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Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

The CEO of a student-housing development company is threatening to take legal action against me.

Ted Rollins, the head of Charlotte-based Campus Crest Communities, stated in an e-mail dated September 23 that "to the extent false or misleading information is published" about him or his company that he would pursue "all legal means available."

By "legal means," to remedy "false or misleading information," I assume Rollins is referring to a possible defamation lawsuit against me. There is only one problem with Mr. Rollins' threat--I haven't written anything false or misleading about him or his company. Everything I've written is supported by public documents and/or multiple press reports.

Ten minutes after I received Rollins' statement, sent via a spokesperson named Jason Chudoba, I received a letter from a lawyer named Chad W. Essick, of the Raleigh, North Carolina, law firm of Poyner Spruill. The letter was attached to an e-mail and informed me that Mr. Essick represents Ted Rollins and would be monitoring my future posts. It stated that Mr. Rollins might be "forced to protect his reputation and that of his company." (See the full letter at the end of this post.)

Why are Ted Rollins and his lawyer sending threatening missives to Legal Schnauzer? For one, we've written extensively about Mr. Rollins and his ties to Alabama, especially an alarming divorce case he filed in Shelby Countyagainst Sherry Carroll Rollins, his former wife and now a Birmingham resident. That lawsuit, styled Rollins v. Rollins, was handled in a blatantly unlawful manner--especially considering that Mrs. Rollins already had filed a divorce action against Mr. Rollins in Greenville, South Carolina, where the couple lived at the time. With jurisdiction already established in one state, it could not lawfully be moved to another. But it was, and Ted Rollins wound up with a hugely favorable result. He pays only $815 a month in child support for the couple's two daughters, plus $500 a month in alimony--a paltry sum for a man who belongs to one of the nation's wealthiest families, with a company that completed a $380-million IPO last year. Ted Rollins and his lawyer friends at the Birmingham firm of Bradley Arant probably are not happy that I am reporting on the Rollins v. Rollins case.

Second, I've written about a number of unsavory issues connected to Campus Crest Communities, which is planning a $26.3-million development at Auburn University here in Alabama. Several current or former employees have filed lawsuits, claiming the company practices race and sex discrimination. We also have reported on a recent balcony collapse at a new Campus Crest development near the University of North Texas, which sent three young men to the hospital.

I suspect that Mr. Rollins and his lawyer, Mr. Essick, are most concerned about my coverage of personal matters connected to the divorce case. Rollins' threats are ironic because I spoke with him via telephone on July 11 and requested an interview. He informed me that he didn't give interviews to "bloggers," apparently even ones with 30-plus years of professional journalism experience. If I sent him questions in writing, Rollins stated, he would be "more than happy" to answer them.

Turns out that wasn't exactly true. I did send Rollins written questions, the first set dealing with his child-support payments that were roughly two weeks late for the month of September. He did not respond to those questions, but Sherry Rollins informed me that the child support soon was paid.

The second set of questions concerned actions by Ted Rollins and Michele Rollins in Jamaica and Colorado, where the family has business interests. Michele Rollins is the widow of John W. Rollins, Ted's late father, and she is a prominent figure in Republican Party politics. Michele Rollins is close to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she ran for a Congressional seat from Delaware in 2010.

Something in my second set of questions apparently alarmed Ted Rollins. Instead of answering them in a "more than happy" fashion, he threatened me with legal action. Here is his full response:

All claims and accusations listed in your e-mails dated 20 September 2011 and 14 September 2011 are absolutely false and completely unfounded.  Any and all issues between me and my ex-wife have long been settled in court.  I have always provided for my children and maintain an excellent relationship with them.  I would encourage you to make sure all statements you make about me or my company are true and can be supported by facts.  To the extent false or misleading information is published about me or my company, I will be compelled to protect the reputation of myself and my company through all legal means available.

I responded to Rollins and his lawyer via e-mail on September 26. I noted that the lawsuit business can cut both ways:

Mr. Essick:

I am in receipt of your letter, via e-mail, dated Sept. 23, 2011. Please be advised that every article I have written about Ted Rollins and Campus Crest Communities has been thoroughly researched and is supported by public documents and/or multiple press reports. The same will hold true for every article I write about Ted Rollins and Campus Crest Communities in the future.

Your letter alleges that my articles include false or misleading information, but it provides nothing to support that charge. That's because there is nothing to support that charge. You also allude to "allegations" in my e-mails that Mr. Rollins claims are false. In fact, my e-mail contains questions, sent at Mr. Rollins request, not allegations. The questions are based on reports from multiple witnesses who were present in Jamaica at the time, and I have written documents upon which I based these questions.

One of the questions in my e-mail is based on a public document from a South Carolina court, citing information that Mr. Rollins himself provided. In essence, Mr. Rollins now is claiming that information he provided in a court of law is false. What does that say about Mr. Rollins' credibility?

I am a professional reporter and editor, with a degree in journalism and more than 30 years of experience in the field. I also am well acquainted with communications law.

Please be advised that if anyone files a groundless lawsuit against me, I will immediately respond with a countersuit for abuse of process and any other applicable torts against the party and his attorney. I also will seek sanctions and costs against the attorney under Rule 11.

Rest assured that I will protect my rights as a journalist and a citizen. I'm hopeful that the actions noted above will not be necessary.

In the meantime, I would suggest that you actually research my articles, and the public documents and press reports upon which they are based, before firing off a threatening letter that is not supported by fact or law.

