What can I say folks except there has been some movement in the case styled Gates v Swartz and none of it looks good for professional plaintiff Shane Gates as there is an attachment for Gate’s arrest for failure to appear. A former client of Gate’s lawyer Daniel Abel tells Slabbed Gates has been staying at the Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia though it is impossible to know if he is there now on the run from the law but that would be my first guess. In any event here is the salient document which shows the arrest warrant for Gates:
Anyone that has kept up with the saga of vexatious litigant Shane Gates and his crusade against the St Tammany Parish legal system to avoid standing trial for his DWI arrest understand the multitude of lawsuits Gates has filed against the Judges in St Tammany Parish as well as the Sheriff, DA and State Attorney General represent abuses of process that will end badly for both the boy and his Daddy/Lawyer Daniel “Danny” Abel. The latest twist occurred last August when Gates and Abel sued St Tammany Parish Judge Richard Swartz to conflict him out of the Gates criminal case and derail the scheduled prosecution. With every judge in the 22nd JDC conflicted out due to civil lawsuits filed by Gates against them, Ad Hoc Judge Walter Rothschild was brought in to hear the case. The Advocate covered the series of hearings held last November and in a story published on November 16, 2013 well conveyed the jackassery:
Three times this week defense attorney Danny Abel tried to get St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed recused from cases Abel is defending, and three times Ad Hoc Judge Walter Rothschild denied the motions.
Abel – who has filed a long and eye-popping list of legal claims alleging shenanigans in the St. Tammany justice system – was in court for hearings on two misdemeanor cases and one felony trial he is defending. In each case, Abel has alleged that Reed’s office is pursuing the prosecution either out of racism or despite conflicts of interest.
Rothschild wasn’t buying any of Abel’s claims, however, repeatedly telling the pugnacious lawyer that nothing he presented backed up his claims. At one point, Rothschild admonished Abel for repeatedly accusing the District Attorney’s Office of fraud, saying that making the allegation in the absence of any evidence was irresponsible.
Rothschild – who was hearing the various matters because all of the judges in the 22nd Judicial District have recused themselves – also refused to compel Reed to testify in response to subpoenas issued by Abel. He told Abel that he couldn’t subpoena Reed until he had given Reed a hearing to fight the subpoena’s issuance.
“You can’t put the cart before the horse.” the increasingly exasperated Rothschild said. He also denied a motion to change the venue of one of the misdemeanor trials, which will be tried without a jury. “I am trying this case; it doesn’t matter where I am trying it. Your client will get a fair trial,” Rothschild said.
In August, a federal judge ordered Abel to pay the legal expenses for St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain, whom Abel had sued on behalf of a woman who claimed the Sheriff’s Office had kept religious items it seized from her home in a 2008 raid. The suit was very similar to a second one, and U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance ruled that the woman’s lawyers “unreasonably and vexatiously multiplied the proceedings.”
Welp folks, it appears Danny Abel and his adopted son Shane Gates aka Shane D’Antoni never even tried to serve their latest lawsuit on Judge Swartz. Vital background via three part series can be found here, here and here and in another post found here.
Recently Slabbed contacted the Louisiana ODC for comment on the agency’s inability to control rogue lawyers, especially the politically connected ones. Team Plattsmier was too busy crushing Ashton O’Dwyer to comment.
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.