Results tagged “law” from Six Hours A Week: Adventures in American Exile
Add to this another very questionable ruling from Judge Deschamps (with procedural/clerical errors as well) that gives us one more appealable issue. It's hard to gauge his strategy. He's still making very prejudicial rulings that will make him look so bad in the eyes of an appellate court. One surmises that he bets it won't get that far... So does he assume we'll be "incompetent" or dead? Or that Mr. Loken will finally throw in the towel? Or we'll be forced to settle for some unforeseen reason?
So, we are in the position once again to find an attorney. One that is not a sadist who seemingly derives joy from putting his client in powerless and dangerous positions. A lawyer who automatically acts in his client's best interests rather than fighting tooth and nail to do all he can to ruin the case. I can't imagine the day when a lawyer will actually act on my or my mother's behalf.
So -- anyone out there? Know any lawyers who care about their clients and the law? Who are immune to whatever amalgam of energy industry and right wing funding still intent on ruining our lives? Not every lawyer in this state can be corrupt to the core.
(A month and a half and no word from Chief Muir... or anyone at the Mayor's Office, the City Attorney's Office, The County Attorney's Office...)
The dominant image of this type of behavior is some sort of Italian Mob interference rather than the specific targeting of environmentalists, feminists or non-Christians. Since those seem to be the characteristics about Mom and me that have sustained a well-funded overall life interference campaign, I imagine that others are targeted for similar political/social characteristics.
The forms of malpractice we have encountered are just too consistent for these tactics to be isolated to us. Attorney/client interference seems to be a favored means of depriving "undesirables" of their Constitutional rights. Here are some examples -- I'll do some more editing and adding later.
(I am not qualified to give legal advice -- the anecdotes here are my experience and I take no responsibility for what anyone does with the information. But I hope it's helpful!)
1. Bait and Switch (Fraud)
The unsuspecting client can be lured into hiring an attorney who promises to provide specific services or take the case in a certain direction. The problem is, most retainer or other attorney-client agreements don't allow for spelling out in detail why someone has agreed to hire a specific attorney or firm. To ensure that our interests are protected, we have started to add Addendums to contracts that stipulate what has been promised, and our understanding of what the firm has agreed to do.
After what I've seen, I feel comfortable stating that Mr. Doud should not be allowed to practice law. He is a young attorney whose ethical/professional sensibility was clearly quickly shaped by the Montana culture of cronyism. It's hard to imagine his moral compass being righted enough to entrust him with any unassuming client. (Having Tim McKeon as a father-in-law can't help.)
Doud took over the Loken case in fall of 2007 because Mom's other attorney was doing little on the case. Initially that attorney was very enthusiastic, but was never the same after a meeting with Mr. Geisler, at which he told her Mom was paranoid. (We have called Geiszler on this bit of slander -- clearly the incompetency angle has been part of his and Loken's plans for quite a while.)
In January of 2008, without informing his client, Mr. Doud propounded a second set of discovery requests on Mr. Loken. A year earlier, Mom's first attorney had received answers to discovery requests. The original attorney had asked around 14 questions. Mr. Doud asked around 80. This was in no way helpful to Mom's case -- the questions gave Mr. Loken the opportunity to elaborate upon and revise his narrative of what happened. It also allowed him to produce a schematic that my mother had never seen before, and that Loken claimed she provided.
Though Doud found the time to do this, he ignored Mom's pleas to follow up on details essential to her case like a previously-ignored Request for Production to get copies of canceled checks showing Loken's supposed $14000 worth of payments to an employee for work that was never finished. (Mom later followed up when she was defending herself pro se and newly printed versions of these supposedly already produced checks were submitted to court. This was that point at which an unrecognized attorney from Geiszler's firm started filing. This was completely against procedure, but Judge Deschamps never required this other attorney to become an attorney of record. It seemed like Geiszler was trying to put distance between himself and fabricated financial records.)