Sincerely,

Roger Shuler

Want some more irony? Ted Rollins is riled up, and I haven't even started writing in detail about the most serious issues connected to his divorce case. If he's ticked off now, his mood is not likely to improve in the coming weeks.

Below is the letter from Chad W. Essick:

Ted Rollins Lawsuit Threat

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
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  •  Tip Jar (300+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
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  •  Now that's interesting.... (43+ / 0-)

    Though I'm not privy to all the information involved it is a bit amusing when prior conduct gets exposed to the light of day. You have obviously hit a sore spot.

    I'm not sure why there would be a change of venue for the dissolution of marriage...obviously Mr. Rollins must have offered up some substantiation, two homes, etc.

    Will be watching your posts to see how this develops. The pathetic child support allocation means he deserves some heat. Good luck.

    Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

    by Morgan Sandlin on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 09:45:33 AM PDT

  •  That's one nice letter (10+ / 0-)

    You got a good lawyer.

    As an aside, defamation is usually quite hard to win, especially against a journalist.

    In CA and WA, at least.  Don't know about NC.

  •  Looks like he picked on the wrong guy..... (29+ / 0-)

    and now your articles, that might have languished among the mountain of injustices, scandals and travesties of our society has a human element, David who is shining the light of truth being threatened by a Goliath who is used to intimidating everyone.

    I am considering taking a columnist gig at a local weekly, a couple hundred thousand circulation as a givaway.  But for me to be effective it takes guts, and right now I've only written as "community essays" with the disclaimer that protects the paper.  

    This makes it difficult, since bloggers present less risk to those exposed.  Even larger publications are running scared, as the legal cost can be destructive to a medium that is strugling.  

    So it was this article, about the actions of Representitive Darrell Issa, that was the most agresssive in his entire district.   The paper may have backed away if I were a regular staffer, and then there would be no pesonal satisfaction.

    It's a real catch 22 for me.

  •  i can't see how this rollins guy (18+ / 0-)

    would really want all his dirty linen aired in a public court room.

    the last thing he would want to do, were he a sensible sort, would take this to trial-assuming your allegations are factual as you claim.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:06:21 AM PDT

  •  Threaten a SLAP suit to chill cyber journalism (14+ / 0-)

    Nice!

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:10:11 AM PDT

  •  Since people of this ilk now control 90% of (20+ / 0-)

    the wealth in this country, I'm sure this kind of thing will just be another step in their desire to crush everyone and everything below them.  Intimidation will ensue because of their bottomless pockets.  Very important to push back.

    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - Ronald Reagan - 1980

    by livjack on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:39:24 AM PDT

  •  be careful (11+ / 0-)

    A blogger in Minnesota was sued and lost for publishing true info about a community leader who lost his job.  I don't know the legal details, but it seems to me it didn't matter that what he said was true; I believe the blogger wrote that he thought that person should lose his job and that's what led to his loss in court.  

    It's hard for me to understand the law. Decisions from my position as a naive observer often appear frivolous and influenced by emotion, class, race culture, and money.

    Here's a link to the Minnesota story.

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:54:26 AM PDT

  •  Rock on! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus

    So I was at a concert the other night, and the performer says at one point: "I was born in 1980... So I've lived my whole life in postmortem America."

    by surfbird007 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:56:58 AM PDT

  •  Disgusting piece of human offal, not supporting (4+ / 0-)

    his kids beyond the equivalent of what a minimum-wage job could provide them, when he is worth tens of millions of dollars.

    That is SICK and CRUEL.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:59:18 AM PDT

  •  Be careful taking on (0+ / 0-)

    "a member of one of the nation's wealthiest families".

    They have deep pockets and a lot of connections.  You could end up buried in legal fees and find that strange and unusual road-blocks are popping up in front of you everywhere.

    Is it really worth it?

  •  Roger, I always love reading your posts (11+ / 0-)

    And have concluded that you are either crazy, or you really have balls!! Pardon me for the vulgarity.
     I love a guy who pushes back at power, and in a legal way!!

    The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato

    by manneckdesign on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 11:10:21 AM PDT

  •  Yeehaw, (3+ / 0-)

    Bring It!

    It always makes me feel good to know there are people like you that can assemble facts and make visible the a$$holes among us.

    I've got my spine, I've got my (DKos) orange crush, we are agents of the free.....R.E.M.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 11:11:13 AM PDT

  •  Um: (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, coffeetalk, Darmok, pico, Magster, Cthulhu
    That lawsuit, styled Rollins v. Rollins, was handled in a blatantly unlawful manner--especially considering that Mrs. Rollins already had filed a divorce action against Mr. Rollins in Greenville, South Carolina, where the couple lived at the time. With jurisdiction already established in one state, it could not lawfully be moved to another. But it was, and Ted Rollins wound up with a hugely favorable result.

    Obviously, the courts disagreed with your legal analysis, making your claim of 'unlawfulness' void.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 11:36:31 AM PDT

    •  Geekesque . . . (8+ / 0-)

      Are we a nation of laws or of men?

      A "man" in a robe in Shelby County, Alabama, ruled in a fashion that was blatantly contrary to law. The court file clearly shows that on a most fundamental matter--jurisdiction. The man in a robe had no legal grounds to even hear Rollins v. Rollins, much less rule on it.

      I've already reported on documents that show that and will be reporting more.

      It's not a matter of me "making a claim" about the unlawful way this case was handled. It's a matter of fact.

      Again, are we a nation of laws or or men?

      You seem to think we are a nation of men.

