Archive for the ‘Trial Lawyers’ category

Hood – “Protecting Mike Moore”

October 13, 2011

When more than 750,000 Mississippians were on Medicaid (many of the obviously “Mississippi Families”), Attorney General Jim Hood chose sides against the legislature, the governor, the Mississippi Health Care Trust Fund, and the Mississippi Division of Medicaid. But he did pick a side: Mike Moore.

Attorney General Jim Hood sought to continue to divert $20 million a year away from the needs of Mississippi’s health care and to a private nonprofit organization which his buddy Mike Moore was/is chairman. That money was part of the tobacco settlement designed to reimburse Mississippi’s Medicaid program and health care costs.

When it came time to line up to “protect Mississippi families” Hood chose Mike Moore instead.

Mike Moore and Jim Hood

The Supreme Court of Mississippi puts it all out there in this decision: No. 2006-SA-01088-SCT

In case you don’t recall the outcome, the Supreme Court overwhelmingly agreed with Governor Haley Barbour, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, and the Mississippi Health Care Trust Fund and ruled against Attorney General Jim Hood and The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.  That ruling allows for $20 million more dollars a year to go toward “protecting Mississippi families” rather than to Mike Moore’s private nonprofit organization…and Jim Hood opposed that ruling.

Jim Hood is running for reelection on the platform of “Protecting Mississippi Families” but who does he really represent? Maybe it should be “Protecting Mississippi Lawyers (Who Are Hood’s Friends).”

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Dos de Scruggs

January 8, 2009

Holbrook Mohr writes an excellent recap of Scruggs II for the Associated Press (hattip folo). The new characters, cast for this performance by Joey Langston, include former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters and Hinds Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter. Returning from the previous franchise will once again be Dickie Scruggs, former Mississippi Auditor Steve Patterson and New Albany attorney Timothy Balducci.

Balducci and Patterson have been cooperating with federal investigators and await sentencing.

A lot of people tracked down interesting connections between this gang and elected officials in the first Scruggs case.  It will be interesting to see who else has political or financial ties to Balducci and Patterson and the others that comes out this time around.

Congressman Travis Childers on Joey Langston: “This is not a man who has lost his way.”

December 10, 2008

Jerry Mitchell shares excerpts of a letter from Congressman Travis Childers on behalf of Joey Langston. It is below, with my notes in brackets.

I suppose many will say that Joey somehow lost his way. I disagree. [He has always been like this.]

No one in my forty nine years in Prentiss County has had greater impact on so many people that I personally know than Joey Langston. He has been a friend to all [hey, with friends like this] and an enemy to none. His heart is bigger than our entire county. His generosity to the people of Prentiss County will probably never be exceeded in my lifetime [unless other trial lawyers strike it rich]; not only his generosity of his resources, but by his generous gift of love and kindness to all who were willing to accept it [especially if it were a judge who was willing to accept his love and kindness]. He has been a friend [and a lawyer who would take a huge cut of a lawsuit] to the poor just as the wealthy. He has treated everyone with the greatest respect [except judges, the Bar, and the American system of justice]. I can hardly believe this tragedy [that he admitted attempting to bribe a judge] is happening to him and his family.

I recall so many times that I (as chancery clerk) have called on him to help pay hospital bills, buy medicine, pay school expenses, furnish Christmas gifts to needy children, even to assist in burial expenses for people in our county [and he didn’t even ask for a receipt]. Most of the times he never knew the people he helped [nor did I]. Several years ago there was a certain death of a young child, which as you know is devastating enough to a family in itself. Joey, knowing the family was not prepared to bury this child, much less prepared to pay six thousand dollars for a funeral. He discreetly stepped in to the office of the local funeral home and left a personal check to cover the expense for the family. He asked the owner to please not tell the family he paid the bill. There was no lawsuit to follow or any other personal potential gain to Joey. He just knew that he couldn’t bring that child back, but he could help in that way. When I approached him and suspected that he had done this kind act, he asked me to not tell the family that he had taken care of this.

This is not a man who has lost his way. He may have gotten sidetracked, [he may have even tried to bribe a judge, he may have committed a felony, he may have injured confidence in our justice system] but he hasn’t lost his way. I only wish that every town and county in America had someone like Joey Langston [and so do corrupt judges].

Ronnie’s record will make you “Blush”

September 29, 2008

The NRSC is doing a great job getting these YOUTUBE spots out.  This one called “blush” brings back a few of our favorite Mississippi political characters and is worth a look.

Travis Childers Vs. Tishomingo County

May 8, 2008

The Belmont Times

May 8, 2008…8:50 am

The Travis Childers and Jimmy R. Morgan vs Tishomingo County Lawsuit

It’s 2 in the morning, I’ve had too many cups of coffee and my bleary eyes are crossed from reading the whale of paperwork that is this lawsuit. This thing has more lives than a barn cat. And it has more pages than a Herman Wouk novel. But I will try to do a Reader Digest condensed version of it with the following disclaimers. I am not a lawyer. I shamefully confess that I always wished that I had become one (the Matlock type, not the Jim Hood type), but I didn’t. I am also not a real estate agent. So my opinions herein are to be taken with this in mind: Folks alot smarter than me (or is it I) wrote these papers and a country boy is trying to interpret them.

