Alternate Post Title: When the FBI comes knocking you know Slabbed’s House be rockin’!!
Last month I attended a settlement conference in Magistrate Roper’s chambers at the US District Courthouse in Gulfport. Typically all the parties to the litigation must attend settlement conferences but the court excused Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret from attending due to the associated travel cost from southern Nova Scotia, which is literally isolated in the middle of no where due to the lack of ferry and air service. Southern hospitality is a good thing IMHO.
I mention this because we were advised by their US based lawyer Henry Laird that Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret were going to sue Slabbed again, despite the fact that everything I have written on the topic of how they fit into Aaron Broussard’s corrupt bribery scheme has panned out 100%. Clearly they do not want their role in this, as Broussard’s American expat Canadian based SLAPP attack dogs exposed but the multiple libel and defamation suits and threats against the news media well tell that sad tale.
Even more amazing are Canadian judges trying to dictate what American citizens are saying online about an American political corruption scandal but there was a good reason the SPEECH Act was passed unanimously by the US Congress in 2010. Canadian libel laws outside of the province of Quebec are subject to great abuse and that is certainly true in the case of Aaron Broussard’s former property managers at the Resort at Trout Point Nova Scotia, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret along with Aaron Broussard’s law partner at the Super 8 Motel on Clearview Parkway, Trout Point Lodge co-owner Daniel “Danny” Abel. I have been advised that, based upon the experiences of Slabbed New Media, certain free speech advocates are currently working on tweaks to the law. Simply put, the use of foreign courts to harass American Citizens commenting online is a national issue and Slabbed is “lucky” enough to be at the center of things.
I mention this because we told Magistrate Roper that if Leary and Perret wanted to come sue me here in the US where the story is, I welcomed the chance to vigorously defend my reporting. But I think it is now clear Leary and Perret want no part of me in an American courtroom as they have again sued me in Nova Scotia, amazingly asking the Supreme Court there to decide the case under American law. It is a clear attempt to find a sneaky way around the SPEECH Act and is transparently phony but it is what it is folks. Before I share the suit I think we can deduce a few things so here goes: Continue reading “Wash, rinse, repeat: Aaron Broussard’s former property managers in Canada again sue Slabbed for defamation in Nova Scotia”
My last post on this topic of the recent WWL TeeVee profile of Shane Gates spurred a reader to do a bit of docket diving on PACER on the civil case Gates v Strain and what we found raises even more questions about Mike Perlstein’s 2 part made for TeeVee News special report on the arrest of Shane Gates in November 2006 and injuries he sustained in the incident. You see folks, part of what made Part 2 of Perlstein’s report ring so hollow was that all the legal experts Perlstein quotes, including WWL’s own in house expert Chick Foret, presented a version of the related civil case that did not compare with the court record itself. No court document illustrates the disconnect better than Gates v Strain document #196, order and opinion by Judge Stanwood Duval. Before I quote from that document, let’s visit with Part 2 of Mike Perlstein’s report on the arrest of Goatherder Shane Gates titled Attorney says justice intentionally stalled in deputy beating case:
Gates’ lawyers got a speedy acquittal by presenting a very different picture. An expert witness said the chase actually lasted for only six-tenths of a mile and 80 seconds. The DWI allegations were contradicted by the fact that Gates was pulled over just minutes after leaving a car dealership finance office after buying a new Pontiac.
“The jury in St. Tammany Parish did not buy the DA’s theory of his case when it was tried,” Williams said. “They came back in almost record time as to a not guilty verdict.”
Did you get the message folks? You know, the one where Gates was acquitted on his felony DWI charge? Not so fast as it turns out the only Felony charge Gates faced was Unlawful flight but let’s circle that for now as we continue:
“The district attorney should not be prosecuting the victim,” Williams said. “The district attorney should be prosecuting the perpetrators.”
Williams is representing Gates in a civil rights lawsuit in federal court. That lawsuit was filed in October 2007, 11 months after the fateful traffic stop. But that suit has been put on hold because the St. Tammany District Attorney’s Office continues to prosecute Gates.
Gates’ attorneys believe St. Tammany authorities are intentionally stalling justice. One of those attorneys is the retired chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, Pascal Calogero.
Last night after the 6pm WWL TeeVee newscast I started getting emails from segments of the local legal community that know the walking lawsuits that are Attorney Danny Abel and his “son” Shane Gates. Now I’ll grant it is not unusual for a practicing lawyer to be associated with lawsuits but Abel practices a curious version of the law indeed and wore many hats, from being Nipun Desai’s staff attorney at the Super 8 Motel to Aaron Broussard’s law partner at the Super 8 Motel on Clearview. Gates, along with Abel business associates Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret often served as Abel’s in-house plaintiffs for his lawsuits but before I get to all that we need more background for you newbies reading this.
