Signs of Michael Avenatti’s lack of legal prowess abound…..

There are many kinds of lawyers such as the good defense lawyer that keeps his clients out of trouble before trouble happens or the no nonsense Plaintiff’s lawyer that skillfully guides a case into the Courtroom where the playing field is level. In my years doing Slabbed I’ve found there is another kind of lawyer, the kind that freelance and attempt to take shortcuts while mostly crashing and burning, often to the detriment of their clients. There were multiple signs that Michael Avenatti fits into the last category as a lawyer that was adept at using the media while failing to see longer term ramifications of his actions on his clients. We got the first hint of that late last year:

Stormy Daniels Ordered To Pay Trump $293,000 In Fees In Defamation Lawsuit ~ Jessica Taylor

Earlier this week Eriq Gardner wrote an excellent article on Avenatti’s tactics that is well worth the read. Avenatti appears to be a very effective advocate for one person only, himself. I’ll grant its possible I am missing something but I think not.

Thursday Afternoon Miscellany: Clovis Reed’s Libel Suit against Double D, Others Crashes and Burns

The good word came down on Tuesday when Judge Ozerden ruled on a Rule 41 voluntary dismissal motion filed by Reed after he settled with the City of Diamondhead’s insurer. I frankly never understood why the private citizens were included by Reed in his Section 1983 lawsuit against the City and once that count was settled it opened the door for the Court to punt the entire case, which it did. Reed could in theory refile the libel action in Circuit Court but he’d be throwing good money after bad based on his federal court complaint. Slabbed’s archival post on this topic can be found here. Judge Ozerden’s order of dismissal is embedded below:

Reed v Diamondhead Doc 47 by Slabbed on Scribd

Moving right along since the archival post also covered the Marquar Section 1983 lawsuit against the City of Bay St Louis, Mike Favre and Lonnie Falgout I took a peek at the docket of that matter while I was on PACER. Motions to Dismiss were filed late last fall and there has not been a docket entry since. I suspect a ruling on those Motions will be forthcoming shortly.

BMI is on the prowl…..

Along with a host of other Performing Rights Organizations such as ASCAP.

BMI sues Mississippi nightclub over music licensing. Owner calls fees legal ‘extortion.’ ~ Alissa Zhu

If you are in an organization whose business model relies on jukeboxes or cover charges for DJ’s playing songs especially, heads up:

Prairie Dog Washington DC 1.jpg
Prairie Dog popping its head out of its burrow in response to a kerfuffle. By Aaron Siirila, Via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 2.5, [Link to original photo]

Without going into a copyright law treatise the bottom line here is you better be paying your licensing fees* or you’ll learn the hard way as Freelons Restaurant, Bar & Groove in Jackson is fixing to find out. One thing its not is extortion in any way shape or form. Continue reading “BMI is on the prowl…..”

Michael Avenatti is indicted and out pops Peoples Bank

A reader did some high quality sleuthing and the result is this post, which seeks to add a healthy dose of color to the reporting on this mattter from WLOX and Anita Lee over at the Sun Herald, which then spread regionally. Let’s start connecting some dots.

First a caveat and disclaimer. Federal prosecutors love using initials in criminal filings to protect the innocent (and sometimes the not so innocent). There is nothing in the Avenatti indictment to suggest those that knew him here on the coast have done anything wrong.

With that set up Slabbed has had some success in these circumstances  deciphering initials via community sourcing. Let’s visit with Avenatti’s indictment section devoted to The Peoples Bank to get the latest batch of initials:

Avenatti Complaint by on Scribd

Footnote 41 on page 124 (PDF page 159) says an M. C. introduced Avenatti to C.S., who everyone understands is The People Bank CEO Chevis Sweatman. M. C. was fairly easy to unravel and involves an interesting case Avenatti had suing a Seattle regional CPA firm Moss Adams and a ponzi scheme gone bad. One look at the case raises a whole bunch of red flags because sanctions were levied against Trustee Mark Calvert. The Seattle Times has the skinny: Continue reading “Michael Avenatti is indicted and out pops Peoples Bank”

Former pastor of St Clare makes the Jackson diocese sexual abusers list

I remember as a child nick naming him Father Falstaff. If I remember right, St Clare was George Broussard’s last stop before leaving the priesthood. It appears he also was pastor over at St John’s in Gulfport before coming to Waveland.

17 Catholic priests named as accused sex abusers in Jackson diocese ~ Sarah Fowler

Broussard is accused of abusing eight victims. A diocesan priest, Broussard is accused of abusing three brothers, four John Does, aged two to five, and a girl. The female victim is the same victim in the Boyce incident. She alleged the abuse took place from 1969 to 1974.