I am a citizen of Tishomingo County and I was surprised to hear that I, as a member of this county, had been sued by Travis Childers. What did this mean? What had I ever done to good ole Travis? So, I decided to do a little digging and with some help, I was able obtain a copy of the lawsuit. In the interest of full disclosure, I should reveal how I obtained this copy. The County of Tishomingo, Circuit Clerks office, charged $89 for the copy ($0.25 per copy). I understand that this was paid for by “Concerned Citizens of Tishomingo County”, some folks on the other side of the political fence from Travis, who do have a vested interest in bringing this to light. But as most people who know me knows, I would have broached this subject whether there was an election upcoming or not.

I have had my copy for almost a week and have now read it 3 times. Tonight was the first time I read it through at one sitting, but I did it to get a full sense of the whole preceeding. And believe me, Matlock it ain’t. I also contacted some county officials, the county Attorney, and other interested parties. I did email the Childers campaign through their website, but did not get a response. I did later get an email asking for money, although it was not directly from the Childers campaign.

So, why is ole Travis suing Tishomingo County? Let’s start with a letter from the office of Carnathan and Malski dated Feb 20, 1991. It is addressed to Toy Junior Bonds and wife, Billie Bonds. In this letter, the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority, hereafter referred to as the State Agency, expresses a need to purchase Mr. and Mrs. Bonds property due to Nasa moving into Tishomingo County and the possible need of a buffer zone around the area for further development, or support structure. Here is a key phrase in this letter that is listed as one of the basis for the lawsuit. “If for some reason you think that you are not being offered just compensation for your property, you may present the Authority’s representative with evidence supporting your claim. This evidence will be considered in an effort to be fair, cooperative, and understanding. If an agreement cannot be reached and there are differences of opinion about the value of the property being acquired, the best way to insure equitable treatment for all is to put the matter before the courts. This is what is known as condemnation or an eminent domain proceeding. In such a proceeding, a jury will determine the amount of money you will be paid.” This phrasing was one of the legs on which the entire lawsuit stands. The lawsuit states that the state agency used a threat of eminent domain to obtain this land fraudulently from the defendants. They also claim that since NASA never came to Tishomingo County, then the agency had no right to wield the threat of Eminent Domain. Now, I am supposing, the letter addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Bonds is used as just an example of letters sent to other property owners. I did not find any reference to a similar letter addressed to Mr. Childers. In an amended complaint filed Nov. 15, 1996, the Plantiffs state that the Agency “perpetrated a fraud on the Citizens fo Tishomingo County, Ms living in the area identified as the ‘Buffer Zone’“. So I am assuming that Mr. Childers, a very very successful Chancery Clerk and Real Estate agent, would have known all the ins and outs of eminent domain proceedings and what they could do and not do. I do not know how Mr. Childers came to possess land within the area that was chosen for the buffer zone as that is not addressed at all in the Lawsuit, or if their was a tie-in with some of the other names that are sprinkled throughout the many pages of this piece of very boring legal jungle of papers.

So, bored yet? On 2-15-1996, Travis Childers and Jimmy R. Morgan filed suit in a Special Court of Eminent Domain in Tishomingo County, Ms. The claim: “That the conveyance of the aforesaid property was against the will and desire of the Plaintiffs, but that under threat of eminent domain, Plaintiffs did convey said property against their wishes.” They asked to be allowed to repurchase the property at fair market value.

The Plantiffs then filed a motion to transfer the case to Circuit Court, Tishomingo County as there were some “rights and causes of action due the Plantiffs here that are not triable in the Special Court of Eminent Domain”. This motion was in November 1996. Moving the case to Circuit Court allows the Plantiffs to allege fraud, misrepresentation, and economic loss. The order to move to Circuit Court was signed on Sep. 29, 1997.

There was a order issued on 17 Dec. 1998 signed by Judge Barry W. Ford, the case was dimissed due to no action in the previous 12 months.

In Jan 2000, plantiffs filed a motion to reinstate the case which was signed off by Judge Russell on 24 January 2000. The explaination according to the Motion to Reinstate was that the plantiffs forwarded some paperwork to the Defendant (the Agency), and he did not respond and time ran out.

On a filing on Feb. 3, 2000, the above mentioned letter is now referred to as being “a letter addressed to Plantiffs and dated Feb. 29, 1991″. This seems to imply that the land referred to in the letter now belongs to Mr. Childers and Mr. Morgan, but I didn’t see any legal papers in this suit that made that explained that connection for me.

From this point forward, there are filings and motions and refilings all the way up to March 1, 2005 when all of the property of the State Agency is transferred to Tishomingo County. An order is issued to substitute Tishomingo County as the Defendant.

Tishomingo County claims in filings that “we didn’t do anything wrong”, but the Plantiffs say that the county inherited the bad with the good and will have to pony up for the actions of the state. The amount of economic damages due to the Plantiffs is unspecified in the paperwork and has been guessed at with a wide range, depending upon who you ask.

