Slabbed ties in the Butt Call, Bayou Sorrell Class Action Litigation with the Louisiana ODC

Chuck Plattsmier and staff, chief disciplinary counsel for the Louisiana Supreme Court

Lets link this comment on Magistrate Wilkinson and the cesspool that exists in certain judicial chambers with Sock Puppet’s comment on the Bayou Sorrell Class Action Litigation and the inside fix at the Louisiana ODC along with a very early post we did on the subject problems with the Bayou Sorrell class action litigation.

Representing the paralegal in Bayou Sorrell is Donna Grodner who recently turned in LJ Hymel and plaintiff’s counsel Lewis Unglesby for conducting an ex parte communication. The Baton Rouge Business report used comments from a defense counsel in the same litigation to imply lawyer Donna Grodner had done something illegal capturing the inside job on tape while not commenting on the propriety of the ex parte communication.

Folks the corruption and dirty double-dealing knows no political boundary. With this stuff, especially the class action litigation ca$h is king. In this cesspool we clearly see what slabbed has reported for over 2 years: Just Us, not Justice. Continue reading “Slabbed ties in the Butt Call, Bayou Sorrell Class Action Litigation with the Louisiana ODC”

So Ed Meese wants to talk “conservative values”. Is drug running conservative? Slabbed reports you decide.

Barry Seal, after the hit

This has been an exceptionally brutal week at for me as is normal for a private practice CPA in February. In my world Mardi Gras day is simply another workday and I’m lucky if I can make it to get some ashes the next day.  As is often the case with some of the topics we cover on Slabbed our posts derive from what are seemingly unrelated subjects and indeed some of our best blogging IMHO has derived from such serendipitous events. So a late night glance at a recent WaPo story re-printed in the Nation and World section of the Sun Herald earlier this week which mentioned Ed Meese coupled with me researching a tip that Lewis Unglesby (of Slabbed butt call fame) was part of the legal team involved on the back end of the Sherry murders is the genesis of this post.

So what does Ed Meese have to do with Lewis Unglesby and conservative values? How about drug running for starters as we take a look back in time to the mid 1980s and examine the case of CIA operative Barry Seal, specifically his murder, which was pinned on the Columbian Drug cartels. The Washington Weekly told the story about a decade later in August 1997 and it is there we begin:

“The biggest drug smuggler in American History was a CIA Agent.”

That’s the mind-boggling conclusion of a 6-month investigation into the life and death of Barry Seal, a pivotal figure of the Iran/Contra ’80s. Seal’s C123 military cargo plane figured prominently in two of the biggest and least-understood events of the decade, the Sandinista ‘drug- sting’ operation, designed to be the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Incident’ in a US- Nicaragua war, and the downing, six months after Seal’s assassination, of his beloved Fat Lady cargo plane over Nicaragua, with Eugene Hasenfus onboard, precipitating what came to be known, mistakenly, as Iran/Contra.

We have learned that the official cover-up of Seal’s CIA affiliation began before his body was cold. Continue reading “So Ed Meese wants to talk “conservative values”. Is drug running conservative? Slabbed reports you decide.”

It all began with a dime drop to Raphael. Slabbed takes a look back at the unfolding Jefferson Parish political corruption investigation

As I compiled my notes for this post and along the lines of my affinity for applied mathematics I was reminded of the Butterfly effect, a concept based in Chaos theory which underpins several of the concepts expressed by Nassim Taleb in his two books.  I have alluded to the fact that we had an idea as to the origins of the current investigation into Aaron Broussard and I threw Bill Hubbard in the mix as one of the candidates in my post, Let’s talk Prisoner’s Dilemma which included a reader poll asking which rat our readers thought was squealing to Jim Letten:

For reasons I will not go into at this point (as such is another post), I’ll add a player that has not been connected to the ongoing investigation that I think is connected in former St. John the Baptist Parish President Bill Hubbard. So the question is simple, assuming the feds have the goods on Tim Whitmer, Tim Coulon and Aaron Broussard and knowing they have Bill Hubbard by the balls who, if anyone, is squealing to save their own skin?

Looking back I should have included combo answers as another member of the gang is talking to Jim Letten IMHO but my vote, for Bill Hubbard, was reflective of the fact that he squealed first and that is the fundamental concept behind Prison’s Dilemma. Today we’ll explore the basis for that opinion as I reveal the court case that we think lead to Raphael and the Metropolitan Crime Commission getting that tip. Lets start with the editorial from today’s Times Picayune that finally convinced me it was time to tackle this subject:

But corruption, like tango, often takes two. For every official who takes a bribe, there’s someone willing to pay it. Those private citizens and contractors who abet corruption are as much of a cancer as the officials themselves.

So it’s good to see federal prosecutors targeting an alleged accomplice of former St. John the Baptist President Bill Hubbard, who resigned in September when he admitted to soliciting and receiving a combined $20,000 in bribes from parish contractors.

