And it carries pretty much the standard definition in the world of financial message board communications as it does in the Navy. Wanna know a bit more about your fellow “anonymous” message boarders. Get a fix via sonar and then:
After the explosion information always bubbles up and that was certainly the case with the saga of Judge Susie Morgan’s former law clerk turned accused pedophile Thomas “Haller” Jackson. I could not have been more personally delighted with the results of my last depth charge thus we begin with David Lat over at Above the Law, who was kind enough to link Slabbed’s coverage of the Jackson arrest. Here is Lat’s last update to his post on same:
In response to a number of the comments, I would observe that (1) the allegations describe truly reprehensible and disgusting conduct (even though there was no actual boy involved); (2) if the allegations are true, then Haller Jackson should be punished to the full extent of the law; and (3) the sexual abuse of children is a deadly serious problem. I would have thought that (1) this all went without saying and (2) an audience composed mainly of lawyers and law students would understand the presumption of innocence. But based on some of the comments, it seems that I was wrong. Hence this update.
I think the lawyers and nonlawyers all understood Mr. Lat’s post but it would be a reader comment such as this one that prompted the post update:
“At least he was carrying condoms. You don’t need a Ph.D. in epidemiology to know the wisdom of using protection in random sexual encounters. . . . It sounds like Haller Jackson is in a relatively good position, under the circumstances. . . . The younger Haller Jackson and I have been friendly for a number of years — we know each other through his former boss, Chief Judge Kozinski (who has had his own racy misadventures online) — and I was shocked by these allegations. Nothing I know of Haller Jackson would lead me to believe he could engage in such conduct — and I suspect that the four federal judges for whom he clerked feel the same way. He did, after all, have to pass background checks in order to obtain his multiple clerkships.” Jesus Fucking Christ, Lat. Innocent until proven unpreftigious is not even a joke anymore. He is in a “good position” after trying to fuck a ten year old. He actively solicited sex with a ten year old, but since the ten year old did not exist and he is a Koz alum, it’s all good? I thought the FREE KEVIN RING was bad, but by comparison, that article might as well be In Cold Blood. This might be my tipping point with your website. It was fun while it lasted.
I’m gonna circle back to Lat’s piece because I thought it also imparted some very useful information but the media circle jerk would not be complete without the HuffPo coming in like vultures linking the musings of a New York law blogger about a New Orleans criminal case but the politically correct circle jerk was thus complete and I was a happy man. To understand what I am talking about we must first circle back to Juliet Linderman’s piece on Jackson’s arrest specifically this passage from her story, first as it originally appeared:
“Judge Morgan’s office on Friday would not comment on the charges, saying only that Jackson’s employment ended Thursday. He had been a law clerk there for exactly one year.”
Which was changed to this in a revision:
Judge Morgan’s office on Friday would not comment on the charges, saying only that Jackson’s employment ended Thursday. He had been a law clerk at the federal courthouse for one year.
The change was likely because Jackson’s friend David Lat wrote this in his piece at ABL:
His job history matches up to his high academic achievement. Haller Jackson summered at Cravath his 2L year, clerked for Judge Jacques Wiener of the Fifth Circuit from 2008 to 2009, and then clerked for a prominent feeder judge, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit, from 2009 to 2010. After serving his time with AK, Jackson did two stints in the chambers of Judge Ginger Berrigan in his hometown of New Orleans, interrupted by a sojourn in Los Angeles at another elite law firm, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. In June 2013, he started yet a fourth clerkship, this time for Judge Susie Morgan of New Orleans.
I disagree with Lat’s characterization of Jackson’s job history being stellar because he had never latched on anyplace for more than a short time period. However John Simmerman over at the Advocate has Judge Morgan’s people giving a different employment date in his piece on Jackson’s arrest:
According to a judicial assistant in Morgan’s office, Jackson had worked since January for the judge, whose caseload includes the New Orleans Police Department consent decree.
Jackson was possibly a third clerk for Judge Morgan with the unnamed Judicial assistance giving the explanation why. I say third clerk because in May, 2013 when I had a case before Judge Morgan the two clerks that were in the courtroom for the hearing were female though I remember a male court staffer in the courtroom before the hearing. Since his time with Judge Morgan has now become fuzzy, all we are left with is speculation as sources indicate to Slabbed Judge Morgan’s staff now indicates they do not know when Jackson hired on with her chambers. Why is this important? Simple and we need to go back to the disclosure I made in my original post on the Jackson arrest:
First in the interest of fair journalism I must disclose that Jackson was the law clerk for Judge Morgan when Daniel Abel’s first SLAPP suit was filed in US District Court in New Orleans against myself and Anne Marie Vandenweghe. That suit was voluntarily dismissed on May 14, 2013 by Abel one day before a hearing to strike his suit under Louisiana’s anti SLAPP law.