      •  There are appeals courts in that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, Darmok, pico, Cthulhu

        part of the country, no?

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 11:58:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Geekesque (6+ / 0-)

          Are you familiar with how state appeals courts often work in the real world?

          They get cases, stamp "affirmed, no opinion" and that's it, regardless of what the law says.

          That's what happened in Rollins v. Rollins. I've had it happen in my own cases.

          Again, are we a nation of laws or of men? I notice you refuse to answer that question.

          Here's a suggestion: Read the case styled Wesson v. Wesson below. Then tell me how a case where jurisdiction had been established in South Carolina could be moved to Alabama.

          Wesson v. Wesson, 628 So. 2d 953

          There are massive amounts of law in every state regarding this kind of thing. It cannot lawfully be done. It was done, to benefit Ted Rollins.

          If that doesn't concern you, maybe you need to have a check up on your conscience--to make sure you have one.

          •  In our system, the law is what the courts (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coffeetalk, Darmok, pico, Magster, DMiller, Cthulhu

            say it is.

            We can disagree, but we are merely holders of opinion.

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 12:22:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Geekesque (11+ / 0-)

              I'm afraid you are wrong.

              Judges who rule contrary to law, and do it because they have received incentives from outside forces, are committing a crime.

              The law is what are elected representatives have formulated. And the courts are bound to uphold that law.

              That they often don't do it--as in Rollins v. Rollins--is perhaps the great unreported scandal of our times.

              That's why I'm reporting it. Mr. Rollins and his lawyer friends obviously don't want me to do that.

              •  Counselor, I would strongly advise you (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coffeetalk, Darmok, pico, Magster, Adam B, Cthulhu

                against accusing fellow members of the bar and sitting members of the bench of committing criminal offenses because of the mere fact that you disagree with the outcome in a matrimonial action (particularly if you are not a matrimonial attorney).  What a Kos diarist can get away with a licensed attorney cannot, especially if makes those statements under one's own name.

                "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 12:42:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Geekesque (7+ / 0-)

                  I'm not an attorney, licensed or otherwise.

                  You apparently refuse to read the actual law, even though I provided a link for you above.

                  It's not a matter that I "disagree" with the outcome of a matrimonial action. It clearly was handled in a fashion that is contrary to law. I can read simple declarative sentences, and so can Kos readers.

                  Again, the law says this case could not even be heard in Alabama. Multiple documents show that jurisdiction was already established in South Carolina.

                  If you know of a law that states this kind of "jurisdiction shopping" is legal, I'm all ears. But I've cited Wesson v. Wesson, which is the controlling law in Alabama.

                  It can't be done--end of story. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable.

                  If kickbacks/bribes were involved in this case--and federal mails or wires were involved--then yes, a federal crime was committed, by any number of folks.

                  You seem to think judges and lawyers are above the law. They are not.

                  I do know that the judge who handled Rollins v. Rollins was financially able to retire early from the bench. Why was that? I'm looking into it. But his curiously timed retirement is a matter of public record.

                  •  Oy. (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coffeetalk, Darmok, pico, Magster, Cthulhu

                    You are opening yourself up to a defamation suit.  

                    Based on your uneducated understanding of an area of legal specialty.

                    Good luck.

                    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                    by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 01:01:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  what rich (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      FishOutofWater

                      what the rich are soon to rediscover is, that when people have little left to lose, they stop fearing the rich.

                      If you are broke, and lawsuit isnt so scary anymore.

                      Bad is never good until worse happens

                      by dark daze on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 02:31:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm surprised it took this long, frankly. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Geekesque, coffeetalk, Darmok

                      This diarist has posted stuff far more incendiary and possibly defamatory than what he's being challenged on here.  All I can say is caveat lector (I mean, really look through some of the doozies he's posted on this site) and wash your hands of it.

                      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                      by pico on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 04:05:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Pico (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Preston S, rmx2630

                        What do you mean by "possibly defamatory"?

                        Why don't you cite anything I've ever written here that is "possibly defamatory," in your view.

                        Let's see some examples. By the way, what is the legal standard for material that is "possibly defamatory"?

                        I'll be washing my hands while I await your reply.

                        Better yet, why don't you forward your findings directly to me at rshuler3156@gmail.com. I would love to read them, with your real name attached.

                        Thanks in advance for your bold assertions, made while hiding behind a fake name.

                        •  We've been over this before. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Cthulhu

                          Your conspiracy-prone posts over people's deaths are disgusting, irresponsible, and should have gotten you banned a long time ago.   Need I remind you that came very close to happening, and if there's one thing I hold against Meteor Blades, it's not banning you himself when he had the chance.

                          I've dogged you many times over irresponsible crap like that.   You'll probably get off scot-free, because internet defamation is extremely hard to make a case for, and such a relatively new area of law, that some lawyer or another (that profession you despise) will keep you in the clear.   That doesn't make what you do any more ethical or tolerable for it.

                          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                          by pico on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 05:31:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I notice . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            that you offer no examples--and that you are too big a coward to contact me directly.

                            Profiles in courage from "pico."

                          •  Why contact you directly? Your record is here, (0+ / 0-)

                            on the blog, for everyone to see.   I have no interest in you personally, just the stuff you write here, which should have gotten you banned.

                            I can do a long list of links if that's what you really want.  

                            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                            by pico on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 06:07:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your original statement . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            referenced items I had written that were "possibly defamatory."

                            Now you've changed it to items that should have "gotten me banned"--as if you are the arbiter that is virtuous on DKos.