So, Travis Childers bought, or aquired, some land in Tishomingo County. He sold it at a fair market profit and now he wants it back. The State referred to Eminent Domain proceedings in a letter and that unfairly caused some property owners to make a “bad deal” for their property. Tishomingo County now has the task of defending the lawsuit and settling this and paying any damages awarded. So, what is the big deal over a little property?

The property in question is located near the Pickwick Area. Land and construction in that area is unaware that there may be a recession going on in this country. Property is extremely valueable in that area and I have been told some outrageous prices per acre that this land may be worth. Now, remember, I am not a realestate agent, so I won’t speculate on any realestate prices. However, I do wish I owned a few acres of it. I’d sell it and take a long vacation.

So, has Travis done anything wrong? You will have to decide that. But he does have Tishomingo County sued and I wonder why, if he is running for such a high-profile office, why didn’t he just drop the suit? Is the land worth that much? Is there sentimental value? I understand that the state may have done you wrong, but now you are suing the people you propose to represent? Maybe I stand to be corrected and if I am, please email me to correct me.

As always, I’m calling it as I see it, and asking about what I don’t understand. It never hurts to have an opinion, even if it is different than mine.


NRCC Hits Travis Childers On The Nursing Home That He Owned With Joey Langston

April 18, 2008

This is full contact politics at it’s finest, We doubt Childers can recover from this.

-ROM

Travis Childers and Joey Langston, Guilt by Association Volume 8

April 14, 2008

By Kenny Goode
The Banner-Independent
The pastor of a small, predomi­nantly black, church in the Frankstown community said his congre­gation is pre­pared to fight eminent do­main proceed­ings when the issue comes be­fore a judge next month in Booneville at the Prentiss County Court­house.
Court date is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. Plaintiff in the case will be Prentiss County.
“And we have retained Attorney Steve Farese of Ashland to repre­sent us,” said the Rev. Henry Da-
mons of Ruben Chapel Church. The county will be represented by Attorney Frank Russell of Tupelo. Rev. Damons said the 240-member congregation of Ruben Chapel Church is resigned that their church, which was founded an estimated 80 years ago, will likely have to move to an­other location so the runway at the Booneville-Baldwyn Airport can be ex­tended 1,000 feet. “Even though the church was there first and even
though it means some of the congregation’s deceased loved ones in the adjacent cemetery will have to be disinterred and moved else­where.”
He said the church has been a focal point in the community since 1925 with even earlier records indicating members at­tended church services nearby in a building known as the Lin­coln School, which no longer exists.
Rev. Damons continued, “We also disagree on what Prentiss County officals are trying to give us, monetarily, for the property. We’d rather lose the church in court than to give it to these people who are supposed to represent all of Prentiss County.”
The minister said, if and when the church relocates clos­er to Baldwyn, the money of­fered by the county would not be enough to construct a new church. “We will be going into debt by probably $150,000 be­cause of having to move.”
News of eminent domain proceedings were announced in a press release last week from Glen Green, president of the Prentiss County Board of Su­pervisors.
Rev. Damons said it was his understanding that quite a number of landowners were less than pleased with the amounts they received but he could only speak for Ruben chapel Church.
“The law states the govern­ment has to give a fair market value and as County Board At­torney Joey Langston has stated so eloquently,’A fair market value is a fair market value in the hearts and minds of the jury’.”
He added, “I think the elect­ed officials are trying to sell to the public that this is the right thing to do all in the name of progress. But, it’s not… It only benefits a few so we’ll leave it up to a jury.”

In his opinion, Ruben Chapel’s minister said he does not foresee any great amount of industry being brought into this area by the extension of the runway airports are the county needs to fill the in-
dustry facilities it already has first.”
The minister said perhaps the greatest issue, rather than get­ting enough money to rebuild, is regarding the removal of graves, which he estimates to be about 12
he added, “At the start of this, the negotiators wanted us to remove the graves. Some of those are un­marked and have been there a long time. You are talking about caskets which will have deteriorated and, in some cases, there will be nothing left but bones. It is going to be a horrif­ic challenge.”
And he disputes the county’s figures regarding number of af­fected graves and predicts if the project goes forth, that some unmarked graves are even like­ly to be blacktopped over by the runway itself.
He said all aspects will ulti­mately be aired in court – in­cluding his allegations that many of those involved in the proceedings have had a person­al conflict of interest.
He concluded, “That is what we are going to do. I could not sleep at night if we allowed the county to bulldoze this congre­gation.”

ROM- This get’s worse and worse for Travis Childers the more we uncover, thanks to the great investigative reporting by BarneyFife.

The Banner-Independent is tough to find online so we appreciate that hard work finding this article, this is a killer, the pastor is on record saying that this expansion only benefits a few.

Travis Childers was the Chancery Clerk and Joey Langston was the Board Attorney. We have previously established their friendship, the fact that they were business partners and we have a lot of emails ect. that encourage us to keep digging because there is no doubt from the people of Prentiss county that this proceeding was pre-arranged and Langstons “gift” was the same kind of payoff that he is now infamous for.

Scumbags the lot of em.

-ROM