Mom didn't find out about the second set of discovery requests until around the end of October 2008 when Mr. Doud was no longer her attorney and she received her file from him. Attorneys are required to operate with their clients' informed consent. First, the requests obviously should not have been propounded without her knowledge. Second, if a defendant has no knowledge of the plaintiff's revised narrative of what occurred based on answers to 80 discovery questions, how can she make informed decisions about what direction to take the case?
If an attorney takes action in secret that is so clearly favorable to the opposing side isn't it reasonable to assume that he is conspiring? Of course, that's not all. The depth and breadth of Jeffrey Doud's malpractice is astounding. Please see a partial list of his greatest hits after the jump.
What's frightening is that the malpractice is so objectively identifiable and true, and Mr. Geiszler is working so hard to brand Mom's identification of it as symptomatic of paranoia. Do attorneys ruin their client's cases without speaking to another about it? (It would take a great leap of faith to believe that Doud is innocently and overwhelmingly incompetent.) Speaking to one other person about it makes it conspiracy. Doud did a lot of speaking to Mr. Geiszler without Mom's consent. Maybe that's why he needs Mom to be "crazy."
So, Timothy Geiszler went on an all out assault against my mother's mental health yesterday. He used a bunch of quotes from a motion to amend her counterclaim as evidence that she is paranoid. (Legalese translation: she was sued by Steve Loken, but also had claims against him. She was trying to add more claims.) The hilarious part is that she was trying to add civil conspiracy as a counterclaim, and has the evidence to prove it. Let's review what conspiracy is, courtesy of findlaw:
A criminal conspiracy exists when two or more people agree to commit almost any unlawful act, then take some action toward its completion. The action taken need not itself be a crime, but it must indicate that those involved in the conspiracy knew of the plan and intended to break the law. One person may be charged with and convicted of both conspiracy and the underlying crime based on the same circumstances.
For example, Andy, Dan, and Alice plan a bank robbery. They 1) visit the bank first to assess security, 2) pool their money and buy a gun together, and 3) write a demand letter. All three can be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, regardless of whether the robbery itself is actually attempted or completed.
Clearly this has nothing to do with black helicopters. Mom's language about conspiring made perfect sense in this legal context. Apparently, Mr. Geiszler hoped that quotes ripped out of context would simply read as paranoia. Big, big stretch.
But since our run-ins with the justice system seem to conform to others' big stretches, it seems prudent to flesh out some of the conspiracy of which my mother wrote (and has evidence and would like/would have liked to argue). Here goes.
While I was in Russia in winter of '06 I received a frantic Skype from Mom. Her property was no longer in her control and Steve Loken had filed a lien against it. Before leaving for Russia, all of my boxed belongings had been soaked due to a flood caused by Mr. Loken's negligence. I had been in the dining room listening while Mom met with him and he tried to make excuses for why she had been charged for incomplete work, and why the contractor in charge of her project was such a disaster. I overheard him swear at her and watched him storm out of the kitchen. By this point I knew the man was bad news, but neither of us had any idea of what he was mixed up in or what was in store for us.
So I was feeling pretty helpless a world away as my Mom found her property slipping away. Especially since her lawyer at the time, David Ryan, seemed to have orchestrated it. Here are the boring details:
As of last week the city and county of Missoula have been notified of our enduring two years' worth of organized crime, hate crime, stalking and harassment (domestic terrorism). So, if they refuse to follow up or take our concerns seriously and we continue to endure any of the above, the city and county will bear responsibility. (The Salt Lake City, Helena and Missoula FBI have been notified too but are so far mum.)
The Missoula police department seems to want the least amount of information possible about what has occurred. We've seen this before. Dave Maison, the Farmers insurance adjuster dealing with Abbey Carpets' damage to my mother's home wrote his initial assessment of what had occurred without even talking to my mother or me -- his was completely inaccurate (seemingly to cover up for intentional destruction of property and to make it seem as though water damage had occurred when it hadn't in the ongoing attempt to devalue the property) and we had to threaten going to the state auditor to get him to include the correct information. He initially said "I've heard what you're going to say," and so didn't want us to say it -- at that point we weren't being vocal about the intentional nature of the property destruction, but just had the facts. Dave didn't want to do a standard taped interview. Nothing. I guess if he didn't have it in his records, it didn't happen.