                            Your arrogance is breath-taking--exceeded only by your ignorance of the law, which you admit, and your cowardice.

                            I clearly have gored one of your oxes. Rather than simply admit that and move on, you have to attack the messenger--making statements that are, in fact, borderline defamatory.

                          •  Accusing people of murder... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...sorry, "Just asking questions"... is borderline defamatory.   It's one of the reasons you were hounded by the admins (plural) here, because you can make your accusations while pretending not to - the very definition of cowardice, in my opinion.   You see foul play in people's tragic suicides because you treat other people's lives like your personal conspiracy theory playground.

                            I'll lay it on the table: I don't think there's a more irresponsible blogger on this site, and if you end up crossing that line one two many times and getting banned and/or legally smacked down, you'll deserve it.  

                            Done with comments here.

                            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                            by pico on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 07:02:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've accused people . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            of murder? Do tell.

                            What person have I accused of murder? Please share.

                          •  Oh, right.. You didn't "accuse" anyone. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cthulhu, Darmok

                            You just asked whether e.g. one person was murdered in someone's office (but you didn't name names!), or another might not be a suicide case but an assassination (but you didn't say it, just asked a question!), etc.  You don't have to point fingers when you can just intimate that someone was murdered and walk away from the scene.   Like I said above, you'd escape legal action because you're at least careful to hide behind cowardly question-form, so you can't be accused of propogating knowingly false information.  It just makes what you do that much more reprehensible.   I think another admin summed your shtick up well, but this comment from the same diary speaks for me:

                            I'm tired of your scores and perhaps hundreds of diaries that take something real and gussy it up with a lot of deranged conspiracy thinking.  I'm especially tired of your treatment of people who die by suicide or accident.

                            Sad thing is you think of yourself as some kind of heroic figure uncovering the truth.  What an embarrassment, all around.

                            That's it, I'm really done here.   I've said my piece, no use dragging it out.  People can see your history of comments, and hiddens, and I hope they take your work with a requisite bulldozer of salt.

                            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                            by pico on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 07:39:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're such a phony . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            piece of crap. So-called liberals like yourself, who stand up for the likes of Ted Rollins, explain a lot about the sorry state of the Democratic Party.

                            If I piss off cowards like you, I take that as a badge of honor. Keep hiding behind hour phony name. I would do that too, if I was as big an ignoramus as you are.

                            In one of the cases you referenced, I published the ME's report showing there was no scientific evidence to support suicide. That's fact. But gee, that offends your precious sensibilities, so I guess we shouldn't ask questions of people in authority.

                            On the others, I've heard from multiple friends and associates who do not believe the individuals committed suicide--and they've given me pertinent information that supports their beliefs. You want to talk to them? I can give them your e-mails.

                            Oh, but that would require you to get your precious hands messy, communicating with real people, real victims of our "unjustice system."

                            By the way, I spoke for about two hours the other night by phone with the father of a young black male who faces capital murder charges in a case I've written about here in Alabama. I learned all about how law enforcement authorities appear to have set up this young black male, who is likely to go to the electric chair because of a politically connected murder that he almost certainly did not commit.

                            Would you like to talk to that father and hear about what he's going through? I can give you his name and phone number. You can ask him what he thinks of  my reporting. I'm the only journalist in the country who has been willing to listen to this father's story and look into his son's case. Why don't you call the father and talk to him--if you can come down from your "ivory tower" long enough.

                            I would call you a worthless piece of crap, but that would be an insult to turds everywhere. Get lost you miserable, sanctimonious slime ball.

                    •  Isn't it funny . . . (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Preston S

                      that certain people, usually lawyers, always assume a regular citizen must be "uneducated" about the law?

            •  You're confusing Marbury v Madison with (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              worldlotus, semiot

              lower level courts.

              The summary you are looking for is "The Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is." That is true. However, it does not apply to any other court or any other body of law.

              As proof, note that many courts' rulings are overturned. If what you assertion is true, "the law is what the courts say it is." Not so. Only in matters of the US Constitution is the law what the High Court says it is. Otherwise, all bets are off.

              •  You might come down from the stratosphere (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Geekesque

                The original comment questioned the diarist's statement that the lawsuit was handled in a "blatantly unlawful manner."  Geekesque's point is correct as a practical matter; when it comes to litigation, the definition of what is lawful/proper generally ends in the trial court, occasionally in the appellate court.  A divorce case doesn't often trigger constitutional issues.

                You should also consider that the diarist has a long history here of hysterical expressions when it comes to lawyers and courts.  

                •  Read first before posting. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Preston S, worldlotus

                  Geek said that the law is whatever the courts say it is. I pointed out that he is confusing the saying that the Constitution (Law of the Land) is what SCOTUS says it is.

                  I was simply pointing out Geek's error. Lower courts can and do make illegal rulings, which can and are overturned. OK?

                  •  They can make what are considered (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Adam B, DMiller

                    incorrect rulings, but that's up to superior courts in that state's judicial system to decide.

                    If the appellate courts leave a trial court's decision to stand, it is an authoritative declaration of the law.

                    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                    by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 04:07:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How many times must I repeat . . . (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Preston S, bluicebank

                      that does not make it "lawful."

                      They can declare all they want. But if they rule contrary to established law, their ruling is unlawful.

                      You might want to read up on your constitution.

                      Again, you seem to year for "king judges." We don't have those here.

                      •  Oy, you really don't understand (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Adam B

                        how ignorant your posts are.

                        Hint:

                        The courts declarations define what the law actually is.  The law is what they say it is.  