Here on Slabbed we know this social/political network as the Goatherders and it was formerly lead by new Dragon Queen Aaron Broussard and the network includes media members like WWL TeeVee morning man Eric Paulsen, who evidently lived with Abel and Gates in Slidell before Katrina. Ironically it was Slabbed coverage of Paulsen’s lawsuit against State Farm that earned Slabbed the first threats of a defamation suit from Broussard and Abel’s business associates in Canada, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret. Once upon a time Abel and Perret were gay lovers and along with Broussard, Leary and Gates formed life long business associations including advertising what appears to be money laundering /tax evasion services via the Costa Rica Company Cerro Coyote SA, which Aaron Broussard sold shares in to politically connected parish contractors like Carl Eberts dating to the late 1990s. It is through that lens that I and a few area lawyers that know the gang filtered last night’s lawsuit PR pump Gates received from WWL TeeVee as Slabbed will now tell the rest of the story.
As Lockemuptight’s sharp eye caught, the fact that Perlstein’s report omitted the reason Gates was stopped by St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies was evident and thus Perlstein’s story is incomplete. Gates’ lawyer, Magnum J.D.’s partner James Williams, points to the not guilty verdict and the fact Gates closed on his new GTO 20 minutes at a local car dealership before being stopped as proof Gates was not drunk. I say those two facts prove nothing and here is why. The BAC tests were lost and thus could not be presented into evidence. If I were on Gates criminal trial jury I too would have voted to acquit him in record time on charges related to drunk driving without the BAC evidence. Simply put no BAC test, no case unless there was video, which in this case there is not. That said the blood test were drawn at the Heart Hospital by an RN unaffiliated with the tussle. The test was lost leaving only the results for the Louisiana Court of Appeals to mention as a case fact in a decision that benefitted Gates. The Heart Hospital was also sued by Gate’s in this matter. 2.7BAC is very high and it would not take much liquor for a 145 pound guy like Gates to get there.
What makes this interesting is a few months before Gates ended up in dutch with the law, Matt Labash at the Weekly Standard was in New Orleans visiting with his friends Danny Abel and Shane Gates writing eloquently about the visit in late March 2006. Here is a snippet:
I NEVER PASS THROUGH NEW ORLEANS without seeing two of my favorite people: Danny Abel and Shane Gates. They are large-hearted men, generous and true, and both possess a drinking companion’s most desirable trait: They stay until closing time. I met them nearly a decade ago, when profiling Danny’s then law-partner, the late Wendell “The Goat” Gauthier, a legend of the trial bar who sued anything that moved, and probably many things that didn’t.
Author Peter Brown was kind enough to stop in with us last month to let us know that his former co-author Danny Abel was suing him for money over a book that flopped and lost big. I’ve laid the groundwork for this post with important background on the defacto legal partnership between Trout Point owner and former Broussard Parish Council aid Danny Abel and Aaron Broussard that can be found here and here. We roll WWL-TeeVee’s Eric Paulsen and Broussard political hack/lawyer Carl Finley into the mix here. In that last link you’ll get a real sense that Shane Gates aka Shane D’Antoni is a professional plaintiff along the lines of Abel’s Trout Point Lodge partners Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary and this is certainly the case folks. In fact in Paulsen Gates was described as an employee of Abel’s. It so so much more perverse than that folks so we must circle back to the obituary of Danny Abel’s father Glynn to understand the doings:
Survivors include his sister, Freda Abel Harper; son, Daniel Glynn Abel of New Orleans, La; two grandchildren, Shane M. Gates, and Christine E. Hymel, both of New Orleans, LA; and one great-grandson, Grafton Gabriel Gates of New Orleans, LA.
So is Gates a blood descendant of Glynn Abel? No folks, Danny adopted Shane along with his wife Christine, who goes by her maiden name in the obituary. So I guess this means that Gates and Hymel have a brother-sister type of marriage and Abel is the tie that binds it all providing Gates with a free ride for over a decade. Gates may well be some sort of distant cousin as described in Matt Labash’s pieces on Abel for the Weekly Standard but there is some serious perversion going on right here folks. Lest I digress.
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.
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.
In a hint of what is coming at Slabbed from the Trout Point gang, public figures all, Abel cross sued Carr and his lawyers. Of course as we saw from Paulsen v State Farm Abel’s abilities as a lawyer are not what they once were as he resorted to trickery and deceit in the conduct of that case. He came up empty in his counter suit against Carr too.