Prosecutors said one of those contractors was Ray Davezac, owner of Davezac Consulting Engineers, who allegedly paid a $5,000 bribe to Mr. Hubbard. Mr. Davezac’s firm earned thousands of dollars in parish work granted during the Hubbard administration, and the parish appropriately has canceled those contracts.

Mr. Davezac last week told a magistrate judge that he is innocent of the bribery charge and a trial has been set for April. Continue reading “It all began with a dime drop to Raphael. Slabbed takes a look back at the unfolding Jefferson Parish political corruption investigation”

The Advocate lends background on Hugh Sibley’s unshareable need

After I published yesterday’s post on the arrest of prominent class action lawyer William H “Hugh” Sibley a reader sent me some court docs from Louisiana’s Eastern District that lent some needed context to why an otherwise highly successful class action lawyer would allegedly become mixed up with Mexican drug runners. The answer is simple – massive debts.  Before I get to David Mitchell’s comprehensive article in today’s Advocate we’ll start with the court docs I was sent yesterday evening and Mr Sibley’s $1.3 million dollar unpaid debt to Harrah’s:

On February 2, 2004, this Court rendered a judgment in favor of Harrah’s and against William Hugh Sibley (“Sibley”) in the amount of $1,357,332.50, plus late fees $203,599.86 together with interest accruing from the date ofjudicial demand until paid, attorney’s fees in the amount of $8,775.92, and all costs of these proceedings, as fully set forth in the record of the captioned matter (the “Judgment”).

Harrah’s desires to re-examine Sibley upon all matters pertaining to assets and liabilities, estate or property, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a) and La. Code ofCiv. Proc. Ann. art. 2451.

The time for appeal of this judgment has run, no appeal has been taken, and the judgment has not been satisfied.

To secure payment of the Judgment, Harrah’s perfected a UCC security interest in certain contingency fee agreements held by Sibley or The Sibley Law Firm in the following legal actions:

1. In Re: Bayou Sorrel Class Action, USDC, WDLA, Civil Action No.6:04CV1101;

2. Noretta Thomas and Demetrice Butler, each indiVidually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated versus A. Wilbert & Sons, 1.1. C. and XYZ Insurance Company, 18th IDC – Parish of Iberville, Suit No. 55,127 and all consolidated matters, Division B;

3. In Re: New Orleans Tank Care Leakage Fire Litigation, Civil District Court Parish of Orleans, Suit No. 02-13675;……

Harrahs was unable to collect from those legal settlements over the next 4 years when they took Mr Sibley back to court last year. Continue reading “The Advocate lends background on Hugh Sibley’s unshareable need”

News from the Louisiana Class Action Front: Prominent Lawyer arrested and charged in drug conspiracy case

This case has a little something for everyone. (h/t Mr. NAAS) The Baton Rouge Advocate tells the story of the arrest of William Hugh Sibley on money laundering and drug conspiracy. Looking at the people he is allegedly hooked up with the implications are stunning.

A Greensburg lawyer involved in several high-profile, class-action lawsuits has been arrested on charges he was part of a multimillion-dollar conspiracy since September 2002 to launder drug money for international cocaine traffickers, federal prosecutors said in court papers.

Federal prosecutors in Houston accuse William Hugh Sibley, 62, of Greensburg, of using bank accounts to hide drug proceeds and of accepting, counting and distributing drug proceeds for the ring that distributed “multi-kilogram” cocaine shipments, court records show.

The ring’s reach extended into Mexico, Venezuela and the United States and is headed by Alejandro Flores-Cacho, who remains at large, federal prosecutors in Houston said…….. Continue reading “News from the Louisiana Class Action Front: Prominent Lawyer arrested and charged in drug conspiracy case”

AIG and CV Starr: The Spies Who Shagged Us

They knew which factories to burn, which bridges to blow up, which cargo ships could be sunk in good conscience. They had pothole counts for roads used for invasion and head counts for city blocks marked for incineration.

They weren’t just secret agents. They were secret insurance agents. These undercover underwriters gave their World War II spymasters access to a global industry that both bankrolled and, ultimately, helped bring down Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

Newly declassified U.S. intelligence files tell the remarkable story of the ultra-secret Insurance Intelligence Unit, a component of the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA, and its elite counterintelligence branch X-2.

Though rarely numbering more than a half dozen agents, the unit gathered intelligence on the enemy’s insurance industry, Nazi insurance titans and suspected collaborators in the insurance business. But, more significantly, the unit mined standard insurance records for blueprints of bomb plants, timetables of tide changes and thousands of other details about targets, from a brewery in Bangkok to a candy company in Bergedorf.

“They used insurance information as a weapon of war,” said Greg Bradsher, a historian and National Archives expert on the declassified records.

I am reminded of those war tactics today and the bodyguard of lies that have been so carefully constructed over the years to conceil some ugly truths about the insurance business. At slabbed we’re firm believers in knowing our adversaries and this story from the archives of the LA Times gives excellent background on the orgins of AIG. Continue reading “AIG and CV Starr: The Spies Who Shagged Us”