                        You may claim they got the law wrong or that their decision contradicted the law, but that is your opinion, which is of absolutely zero legal relevance and means absolutely nothing in terms of defining what the law is.

                        Legislatures pass laws, and then courts interpret them.

                        Between the two of them, they define what the law is.

                        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                        by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 04:32:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Then Dick Cheney says he's a law unto himself (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bluicebank

                          and gets away with it.

                          You are smart enough to know that you have grossly oversimplified how the law works in reality.

                          Back to Roger's point: Cheney & Bush showed that we are a nation of men, not laws.

                          That's why Roger should think hard before tilting at any more windmills.

                          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "Forgive them; for they know not what they do."

                          by FishOutofWater on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 05:41:27 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Fish (0+ / 0-)
                            That's why Roger should think hard before tilting at any more windmills.

                            Are you saying we should just cower before the Bushes, and Cheneys and Ted Rollines of the world?

                            Glad it was Martin Luther King, and not you, who stepped forward on civil rights. We would still have segregated  lunch counters in Birmingham, where I live.

                          •  Dick Cheney did not have that legal authority. (0+ / 0-)

                            State courts do have that legal authority.

                            The Rule of Recognition validates the courts, not Cheney.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 06:56:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Appellate courts make law (0+ / 0-)

                    Every day in every jurisdiction.  The fact that they are subject to review doesn't change the fact that they make law.

                    And, as a practical matter, most cases never have any appellate review, so trial courts essentially establish the law in their courts.

                •  Darmok (0+ / 0-)

                  Can you cite any law that says it is lawful for a case that has been filed and had considerable action in South Carolina, with numerous court rulings and jurisdiction established, to then be moved to Alabama--or any other state, or county for that matter?

                  I await the outcome of your research.

                  •  What happened to the case in South Carolina? (0+ / 0-)

                    Did the South Carolina court dismiss the case there?

                    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                    by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 04:11:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No . . . (0+ / 0-)

                      the South Carolina  unlawfully gave the case over to Alabama, after stating multiple times that jurisdiction rests in SC.

                      Feel free to look all of this up, by the way. You probably can access the documents online if you are an attorney.

                      •  So, now South Carolina 'unlawfully' decided (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Adam B, DMiller

                        it didn't have jurisdiction over a divorce action over two parties who were both living in Alabama?

                        Oy.

                        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                        by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 04:34:02 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Oy . . . (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          semiot

                          it might be time for you to consider a brain transplant. Both parties were not living in Alabama. Another example of your ignorance.

                          When the case commenced, both parties lived in South Carolina. That's why jurisdiction was proper there.

                          The case began in June 2001, in Greenville, S.C, where both parties lived. A SC court presided over the case for almost four full years before it essentially was stolen by an Alabama judge in March 2005.

                          From a ruling by a SC judge in the case:

                          "I find that the court has continuing and exclusive in personam jurisdiction over Plaintiff and Defendant, has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action, and that venue is properly laid before this Court by reason of the divorce proceeding now pending before the Court and the prior Orders of which Plaintiff (Ms. Rollins) seeks enforcement."

                          That was from SC Judge Robert N. Jenkins Sr. on 10/17/02. Of course, I'm sure that is Judge Jenkins' "uneducated opinion" regarding jurisdiction.

                          On 11/12/02, Judge Jenkins issued a bench warrant for Ted Rollins arrest for failure to pay child support and alimony. Prior to that, Judge Jenkins held Mr. Rollins in contempt.

                          Of course, these are "uneducated opinions" by Judge Jenkins.

                          •  Did she move before the case was decided? (0+ / 0-)
                            His ex wife, Sherry Carroll Rollins, lives in Alabama, my neck of the woods

                            If the husband and wife both move from say South Carolina to Alabama, then it would be most convenient to move the case to Alabama.

                            However, I would think that a wife getting a divorce or divorced wife generally can't move out of state with a child unless the court agrees.

                            Once a filing fee is paid, the South Carolina court system isn't going to get more money out of the parties. If an Alabama court would take over, the South Carolina court might be glad to let it do so.  

                          •  Single: (0+ / 0-)

                            I cited the exact law that applies, and none of the issues you raise trump that. The wife was forced to move to Alabama, where she has relatives, after the husband failed to pay the mortgage and insurance on the house--as he had been ordered by the court. This was four years into the case in South Carolina. Jurisdiction can't be more settled under the law than that. The husband never moved to Alabama.

              •  Are you suggesting that state courts' (0+ / 0-)

                findings of law are subject to reversal by bloggers?

                Otherwise, my point stands.  If the state courts find it lawful under the state laws, that ends the discussion.

                "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 03:41:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No. Subject to being overturned. (0+ / 0-)

                  As already pointed out, your position is from the Marbury v Madison ruling, which established the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of the US Constitution. But to say that any law is what any court says it is simply stretches the truth of the matter. Any court can be overturned, ESPECIALLY if its ruling is illegal. The Supreme Court, on the other hand, cannot by definition make an illegal ruling.

                  •  You're talking yourself in circles. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Adam B, Darmok

                    If a state trial court makes a finding of law, and is upheld by state appellate courts, that finding is legally binding and authoritative.  It is by definition lawful, and it defines what the law is on that particular point.

                    The diarist is incorrect when he labels court rulings with which depart from his uneducated opinion 'unlawful' or 'criminal.'

                    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                    by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 03:51:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Geek: (0+ / 0-)

                      You are confusing a a finding that is "legally binding" with one that is "lawful." Those are two different things.