This is very similar to what's going on so far with the Missoula PD.
Oddly, Sergeant Casey Richardson wants to define the issue quite narrowly, as isolated to our "innocent" neighbors. He has willfully ignored information about the escalated harassment following last year's local Republican convention (where there seemed to have been a lot of confabbing and fund raising related to us). This year's occurred recently and we are concerned that it could be much worse this year with the surge in right-wing violence, and have pointed out a few individuals who seemed very troubled by our religious/political outlooks who also sabotaged work at the house or threatened to use employees of the sheriff's department as hired goons.
I have tried to explain to Sergeant Richardson that it is his and the department's job to make clear to local political and religious leaders that their constituencies cannot harm and harass us with impunity. Failing to do so sends the message that it's acceptable to create an overall tone of fear and intimidation within the city and county. Clearly, someone who is going to use a sheriff's department employee as his enforcer believes he has the backing of law enforcement against whatever horrible excuses of humanity we were supposed to be. It's an overall tone of acceptability that local government needs to shift and so far Sergeant Richardson has remained tone deaf on that issue. After his seemingly intentional nonresponsiveness I followed up with Lieutenant Brester, who was silent and who now is out of town.
The problem is that it's likely that false information was given to the city or the county in order to sanction bogus investigation of us (again -- based on all of the entrapment attempts, it seems that the false info was drug-related). Because little of what has happened to us could have happened without locals feeling as though they were legally protected. It seems that agencies that have been "investigating" us are legally required to let us know why. We do have a right to face our accusers, after all.
I have asked County Attorney Fred Valkenberg directly in an email whether we have been under investigation by his office. He hasn't answered. I asked him and the other attorneys in his office how we can best provide them with the information they need to pursue the crimes against our person and property. We have so much information and documentation, we want to provide it in the most succinct possible manner so that we can help them do their jobs effectively. Silence.
We're not going away. We're just not. We're dedicated to the idea that our nation's/state's/city's legal/justice systems should work on behalf of individual citizens and not cronies. We will pursue all possible local, state and federal channels. So now seems like the time for local public servants to decide how they will be known when all of the facts come to light. So far, Sergeant Richardson is the cop who is doing all that he can to avoid receiving any documentation of wrongdoing. Luitenant Brester seems like the cop who is ignoring our communications in the hope that Sargent Richardson will discourage us and we will quiet down. Mr. Van Valkenberg's office seems quite ostrich-like. But ignoring us won't make us go away. Public servants need to do their jobs properly.
We knew that questioning witnesses under oath would open the door to testimony surrounding participation in the harassment/criminal conspiracy we have endured. We didn't realize just how important it was that the facts not come out in open court. Apparently, the testimony and facts would have been much more damning than anyone could have imagined, because the judge assured that we would not be able to present a case.
Something is obviously fishy when any of the following happen -- not to mention all. A judge has allowed Jeffrey Doud, the counsel who was caught lying, withholding documents, and taking action without his client's informed consent, to withdraw without notice or providing the opportunity to find alternate counsel. Subsequently the judge does not allow the defendant to in any way remedy the lawyer's misconduct. The judge does not allow a defendant to name an expert witness. He allows opposing counsel Tim Geiszler to have another unrecognized attorney file motions (because doing so himself would have disallowed the attorney of record any claims of deniability about Steve Loken's fabricated bills and documents) even though doing so is clearly a violation of procedure. In general, he flat out, just fragrantly ignores procedure because doing so is favorable to the plaintiff. He allows the trial to move forward when there has been no pretrial order filed. Really, he observes procedure completely arbitrarily. Procedure that is Montana Code -- the Code that we are all meant to observe because it is the law that governs us all.