Broussard requested and was granted leave in 1975. His facilities were removed in 2003. He died in 2007.

I was an alter boy back when Broussard was knocking around Waveland in 1974. We were shocked when he drug up very suddenly and left. All these years later we now know why.

Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia executive director Marilyn Smulders is a common US Copyright troll

Lawyers come in all shapes, sizes and varieties folks and I’ve crossed swords with a few by now. Some of those associations ended up with everyone gaining a measure of mutual respect, others not so much. In 2014 my overall litigation strategy was questioned by a judge, rightfully so I’ll add given I was a pro se litigant. I kept my mouth shut and executed on the plan, which I knew would take years to work through and sure enough it did.

Litigating in Federal Court for five years isn’t just any kind of ‘fun’ folks as Uncle Jimbo from South Park nails the experience, in a misery loves company kinda way.When an old lawyer asked me my litigation goal when we first conferred my answer was not to make an ass of myself before the Court, a goal I thought was achievable. Should anyone ever again think it is a good idea to mess with this website or its commenters, the Courthouse doors are wide open to me, of that I am fairly certain.

As for my former adversaries, that $300/day contempt sanction they continue to owe me has added up to a whole lot of money. I do not think they’ll ever be coming back to live in the United States and that is a good thing overall for everyone as they leave collateral damage wherever they go.

Today, the following was published to Slabbed uploads on Scribd: Continue reading “Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia executive director Marilyn Smulders is a common US Copyright troll”

Lana Noonan: Waveland to Begin Publishing its Claims Dockets Online

Lana advises that she made a presentation at the Wednesday Board of Aldermen meeting and after a discussion, “all agreed that no motion was necessary because new City Clerk Mickey Lagasse stated that the dockets will be on the website starting the end of next week.”

This bit of financial transparency is well overdue compared to the others Cities and County government but it is a welcomed development nonetheless. Live streaming the meetings should be the next step.

Eating their own: One practitioner’s take about last year’s Alt-Right attacks on Judge Ozerden

And that practitioner would be me, who was unable to respond to last year’s attacks by Wingnut propaganda outlet Breitbart’s on Judge O because of a matter I had before him.

First a point of disclosure, I’m not a lawyer and never will be. Further I am soon to announce my retirement from the pro se practice of law. My experience as a pro se litigant is somewhat unique because a frequent joke actual lawyers tell is that the Latin translation for pro se is “already lost” and that is true for the overwhelming majority. That was not quite true for me. I’ll have more on that in a week or so.

What is true is that before anyone, pro se or not appears before a Court it is a darn good idea to learn as much about the judge as is possible. I did lots of digging back in 2015 but not being a legal profession insider has its disadvantages because there is only so much information available in the internet.  Judge O, unlike seemingly many of the other local jurists did not grow up on Second Street in Gulfport where I know lots of folks.

That said I did find one tidbit from a now defunct Mississippi website and  that tidbit was that was Judge Ozerden was the kind of Judge that “let the lawyers lawyer”. What that means is if the case is a switchblade fight between the litigants, every one of them better bring some steel to the party or suffer the consequences. Lawyers are officers of the Court and the good ones take the charge very seriously.  That means lawyers resolving a  case among themselves (i.e. settling) is always a very favored outcome.

My experience before Judge O. was that he is exactly as advertised.  In fact my adversaries and I maybe even went a shade above and beyond with our knife fight as the Court used the term “gamesmanship” in an order issued later in the case that it used to describe the scrap. (Just because the lawyers are allowed to lawyer in Judge O’s Courtroom doesn’t mean the Judge or the Magistrate are blind to what the parties are doing.)

This brings me back to the Wingnuts and their heartburn with Judge O:

“No violation of religious liberty and conscience rights in recent years is more infamous than when Obamacare ordered the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor to violate Church teachings,” says Susan B. Anthony President Marjorie Dannenfelser exclusively to Breitbart News, referring to the judge’s ruling in Catholic Diocese of Biloxi v. Sebelius. “Judge Halil Suleyman Ozerden has utterly failed to protect people of faith against Obamacare’s assault on religious liberty and conscience rights and does not deserve a promotion to the Fifth Circuit.”

Jackson lawyer Phillip Thomas fills in the blanks that Breitbart didn’t and the bottom line is when alt right Wingnuts decry agenda driven rulings, they are talking about every agenda but their own: Continue reading “Eating their own: One practitioner’s take about last year’s Alt-Right attacks on Judge Ozerden”