                      A state high court can say that it is perfectly fine for a person to walk into a bank, point a gun at a teller, and walk out with $50,000 in cash. Such a finding, because it's made by a high court, is "legally binding."

                      That doesn't make it lawful because it clearly is contrary to law. And it does not "define what the law is on that particular point." It merely shows that the high court is hopelessly incompetent, lazy, corrupt, or some combination of all that.

                      You keep citing my "uneducated opinion," but I provided a link to Wesson v. Wesson, the undisputed governing law in the Rollins case--which the Shelby County judge violated.

                      That's not my opinion--and it's not uneducated. It's directly from the law, which I provided and you apparently refuse to read.

                      By the way, don't judges take an oath to uphold the law? If that's the case, why would it be OK for them to intentionally and knowingly rule contrary to that law?

                      You seem to support the notion of a "king judge." Maybe you are living in the wrong country.

                      •  "Clearly contrary to law." (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cthulhu

                        Again, that would be your OPINION.

                        But, in terms of what the operative law actually is, your opinion is

                        completely irrelevant.

                        There is no operative distinction between "legally binding" and "lawful."

                        None.

                        If the state's judicial system interprets the law to permit activity, then the state's law does in fact permit that activity.  

                        You do not seem to grasp that your personal opinion and claims on the status of the law are legally irrelevant.

                        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                        by Geekesque on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 04:20:47 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Once again . . . (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          semiot

                          it's not my opinion what the law is. That's because I can read.

                          Since you apparently can't be bothered to click a link, here is the key finding from Wesson v. Wesson. The basic facts are identical to those in Rollins. Let me know if there is anything in that you don't understand.

                          By the way, I only found out about Wesson because about three different lawyers for Sherry Rollins cited it. I'm just borrowing from the work of lawyers, all of whom correctly cited the law, and decided to give up and drop out of the case when the judge refused to follow it:

                          The dispositive issue on appeal is whether the Alabama court erred in exercising jurisdiction in this matter when the husband previously filed a divorce action in a New York court. The record reveals that the parties resided together in New York until their separation in approximately January 1991. It further reveals that the husband was a resident of New York at the time of filing the New York action. Therefore, jurisdiction would have been proper in New York. Once jurisdiction has attached in one court, that court has the exclusive right to continue its exercise of power until the completion of the case, and is only subject to appellate authority. Abernathy v. State of Alabama ex rel. Dana Abernathy Dunn, 627 So.2d 425 (Ala.Civ.App.1993); Dillard v. Dillard, 601 So.2d 1017 (Ala.Civ.App.1992); Swigert v. Swigert, 553 So.2d 607 (Ala.Civ. 954*954 App.1989); and Martin v. Martin, 509 So.2d 1054 (Ala.Civ.App.1986).

                          Based upon the foregoing, this court finds that the Alabama court did not have proper jurisdiction to enter a judgment of divorce in this action. Without proper jurisdiction, the judgment is void and, therefore, we dismiss this appeal.


                          •  Geekesque . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            you seem strangely silent when the real law is staring you in the face. How interesting.

                          •  Did the New York court dismiss (0+ / 0-)

                            the divorce action in that case?

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 01:35:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Geekesque (0+ / 0-)

                            What difference does it make? The issue is the same as in Rollins--Alabama did not have jurisdiction once jurisdiction already was established in another state.

                            Beyond that, what happened in NY is not relevant to the issues I'm covering. If you are interested in that, feel free to look it up.

                          •  Actually, I'll pick up this gauntlet (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Darmok, Geekesque

                            The basic facts in Wesson are actually quite different.   There, the husband filed a divorce in one state, and then filed a second divorce in another state.

                            Here, it appears the wife filed in one state and the husband filed in another.   This would be a vastly different circumstance.

                            You've made a number of rather extraordinary claims in this posting, and I see you've made similar allegations elsewhere (such as Salon's open forum).   I'd like you to back them up a bit more, with perhaps less hyperbole and innuendo.   Can you please provide copies of the following:

                            (1)   A copy of the South Carolina decision "transferring" the matter to Georgia, along with any briefing on that issue?   The reason i ask is that one way that the South Carolina court may have properly made the transfer is if the wife and husband both agreed to it.   Since the wife and the husband both ended up in Georgia at some point, that may clear up the issue that you raise.  

                            (2)  A copy of the Georgia court's ruling which kept jurisdiction and any briefing on that issue.   We have the motion, which citesone case (which factually appears distinguishable, as I mention above).   Can you give us a little bit more, so we can understand why the georgia court did what it said?   Right now, all we have is your explanation, and, with all respect, since you aren't a lawyer, I'm not sure that you have a real understanding of what happened.  

                            Finally, I want to ask you a set of more troubling questions .   Why are you writing about a divorce that took place 6-7 years ago?   How is this even remotely relevant to today?   I mean, you can drag his ex-wife and kids back into the news, but why?   What does it show about this man which is relevant to today?   How do his kids feel about having their child support issues be dragged through the press?  

                            In sum, this guy appears to be a private citizen from a powerful family.   You've gone out of your way to paint him as some sort of awful person who has left his kids damn near destitute and who has the power to manipulate the legal system in two states.   Why do you care?   What is the upside of this barrage?  

                            would you please do us the favor of:

                            (1)   posting the decision of the South Carolina court "transferring" the divorce to Alabama?   Its not on-line, and I'm not going to pay a runner to go pull the file for me.  I'm interested.

