Folks I warned Toronto Star reporter Richard J. Brennan this story was far more complicated and nuanced than he was lead to believe and I encouraged him to contact media outlets and the local authorities before wielding the hatchet to us. Unfortunately he had his mind made up when he called me how he was going to frame his story and my mind is open to the possibility he stepped out big for suggesting I was a homophobe. Hopefully they have proof to back that claim up. After all, they now have readers agitating for my arrest and extradition to Canada because I dared to assert my free speech rights as an American Citizen and that comment passed through their moderation que.. Of course any action I take will be here in the US where the Star could enjoy the same legal rights as their brother journalists do here at Slabbed.
With that said I welcome intelligent discourse on this topic from both sides of the border that considers all the blogging we’ve done. Our readers may remember Leary asserted to the Times Picayune certain things about his, Perret’s and Trout Point Lodge’s association with Aaron Broussard, the guy who helped peddle minority ownership of the Lodge to certain connected area residents. Let’s start there:
Broussard, “does not and has never had any ownership or management involvement with Trout Point Lodge, Limited.” The message went on to say Broussard owns a “vacation home on the same road.”
In part 1 of this series I covered the genesis of Trout Point development and the associated fleecing of the ACOA by our three amigos Danny Abel, Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary. The fallout was slow in developing though as certain employees at the ACOA that were involved with the La Farme D’Acadie disaster actually died in the interim and the ACOA was not especially diligent in pursuing repayment of the tax money given to the 3 American partners. When the ACOA filed suit Trout Point did not contest it and a default judgment was entered. Later the default was set aside and the litigation began a tortuous path in the Canadian court system. It came to a head in 2008.
I highlighted the entire ACOA disaster in several posts but this one has received the most attention and for good reason as the lawsuits involving Leary, Abel and Perret and the ACOA heated back up and one of the major issues turned on exactly who owned La Ferme D’Acadie. Let”s review shall we:
In June 1998 the plaintiff, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, made a “repayable contribution” to a partnership involving the defendants, in order to assist in the startup of a cheesemaking and tourism business. The partnership was subsequently dissolved and incorporated by the former partners, and part of the business was moved to another location. In September 2001, the plaintiff declared that the partnership was in default of the repayable contribution agreement. The plaintiff launched an action in June 2002, the defendants being Mr. Leary, his former partners and the partnership itself.
My archival post regarding the Cerro Coyote hotel in Costa Rica has generated more leads folks as more local investors in the project that had no clue Abel, Leary and Perret sold the hotel and whom received not a penny back on their investment have sent me bat signals and that does not count the inquiries from those who are still coming to grips with the fact their “friends” Danny Abel and Aaron Broussard fleeced them. So while the news is settling in please meet the new owners of the former Inn at Coyote Mountain:
Bill Duron: Bill is chairman of the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, agency of the Government of Ontario and serves on the boards of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows and the Advisory Board of Ryerson University’s School of Retail Management.
Melody Duron – high-end interior decorator
William Thorsell, former publisher of the Globe and Mail and director of the Royal Ontario Museum.
I’ve done more than a few posts on the topic of Trout Point Lodge since it first appeared on the pages of the Times Picayune back in January 2010. I’ll be honest and say I still have no clue why the powers that be at the Times Picayune sold out their own reporter and retracted a factually correct story but I’ve grown accustomed to seeing strange things in the media in New Orleans so I simply accept the “what is” there. In a way this is a simple story that had the twist of a controlling grifter in Vaughn Perret mixed into the middle of the narrative. Vaughn is a literal one trick pony in how he deals with people of making threats and more threats of legal action whenever the PR doesn’t go his way. A great way to begin would be to link the Channel 4 story on the ethics complaint made against Aaron Broussard as reported back in January 2010 but I was a stinker to prove the extent to which the NOLA media is compromised on reporting in Jefferson Parish so we must go back on Twitter to August 18 where I teased the girls at Trout Point:
What can I say folks, he was a grifter in the exotic cheese biz down here and evidently remains the same in Nova Scotia as Slabbed literally trips on all the skeletons in the pasts of the girls at Trout Point Lodge. He remains a loser because he still doesn’t know how to properly serve his frivolous lawsuits:
Specifically, in August, 1994, Allen Bitter (herein “Bitter”), a dairy goat farmer in New York, received a call from Mr. Charles Leary (herein “Leary”) of Mt. Herman, Louisiana. Leary told Bitter that he was assisting plaintiff, Jeff Condalary, in es-tablishing a dairy goat herd and requested Bitter’s assistance in locating dairy goats. Continue reading “We have a winner and he is still a loser after all these years…..”
