Slabbed Investigates: Continued bad times at the Legal Department at the Super 8 Motel on Clearview
Are we noticing a trend with the Legal Department at the Super 8 Motel on Clearview Parkway and the media yet folks? It is all here on these pages:
- Luncheons with Ashton Phelps after which the Times Picayune stopped covering major aspects of the corruption scandal in Jefferson Parish.
- Public records requests from Val Bracy at Fox 8 that never resulted in any news stories despite the fact one of the returns revealed Aaron Broussard was conducting business for First Bank and Trust on Parish of Jefferson letterhead. Lee Zurik was Bracy’s boss during that time frame.
- Travel media in Canada taking payola for promoting Aaron Broussard and Danny Abel’s business interests at the resort at Trout Point in Nova Scotia.
- Glowing reviews from the Times Picayune circa 2001 openly touting Aaron Broussard’s connection to the Resort at Trout Point. Later repeating these same facts in the news resulted in multiple lible suits against NOLA area media outlets including Slabbed New Media by Broussard’s business agents in Nova Scotia, Charles leary and Vaughn Perret.
- Letters to the daughters of connected local political types like Amy Sneed, formerly of WDSU, which illustrate the much deeper social relationships that compromise most of the NOLA main stream media.
- Promotion of lawsuits filed by The Goatherders where they serve as plaintiffs or provide representation such as this Travel scam lawsuit by Carl Finley promoted by Uptown Jewish Women on Fox 8 that crashed and burned or the infamous Gates v Strain where Slabbed exposed the disingenious reporting by Channel 4 on the various lawsuits against St Tammany Parish officialdom filed by Abel’s “son” Shane Gates aka Shane D’Antoni.
The last bullet point brings me back to 2010 and a family on the Northshore that found themselves in a legal pickle involving the ownership of the lot upon which their house sat as Channel 4′s Dennis Woltering explains:
Butch and Nicole Martin say their home here in Abita Springs is in many ways everything they have always wanted.
“The house is beautiful,” Butch Martin said. “We absolutely love it.”
Trouble is, when they had some financial troubles and were forced to try to sell it, they discovered they probably don’t own the lot where the house sits.
“We own the house, but not the yard,” Nicole Martin said.
A buyer was ready to purchase their home more than a year ago, but then two days before closing the buyer’s title, the insurance company notified the Martins that the sale could not go through.
“We got a phone call to notify us that we had a bad title, and we actually didn’t even own the property,” Butch Martin said.
The Martins say they now believe that the property under their house was taken from the heirs of the original landowner, William Nill.
“The property was basically stolen,” Butch Martin said.
But this short snippet from Woltering’s story does not do the story justice so I feel compelled to embed the link to Woltering’s report on the fleecing of the Martins and their title insurance carrier Fidelity National because the Martin’s were hosed as it is clear Northshore lawyer Bill Magee engaged in specious land transactions around a decade ago.
Everyone involved in the story was named and sourced except for the Martin’s lawyer Danny Abel. We know that Channel 4 knew Danny Abel was involved based upon the closing remarks to the story made by WWL TeeVee news director Mike Hoss referring to the RICO suit that was filed by the Martins in this case. At this point we should all be asking ourselves exactly how did Woltering get his lead for this most newsworthy story and based on the social relationships involved once again morning anchor and fellow Goatherder Eric Paulsen’s name emerges as a prime suspect. IMHO Paulsen completely compromises the news operations at Belo’s Channel 4 due to the fact he is also a Goatherder.
So why is Danny Abel’s name important to this story. Mainly because the brand of law he practices is straight from the shit house as Slabbed once again illustrates how the guy would have never made it in the legal profession period had it not been for his associations with Wendell Gauthier and Aaron Broussard. The 5th Circuit court of appeals explains in a recent decision how the Martin’s legal position were completely made FUBAR by their own lawyer, Danny Abel:
This case arises from William M. Magee and his co-defendants’ (“Magee”) alleged scheme to obtain title to real property—absent any legal right—by taking possession for one year, and then filing fraudulent declaratory judgment actions in Louisiana state court based on false quitclaim deeds. In August 2010, Lloyd and Nicole Martin, along with their co-plaintiffs, (“Martin”) filed their complaint—to which 1,500 pages of public documents were appended—alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) by Magee. In June 2011, the district court dismissed the complaint in a thirty seven page decision explaining the deficiencies and granted Martin twenty days to file a third amended complaint. A magistrate judge subsequently denied the motion to amend the complaint in November 2011. And, when Martin failed timely to object to the magistrate’s decision, the district court, in February 2012, dismissed the case with prejudice for failing to state a RICO claim. Martin has appealed from the February 2012 dismissal.