                          •  Cthulhu (0+ / 0-)

                            A few responses:

                            1. The crux of the Wesson decision is as follows:

                            It further reveals that the husband was a resident of New York at the time of filing the New York action. Therefore, jurisdiction would have been proper in New York. Once jurisdiction has attached in one court, that court has the exclusive right to continue its exercise of power until the completion of the case, and is only subject to appellate authority.

                            That is exactly on point with Rollins. In Rollins, the wife was a resident of SC when she filed a SC action. Therefore, jurisdiction was proper in SC, and that court had exclusive right to continue its exercise of power.

                            I suspect you are smart enough to see that the pertinent circumstances are identical. You just happen to be in "contrarian" mode today?

                            2. You apparently want me to respect your various requests, as if I am your personal go-fer. But you can't even get the states right. You keep referring to the case being moved to Georgia. The move was to Alabama. Georgia has nothing to do with this case.

                            3. I haven't made "allegations," here or in any other forum. I have reported what public documents and the actual law show--that the case was decided contrary to law. That's called journalism. It has nothing to do with "hyperbole" and "innuendo." And it isn't "extraordinary"; this kind of corruption happens in American courts on a regular basis. I report about it on my blog all the time. I've witnessed it first hand, in both state and federal courts. What's "extraordinary" is that the mainstream media ignores the story, and as a result, the American public has no idea that quite a few of their courts are cesspools.

                            4. I live in Alabama, and I have a copy of the documents that were filed with the Court of Civil Appeals here. That file shows:

                            A. No document transferring the case to (Alabama, not Georgia). The record shows the case was never transferred here by a SC court. An AL judge simply took it.

                            B. No copy of an (Alabama, not Georgia) ruling that held jurisdiction. Sherry Rollins' various lawyers filed 3-4 motions to dismiss in AL, citing Wesson v. Wesson, among other cases, and showing that jurisdiction had been established in SC for roughly four years. Ted Rollins' lawyers, based on the public record, never cited any law showing that the case was due to be moved to Alabama. That's because no such case exists, based on my research.

                            5. I will do you a favor and say that no SC transfer ruling is online because it doesn't exist. The case never was lawfully transferred.

                            6. Are you saying that your peculiar need to ask certain questions is "troubling"? I will agree with you there. But I will give you more credit than you deserve and respond:

                            A. Are you saying that writing about events that happened 6-7 years ago has no relevance today? Writing about 9/11 would not be relevant? About the Civil Rights movement? About WWII? You have an unorthodox approach to history.

                            B. You seem to be asking, "Why, Mr. Shuler, are you interested in this case?" Here's why: I live in Shelby County, AL, where the Rollins case was unlawfully handled by an AL judge. My wife and I have had extensive experience with being treated unlawfully in that court. Those experiences led me to start a blog about justice issues in Alabama and beyond. We've heard from numerous other citizens  who've had similar experiences. Sherry Rollins happens to be just one of those people.

                            I researched her case and found that she was, in fact, cheated in court, as were her two daughters. That's why I write about it. My tax dollars were used to help cheat Sherry Rollins and her daughters. That's why I write about it. My tax dollars fund the appellate court that unlawfully failed to correct the trial court. That's why I write about it. Ted Rollins plans to build a $26-million project at Auburn University in Alabama, my home state. The public has a right to know how he conducts his affairs. That's why I write about it. The case continues to have repercussions for its victims. Sherry Rollins and her daughters are on food stamps. Sherry Rollins visits pawn shops near the end of each month to make ends meet. That's why I write about it. Alabama citizens need to know how their state courts really work. That's why I write about it.

                            You simply don't care about injustice that happens right under your nose? If that's the case, I feel sorry for you. It appears you are living a wasted life. What purpose are you serving on this earth? If you wrote an autobiography, would it be called "The Purpose-
                            Free Life"?

                            You want to know how Sherry Rollins and her daughters feel about the case? Contact me at rshuler3156@gmail.com, and I will get you in touch with them. You can ask them yourself. Let's see if you really are interested in this case, and the people who have suffered because of it.

                            Here are some questions for you? Where do you live? Does it matter to you if the courts that you help fund operate according to the law? If you don't care, why not? What does that say about you as a citizen?

                            If you don't care about public affairs, why do you read Daily Kos? What's the point?

                            I've given you my personal e-mail address and invited you to contact me because you've expressed an interest in this case. You can have my phone number. It's (205) 991-7438. Will you contact me? Are you really interested in justice?

                          •  Thanks so much for your response. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Geekesque

                            You are correct on one point -- I should have typed Alabama where I typed Georgia.   Sorry:  posting on an iphone while moving makes it hard to type and review prior text.   Let me address your other points:

                            1.  You indicate that you believe the Wesson case is controlling, writing:

                            1. The crux of the Wesson decision is as follows:

                            It further reveals that the husband was a resident of New York at the time of filing the New York action. Therefore, jurisdiction would have been proper in New York. Once jurisdiction has attached in one court, that court has the exclusive right to continue its exercise of power until the completion of the case, and is only subject to appellate authority.

                            That is exactly on point with Rollins. In Rollins, the wife was a resident of SC when she filed a SC action. Therefore, jurisdiction was proper in SC, and that court had exclusive right to continue its exercise of power.

