That’s right folks as it is an openly discussed fact that Judge Jay Zainey has a blanket recusal in effect in cases involving Gauthier Houghtaling and Williams. Unlike Judge Feldman’s blanket recusal involving a former paramour, the reason behind this step down is very tightly held and despite my working this angle since January I have yet to ascertain the why. Maybe someone will shed some light on this in comments.
Just in case anyone was wondering how a relatively few individuals on Wall Street could almost single-handedly bankrupt the country and not a single person went to jail for any of the massive financial frauds that have come to light (we bailed them out instead) wonder no more as the good folks over at Zero Hedge compare and contrast campaign finance reports of Harry Reid with John Boehner pointing out both men are owned by corporate interests lock stock and barrel.
Continental Casualty Co. filed suit in Louisiana federal court Friday alleging it should not have to pay to defend Gauthier Houghtaling & Williams LLP in actor Stephen Baldwin’s lawsuit over a $52 million joint venture deal with one of the firm’s partners.
I’ll see if I can update this post with case docs after I’ve had a chance to hit PACER.
Folks Team Magnum, in what I can only describe as an April fools joke, filed an Answer and Reconventional Demand in the suit involving his brother and other former partners at the firm of Gauthier Houghtaling & Williams who left the firm I’m told because of the massive conflict of interests Team Magnum has playing both sides against the middle representing clients against BP while simultaneously representing BP.
The answer contains all the stock denials that one would expect in the early stages of a lawsuit but Team Magnum is taking this a step further with their Reconventional Demand on page 13 of the pdf I linked above. In paragraph 145 Magnum essentially admits to his blatant conflict of interest involving BP while he centers his attack against his former partners making allegations of client poaching that really have no context absent the conflict of interest involving Houghtaling’s company Ocean Therapy Solutions doing business with BP while he trolled for clients to sue BP and Magnum’s lust to sign a legal representation contract with BP. Let’s revisit a the key point in paragraph 145 and compare to the contemporary news report we featured back in June 2010 from Fox 8:
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. Continue reading And to think Eric Paulsen had an insurance case against State Farm we somehow missed….
Question: What does a NOLA based law firm that claims legendary trial lawyer/litigator Wendell Gauthier have in common with Boss Hogg’s law firm Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes out of Jackson? Simple the color green as in cash, money, and greed as both firms have been caught with their hand in the conflict of interest cookie jar representing both sides in the current oil spill litigation. The disregard for basic legal ethics is stunning IMHO.
“This is an outstanding law firm that has enjoyed an impeccable reputation both across the state and across the nation…My office retained Gauthier, Houghtaling & Williams to represent Louisiana in the Multi-Billion dollar subrogation claim for the Road Home Program.”
The Louisiana Attorney General
2004 – 2008
Several of our commenters such as Mr. NAAS have mentioned a possible conflict of interest involving the State of Louisiana and the Gauthier Houghtaling and Williams law firm as the above client testimonial from former AG Charlie Foti illustrates. Now AG Caldwell is suing BP, (including hiring Steve Theriot and his daughter Wanda at taxpayer expense) while GHW is doing business with BP. One wonders if waivers have been obtained. This brings to mind several questions that are unanswered today such as did BP know of GHW’s representation of the State of Louisiana when they hired GHW and what has been done on Buddy Caldwell’s end to resolve this potential conflict of interest.
Nowdy, R in NOLA gets our first Slabbed “Shit Floats” T Shirt. 😉
From the looks of it folks, it appears Magnum spent the past couple of weeks doing what he does best in passing lots of threats to his now departed former co workers, who appear to be suing preemptively.
As I’ve gotten to know elements of the greater NOLA legal community I’ve come to appreciate the legacy on the plaintiff’s side of the bar of the late Wendell Gauthier, who was a litigator’s litigator. Simply put the man had a special talent in reading and reaching juries. In fairness, I’ve also heard the stories of the impact the man’s accumulated wealth had on elements of the local judiciary, especially at the zenith of his career with the tobacco litigation. As Gauthier died relatively young many of his contemporaries and former partners are still around as are an entire generation of younger lawyers that learned the art of the arguing a case from Gauthier in the years before he died.
Given the circumstances, this may just be the second dumbest campaign commercial Diaper David Vitter has ever run, especially since he tried to carry water for BP after the spill via limiting their liability for the damage they caused.
I’ve come to realize the danger of ideology when ordinary folks allow themselves to become unwitting dupes to those with higher personal aspiration that inhabit the political world, especially those that hold elected office. As a young CPA I was privileged to be broke in by a guy who not only held the credential but was also a superlative businessman and of all the lessons he taught me, the why he was in business instead of politics was the one that stuck with me forever.