There is no doubt the timing of Rich Rainey’s series of articles on Trout Point Lodge and Aaron Broussard’s connections thereto could not have come at a more inopportune time for the three owners of the lodge, Danny Abel, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret. While Rainey focuses his articles on the curious Nova Scotia connection involving Broussard and the complaint to the Louisiana Ethics Commission, Rainey’s articles contained some damning evidence of potential wrongdoing involving Leary and Perret in Canada and it had nothing to do with Broussard per se. In fact I’d submit to this day neither Rich Rainey or his employer know real reason why Leary and Perret went postal on them after his story on Trout Point appeared in January, 2010 but that changes today. Our first stop is the courts in Nova Scotia and the suit against one of the girls business misadventures there, La Ferme D’Acadie by the Canadian Government through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The first published opinion has salient case background:
In June 1998 the plaintiff, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, made a “repayable contribution” to a partnership involving the defendants, in order to assist in the startup of a cheesemaking and tourism business. The partnership was subsequently dissolved and incorporated by the former partners, and part of the business was moved to another location. In September 2001, the plaintiff declared that the partnership was in default of the repayable contribution agreement. The plaintiff launched an action in June 2002, the defendants being Mr. Leary, his former partners and the partnership itself. I note that Mr. Leary acts both for himself and for the partnership on these applications; when Mr. Leary is referred to, the reference includes the partnership, La Ferme D’Acadie, where appropriate.
Folks the litigitious bunch at Team Girls/Trout Point are suing again and I was leaked a copy. I use the term leak here because the paperwork arrived at my doorstep in what Mrs Sop describes as a “knock and run”. What I’m gonna do since time is short for me today is post the suit, which is both inane and fairly comical. (Internally we couldn’t decide if paragraphs 26, 87 or 88 were the funniest but I feel comfortable our readers can make up their own minds there.) Later I will post an official statement from Slabbed New Media LLC and put up a new page titled “So You Want to Sue Slabbed” which will give some elemental instruction on how to properly execute service of process etc. Click the pic to get the latest screed from the girls while I prepare the next installment connecting Trout Point Lodge to the Jefferson Parish Political Corrutpion Scandal. ~ sop
To repeat part of the lead from Part 1, rarely am I presented with a topic that neatly ties in so many concepts previously presented on Slabbed, such as cognative bias. For purposes of this post cognative bias involving the media as we again visit with Matt Labash at the hard line GOP media resource The Weekly Standard. We profiled Matt’s 1998 profile of the Castano Group of trial lawyers that took down big tobacco before training their sites on the nation’s gun manufacturers in part 1, where I labeled Matt’s story a “hit piece” and it is true it was one and beyond my own opinion I’ll add I’m merely repeating Matt’s 2006 description of his first profile of Wendell Gauthier, Danny Abel et al thus the post title. In the interim and despite the earlier “hit piece” Matt ended up befriending Abel and using his NOLA area contacts to write a second story on the big easy for the Weekly Standard, this time post Katrina plus 6 months that I thought was simply excellent. Before we highlight some of that story’s high points we need to fill in a bit of the gap between the death of Gauthier and Hurricane Katrina for Trout Point Lodge/La Ferme D’Acadie owner Danny Abel and his boy toy sidekick Shane (D’Antoni) Gates and for that we need to highlight one of Abel’s true life literary adventures in OUTGUNNED: The First Complete Insider Account of the Battle Over Gun Control. Luckily for all of us Abel’s co-author Peter Brown has been kind enough to share his thoughts on the endeavor with the Slabbed Nation but before we delve into the lawsuit Abel and his boy toy Shane Gates recently filed against Mr Brown using the legal services of Aaron Broussard we must first visit with a 3rd party review of the book, which Brown claims was a complete flop:
Meanwhile, Outgunned, by journalist Peter Harry Brown and trial attorney Daniel G. Abel, is about what’s happening in the here and now. More specifically, the book is a sympathetic look at the efforts of a nationwide consortium of trial lawyers (including Abel) who called themselves the “Castano Group,” and who took on the gun industry in the late 1990s. Why are these lawyers particularly interesting? While it’s true that others had already tried to sue the gun industry (including in a well-publicized New York litigation), the Castano lawyers were different. In the world of the plaintiff’s bar, they were the A-Team. They had resources, connections, and experience–including the experience of winning a $346 billion settlement from the tobacco companies. They were also ambitious. Beginning in 1998, the Castano lawyers launched anti-gun suits in cities across the country–until more than 30 state and local governments were involved in litigation against the gun industry.