At this point I gotta say I thank my lucky stars that Slabbed has a first class ethical lawyer in Bobby Truitt and the good folks at the Truitt Law Firm in picturesque downtown Covington. Lawyers get reputations among their peers and in court house circles. Bobby is known as a straight shooter that conducts his law practice above board, representing his clients to the very best of his ability. The difference shows folks and with Bobby I know I am getting legal advice and counsel that I can trust. It is a shame the Martin’s did not have similiar representation as I continue with the recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion:
We agree essentially with the district court’s initial 37-page, June 2011 ruling concerning the deficiencies in Martin’s complaint. Additionally, the appeal is devoid of legal merit and presents no cognizable basis for reversal.1 We thus GRANT the motion to dismiss the appeal as frivolous. Furthermore, we GRANT the motion for sanctions and impose sanctions against appellants’ counsel Daniel G. Abel.2
And those two footnotes from above? They are damning:
1 The briefing in this case is entirely inadequate, and the only apparent challenge to the district court’s reasoning is that the district court later “reversed itself” in a different case. This argument, however, does not address how the district court erred in concluding that the complaint in this case was defective in its allegations of proximate cause under RICO.
To the extent that Martin is attempting to appeal the magistrate judge’s denial of leave to file the amended complaint, they are unable to do so. See FED. R. CIV. P. 72(a); see also Lehmann v. GE Global Ins. Holding Corp., 524 F.3d 621, 624 n.4 (5th Cir. 2008).
2 We note at the outset that Mr. Abel represented a client who was sanctioned in a previous case before this court. See Chisesi v. Auto Club Family Ins. Co., 374 F. App’x 475, 477 (5th Cir. Mar. 9, 2010).
Times are indeed very tough at the Legal Department of the Super 8 Motel on Clearview. Does filing frivilous appeals like the one Henry Laird of Jones Walker is attempting to file on behalf of Team Goatherder in my SPEECH Act case and the ASAP Court Reporting case sound like a standard Goatherder tactic? Indeed it is which is why we are insisting the ‘herders file an appeal bond as I was drawn to this from the Martin opinion via the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals:
“If a court of appeals determines that an appeal is frivolous, it may, after a separately filed motion or notice from the court and reasonable opportunity to respond, award just damages and single or double costs to the appellee.” FED. R. APP. P. 38. Because Martin has not raised any significant issue and has not identified any legal error of the district court, the appeal is frivolous. See Lyons v. Sheetz, 834 F.2d 493, 495-96 (5th Cir. 1987) (finding the appeal was frivolous and “present[ed] no cognizable legal theory for reversal”); see also Diaz v. Methodist Hosp., 46 F.3d 492, 498 (5th Cir. 1995) (“[A] frivolous appeal is one in which ‘the result is obvious or the arguments of error are wholly without merit.’” (quoting Buck v. United States, 967 F.2d 1060, 1062 (5th Cir. 1992))).
So I guess the Martin’s are now completely hosed except for the massive legal malpractice cause of action they now have against their attorney Danny Abel, who made this case FUBAR due to legal tactics that would make the Oxford Mississippi insurance defense bar blush and that is saying something folks. And about Abel and company repeating the same legal jackassery over and over again expecting a different result? I’ll let the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals explain:
Furthermore, Martin’s counsel, Daniel G. Abel, previously has represented a client who was subject to sanctions in this court. See Chisesi v. Auto Club Family Ins. Co., 374 F. App’x 475, 477 (5th Cir. Mar. 9, 2010). Sanctions in the prior case were based on conduct similar to that at issue in this case. See id. (“Not only does the appellant fail to fairly address the substance of the district court’s findings, but his briefing before this court demonstrates a pointed disrespect for the ‘limited resources of the judicial system.’” (quoting Stearman, 436 F.3d at 540)); see also Macklin, 300 F.3d at 554 (noting that “the quality of the research and briefing is within the province of the attorney”). Here, counsel failed to address or even to mention a fatal flaw in the appeal, which either was or should have been obvious to him: his delay in objecting to the magistrate judge’s denial of the motion to amend the complaint. Mr. Abel has demonstrated a continued pattern of filing frivolous, vexatious appeals that waste judicial resources, and sanctions thus are appropriate. See, e.g., Macklin, 300 F.3d at 554 (sanctioning attorney conduct pursuant to Rule 38 to “redress [his] abuse of the appellate process”); Coghlan v. Starkey, 852 F.2d 806, 818 (5th Cir. 1988) (“[M]any cases under [R]ule 38 assess sanctions against offending counsel, alone or jointly with the client . . . .”). As such, we impose sanctions in the amount of $3,000 against Mr. Abel personally to be paid to the appellees.
One word folks: OUCH. Those interested in reading the full Goatherder smackdown by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals should click here.
At this point I must point out that there has been one media outlet that has stayed on the case of Aaron Broussard and his band of grifting Goatherders and that would be Slabbed New Media. While Steve Newhouse’s Times Picayune and Fox 8 ran from these SLAPP happy nut jobs like scared schoolgirls Slabbed remained hot on the trail following leads, despite the threats, bringing this aspect of the massive scandal in Jefferson Parish home. Fox 8′s John Snell explains:
Next up Slabbed takes a trip down memory lane as we examine the Trout Point Lodge’s SLAPP suit against Fox 8 and reveal how Tom Benson’s TeeVee station participated in the invasion of privacy of American internet commenters on Slabbed by Team Goatherder. Stay tuned.