h6WX-ZJwiaB_&sig=AHIEtbRkrCs_oETTOOzI60Fj52ry6IA2BA

    April 28, 2010:

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:CPlh3KD_KpMJ:jp-appserver.jeffparish.net/AGENDA/04282010/minute4282010/2rw502!.DOC+site:jeffparish.net+%22personnel+appeal%22&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgCuL1sbgpiUTbgYkdDKZknBQq5-iMwO5KRCqmcJAVEtkAXqDKT0-2rycDEsjGPb8InvKwCNUdp5ksQTaIv_w7nI5VsLmOdCspSszMdFIc_HvKweZZNEE7fRhluGCIfwDvU3tgv&sig=AHIEtbTDsYHpmjtm1XI7FLFxed9kDsHEiQ

    Shouldn’t there be minutes of these executive sessions?

    Well, that’s what Pd was hired for.

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:fMoGeNrsRn0J:jp-appserver.jeffparish.net/AGENDA/03242010/minute3242010/2r3902!.DOC+site:jeffparish.net+%22personnel+appeal%22&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgtXLTIJZVpb2b4Kum7KZN8pUKehVY3YA846YDjoS-pbMxBx2WaIiLaq70XB7hyJDfiOxo4AfP91KFJydDWQbH-5Dt_-y07DdOLpqBvRTxtlDuiJ-rZDjh4vsza9nG-h8MP9fEo&sig=AHIEtbR_rCSm3jH6uSbIDAPGx1IdzFAL0w

  10. Sop, your timing of posting Phlips Dungmore’s recent robbery, a report in the form of billing taxpayers for exhorbitant legal fees, couldn’t have been better as I have just a few minutes ago learned from the record, that Phlips Dungmore has noticed an appeal of the 5th Circuit’s definitive ruling in AMV’s public document case…

    Cha-Ching…another $15,000+ for a pile of paper equal to a few hundred acres of trees containing pasted ‘non-relevant authority’…SOS !!!

    It would appear that the JP Politico Mafioso’s continuing vendetta against AMV will not end as long as they have one more dollar to spend on useless legal maneuvers and wasteful legal fees (this is really what’s going on)…

    And the kicker is that the billing by Phlips Dungmore is the best evidence of their failure to conduct the proper and necessary due deligence by: 1) not conducting an internal investigation relative to the whistleblower claims stated by AMV…facts that are true and have been additionally substantiated by the FBI, the US Atty’s Office and the La Legislative Auditor, and 2) identify who their client was…that being the JP Taxpayer and not the Elected Officials who chose them…the lawyers of Phlips Dungmore did what they shouldn’t have done … take on the persona of Young et al and that will be a mistake they will regret, that I am certain of…

    I will have much more to say on this subject…quid pro quo and the malfeasance of defending the indefensible shortly…

  11. Wow – $6,000.00 for an appeal. Kim Boyle is not that good at “oral.” Maybe PD needs to have all of its orifices examined with a legal bill audit. Oh, I forgot, Parish government doesn’t do that.

  12. Guys, maybe you ought to think about this from their (distorted, contorted) point of view.

    Maybe they’re spending this money because they believe they are looking at some major potential liability of a far greater amount.

  13. LAPML re: executive sessions:

    http://www.ldi.state.la.us/whats_new/OpenMeetingsLaw.pdf

    This is a possible timeline:

    1.30.10 Report that AMV hands over records to feds, her third trip

    2.24.10 Report that AMV placed on paid leave (suspended) (probably an even-steven move for Wilkinson’s suspension)

    3.18.10 Val Bracy reports on heated personnel board meeting

    3.24.10 Executive Session

    3.31.10 AMV brought back “this week” (reported in TP 4.9.10), supposedly due to prior investigative report showing work done for daughter and concerning mediation

    4.14.10 Executive Session

    4.17.10 Personnel Board Vote to hear claim

    4.26.10 AMV Appeal

    4.28.10 Executive Session

    5.6.10 Nass ruling against AMV

    5.10.10 Report that TheRiot sues

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/31997922/AMV-Application-of-Appeal

    … yaknowwhwta, if there was a plan to build a defense that outside work and personal business was part and parcel of working at the parish attorney’s office, developing and establishing the theme that “others did it”, especially the whistleblower, would be a pretty important fact and one worth spending money on (especially if it was someone else’s money) to do so.

    Dunno, just a theory.

  14. Roch and Gate,

    You’ll talkin’ an appeal to La. Supreme Court I presume. If Dumb and Dumber ask for a 30 day extension of time to file their supervisory brief by the time adjudication occurs there, they lose there and it is rescheduled in 24th JDC ; all that latent, procedural appeal and rescheduling time considered ought to keep the issue out of the news and the infamous La Dart in the Ass , home-style cooking court past the October JP election .

    Brilliant legal strategy and all on the taxpayers’ dime. Buying enough time so as to prevent political embarrassment for the October reelection of Young, Roberts plus present councilmen Townsend’s and Thomas’s council replacements. And the council conspiracy is again reloaded for four more years with cronies of the good old boys again.

    Despite the fact that the parish is still on the hook for a 55 million loan from FEMA the council will spend the very last penny of public taxpayers money to protect their political thief-doms and to continue the solidarity of the council conspiracy. A conspiracy dedicated to the monopolization of certain parish contracts by certain campaign rich, parish contractors . Why not, it seems to be the newly, voter accepted Mafioso style of politically privileged capitalism.

  15. This I do know. Satan’s Sistas, Kim and Nan, are going to catch hell when it’s found out about the duplicitous billing that is all too obvious by the amount shown on this report.

    Hell’s Hole lacks no wonting for those who choose to descend into the abyss of unethical practices and align themselves with evildoers.

    A hell-fire of sound and fury has been ignited and it is going to consume Phelps Dunbar.

    Jefferson Parish, THE HELL HOLE of all hell holes !

  16. I have PRR returns that suggest that the fees paid to Phelps,Dunbar relative to all matters concerning Anne Marie Vandenweghe, to date, are hovering toward a guesstimated amount upward to $300,000 … THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS !!!

    DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE … what an indefensible waste of taxpayers’ resources …

  17. Mere chicken feed, children! There was a certain parish paying over three million an year to two N.O. firms in the 1980s associated with a bit of litigation which snowballed into the “engagement for everything.” (Keep in mind the value of the dollar back then before the last two decades of Fed Reserve debauchery). A peek from time to time showed well the padding for political purposes and “flushbacks” of campaign contributions.
    I for one am surprised that the taxpaying proles of Jefferson didn’t get to “contribute” more.

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