The Castano lawyers knew this would be extremely challenging litigation and were proven correct–most of it has floundered or failed. So why did they do it? Not for the cash, insist the authors, who point out that the gun Companies do not have the same deep pockets as Big tobacco and could never offer the same kind of rich settlement that the tobacco litigation yielded. But even if one accepts that the lawyers’ motives were largely pure (maybe they were, maybe they weren’t)–and, indeed, even if one discounts their failures in court–Outgunned is not a book that inspires great confidence in the potential of litigation to solve the nation’s most vexing policy issues.
It also is not a very reflective or analytic book. To be fair, Outgunned bills itself as an “insider account of the battle over gun control.” This is meant to be juicy stuff, not a policy tract. But without much critical argument to distract the reader, the book bogs down in a muck of appalling details about the Castano lawyers who are supposed to be our heroes–facts that the authors unabashedly trot out and never successfully excuse. The key players include well-connected Washington, D.C., lawyer John Coale–who is called “the clown prince of the legal world”–and Cincinnati’s Stanley Chesley, a.k.a. the “sultan of settlement.” But the lion’s share of the limelight is reserved for the book’s co-author Abel and his partner, Wendell Gauthier, with whom Abel bonded at the site of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India. Ah yes, those were the days. “While an elephant chased Gauthier through the streets of India,” recall the authors, “Abel crept over terrain with thickets full of cobras to spy on the Union Carbide plant.” Continue reading “Laissez les bons temps rouler! Slabbed travels back in time with the girls and ties a few things together. A Trout Point Lodge / Jefferson Parish Political Corruption Scandal Update Part 2.”
Rarely am I presented with a topic that neatly ties in so many legal concepts we’ve advocated here on Slabbed such as ordinary citizens losing their basic constitutional rights under the ruse of Tort Reform and as luck would have it, this area was used as the poster child for the need to strip ordinary citizens across this country of their constitutional rights so my sources on this topic can’t be better placed. The story includes all the finest corrupt trial lawyers from the now incarcerated Dick Scruggs to Calvin Fayard and beyond. It also includes a group of gay men we affectionately call the girls here on Slabbed that were affiliated with Wendell Gauthier. Luckily for me I don’t have to reinvent the wheel as two articles in the conservative publication the Weekly Standard well tells the story of the abuses that lead to a few men becoming obscenely wealthy while everyone else lost basic constitutional rights so lets hop in the wayback machine to 1998 and Matt Labash’s wide cited story Lawyers, Guns and Money:
Wendell Gauthier loves to smile. Sure, the most renowned class-action lawyer in New Orleans possesses many other trademarks. He has full-bodied Atticus Finch hair, and he’s tailored like a mogul from Milan. With a soft Cajun accent, he’s a fount of country-lawyer malapropisms (he says his old friend Edwin Edwards, the frequently indicted former governor of Louisiana, has a “photogenic mind”). But Gauthier’s defining characteristic is the infectious, perpetual, coprophagous grin. Indeed, an opposing lawyer once objected to a judge that Wendell Gauthier smiled too often. With his track record, who wouldn’t?
A veritable Zelig of mass-disaster litigation, Gauthier has twice ranked as one of the National Law Journal’s “100 Most Powerful Lawyers.” From the 1982 Pan Am plane crash to the 1980 MGM Grand hotel fire, from bone screws to breast implants, if it burns, leaks, seeps, or (praise God) explodes, chances are Gauthier is heading up the plaintiff’s committee, siphoning 25 percent to 35 percent contingency fees from the multi-million dollar jackpots relinquished by accident-prone companies waiting to get milked in class action lawsuits.
That the newest chapter of the Slabbed Nation has been formed in Nova Scotia and those good folks are wanting to see a conclusion of some kind to our earlier posts on Trout Point Lodge and its connections to the Jefferson Parish Political Corruption Scandal. How can I deny our newest fans such a request? Simple I can’t.
Along those lines I was watching Dennis Woltering’s Sunday morning show on WWL TeeVee and man o man did the segment on Coastal Shoring have some old friends of Slabbed in it from State Senator Julie Quinn, who was looking particularly hot in her mini skirt, to Danny Abel who evidently represents Coastal Shoring. That case may be worth following on PACER given the circumstances.