The above is a clear and concise explanation of the outcome of the case but it does not tell the whole story which in turn explains why my inbox was a happening place beginning last Friday from lawyers and others that were more familiar with the case and its outcome.
Before I get to that I need to make another disclosure that absolutely sums up my attitude about going into federal court in general and Judge Morgan’s courtroom in particular. Federal Judges have tremendous power under the Constitution and within limits they exercise that power in numerous ways in the cases they have before them. If a litigant does not get their way it is best to roll with the punches and try to figure out where you went wrong. More to the point I still feel that way about how the case I had before Judge Morgan resolved and I accept what happened for what it is. You get up, dust off and move along as there is no sense dwelling on it.
Now for the background. In January 2013 Daniel Abel filed what was at the time the third of five SLAPP suits against me for exposing he and his close business partners based in Nova Scotia roles in Aaron Broussard’s corrupt bribery schemes. The contrast between the allegations contained in the SLAPP suits, which basically contended that Slabbed was a bunch of homophobic hicks picking on a poor innocent group of gay men that were minding their own business and Slabbed’s reporting on same is stark. Yeah, I called the gang girls and told them to fuck off once or twice during their campaign of libel terror but the thrust of the posts here at Slabbed exposed the scheme in its entirety including Aaron Broussard’s campaign of harassment using Abel’s Nova Scotia based business partners to harass and intimidate Broussard’s critics using the Nova Scotia courts in furtherance of their scheme. (Slabbed’s three part series of posts on this topic in general can be found here, here and here)
Despite Abel’s own in house process server Chris Yount personally serving a summons on whistleblower Anne Marie Vandenweghe’s husband at their residence in Pass Christian (Slabbed understand’s that Mr. Yount is driving with a suspended drivers license these days), Abel would later claim in court filings that Vandenweghe had somehow perjured herself by moving to Louisiana during the pendency of the litigation to care for her mother, whom had been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. Abel filed a motion to remand the case to state court despite the fact he never filed the suit there to begin with. I got the feeling in the case that Federal Civil Procedure was not one of Abel’s strong points.
So how did Mr. Abel, who was too ignorant of Federal Civil Procedure to understand he could voluntarily dismiss his suit under rule 41(a) at pretty much anytime get that idea? Simple, Judge Morgan gave it to him:
Mr. Abel quickly went through the door Judge Morgan opened and she rid herself of the case one day before the hearing to strike Abel’s complaint.
The aftermath of this order is still being tallied. I felt compelled to protect my legal rights here in Mississippi and I did so by filing suit against Broussard and his band of thugs because filing meritless lawsuits and voluntarily dismissing them is a tort here in Mississippi. Abel would re file his SLAPP suit in New Orleans rather than his domiciliary of Jefferson Parish this time naming every one of my lawyers as defendants in order to conflict them out. That case is still pending in the New Orleans Civil District Court despite the fact that Mr. Abel never tried serving the Orleans Parish defendants that were my lawyers. That suit was a tacit admission he could not beat me in court if I had counsel but trying to deprive Slabbed of legal help is a time honored tactic of this bunch beginning with the Sun Herald’s Henry Laird. Lest I digress.
The legal community was evidently paying attention because I did not blog about these details of Abel’s Federal SLAPP suit when they happened in May 2013. I say that because on Friday, after the news broke, I began getting emails from local lawyers that do not have any interest in the litigation beyond being spectators that said this after Jackson’s arrest:
You never stood a chance!
He (Jackson) would have been biased against you from the get-go, and his boss did not want to seem unaccepting
I’m stating the obvious, but slabbed has been labeled homophobic, unfairly in my opinion, but guys like O’Dwyer….greatly contribute to this. There can be little doubt that this fact biased Jackson, and I’m sure it made Morgan very uncomfortable. Talk about head-scratching; several lawyers I spoke to and I were very perplexed about how Morgan resolved the case.
Against that backdrop I wrote my first post on Jackson’s arrest and dropped a depth charge. You see folks based upon two published reports that quoted Judge Morgan’s staff, Jackson was not a clerk without a court as he is now being portrayed in the New York media, rather he was clerking for Judge Morgan since January 2013. I choose to leave the above on the cutting room floor for my first post to see what would happen.
Then on Monday I did acknowledge the emails I had received along with reader comments along the same lines. Within a short time period after, David Lat at ABL wrote his piece on the topic that took up for Jackson and in the process contradicted two locally published reports on whom Haller Jackson had been clerking as quoted above from the NOLA Media Group and the Advocate. To me the backtracking at NOLA Media Group was telling because when people figured out why the dates of Haller Jackson’s employment with Judge Morgan were important it then became a moving target.
Either way I found out exactly what I wanted to know.