                            I disagree with your analysis.   I believe that the governing case is Ex parte Buck, 291 Ala. 689, 287 So.2d 441 (Ala. 1973).  This case is described in its synopsis as follows:

                            Original petition for writ of mandamus to require vacation of order denying petitioner's motion attacking jurisdiction of court in divorce proceeding. The Court of Civil Appeals, 51 Ala.App. --, 287 So.2d 447, issued writ conditionally and denied application for rehearing and respondent petitioned for writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court, Jones, J., held that, although California court had jurisdiction of divorce action brought by wife, where husband, who later brought divorce action in Alabama, was bona fide resident and citizen of, and domiciled in, Alabama, and children were physically present with husband in Alabama, Alabama court had jurisdiction of husband's suit and that Alabama court also had equity jurisdiction to award temporary custody to grandparents, Alabama residents.

                            The only way to reconcile Wesson and Buck that I can see is on the grounds I previously indicated -- namely, in Wesson, the husband had filed the initial action in one state, didn't like the result, and then tried another state.   The Buck decision, however, is by a court superior to Wesson -- and this would tend to explain why the Alabama court in Rollins.

                            This is not me being contrarian.   This is me being a lawyer and looking at precedents.   You claim in your Paragraph 4 B that you conducted research and were unable to find any reason why Wesson would not control.  I am intrigued:   why did you ignore the Buck decision, since it is from the Alabama Supreme Court?

                            2.   You have me -- I was careless.   I should have talked about Alabama, but since I was unable to do much more than read 4 lines of text on an iphone when I wrote it, it doesn't seem like I'm crazy.   Yes, I'm a law geek -- I did read Wesson on westlaw, but I screwed up the jurisdiction.  

                            3.   Again, respectfully, I disagree that you have shown that the Rollins case was decided in a manner contrary to law.   So far as I was able to tell, Buck governs this dispute, and Buck by my readings says that the pendency of a divorce action out of state does not preclude Alabama from exercising jurisdiction.   At the very least, and giving you every benefit of the doubt in your position, the question of whether there has been an improper decision is not cut-and-dried.   If anything, and again, with all respect, I think that most lawyers would agree that your position is the weaker position.

                            And yes, you have used hyperbole and innuendo.   Your article suggests that courts in two states acted together to help a prominent person get out of paying child support and obtaining an unjust divorce decree.   That would be "innuendo."   As for what journalists do, my experience is that journalists writing about law generally have a lawyer (not affiliated with one of the parties) help them understand the law before offering opinions on it.   You've offered the opinion that Wesson was controlling, but you haven't explained why it should govern in light of other cases.   Grabbing one case and waving it around does not establish anything -- or, to quote one of the legal maxims which was drilled into me in my first decade of practice, "A brick does not make a wall."

                            4A  You are using phrases which are incorrect, and this has led to some confusion.   Earlier in your response to another commenter, you suggested that the case was transferred -- which I interpreted to mean that there was an actual transfer of the file.   Now, you tell me that there was not a transfer order.   The Alabama court did not, however, "take" anything from another jurisdiction so far as I can tell.   Instead, it sounds like there were two competing cases being litigated, and the Alabama court reached judgment first.   This is perfectly legal, perfectly constitutional, and perfectly normal.

                            4B  Just for the record, Buck appears to me to be restating an obvious and well-known legal principle in Alabama regarding the effect of an out-of-state case.   In that event, there wouldn't need to be any direct citation of Buck for an Albama court to rely on its principles.  

                            5.   Thanks for letting me know.   I interpreted your language regarding transfer literally.   It sounds to me like the other action merely stagnated.  

                            6.  Thanks for the credit.   I wrote:

                            Why are you writing about a divorce that took place 6-7 years ago?   How is this even remotely relevant to today?   I mean, you can drag his ex-wife and kids back into the news, but why?   What does it show about this man which is relevant to today?   How do his kids feel about having their child support issues be dragged through the press?  

                            You responded:

                            Are you saying that writing about events that happened 6-7 years ago has no relevance today? Writing about 9/11 would not be relevant? About the Civil Rights movement? About WWII? You have an unorthodox approach to history.

                            Actually, what I was asking you to do was explain why what appears to be a relatively normal divorce involving a private citizen is deemed newsworthy by you, a journalist.   While certainly you can write about it ad nauseum, I'm trying to understand why you believe that the fact that a judge reached a different conclusion of law than you means that something untoward occurred.  

                            You then stated:

                            I researched her case and found that she was, in fact, cheated in court, as were her two daughters. That's why I write about it. My tax dollars were used to help cheat Sherry Rollins and her daughters. That's why I write about it. My tax dollars fund the appellate court that unlawfully failed to correct the trial court. That's why I write about it. Ted Rollins plans to build a $26-million project at Auburn University in Alabama, my home state. The public has a right to know how he conducts his affairs. That's why I write about it. The case continues to have repercussions for its victims. Sherry Rollins and her daughters are on food stamps. Sherry Rollins visits pawn shops near the end of each month to make ends meet. That's why I write about it. Alabama citizens need to know how their state courts really work. That's why I write about it.

                            Thanks.   This is what I wanted to know.   You appear to believe that Ted Rollins cheated his ex-wife in court, and therefore, the public should know about that because he's about to engage in a public works project and therefore is a public figure, and because you think that Ms. Rollins and his daughters continue to suffer from an unjust result.

                            The problems that I have with your position are

                            (1) so far, you've cited one case, which appears to be distinguishable, and ignored what appears to be binding precedent, and now indicated that an appellate court looked at this and affirmed the decision.   Thus, at least on the jurisdictional issue which you hang your hat on, there appears to be no manifest error.  There may be problems with the outcome, but so far, you haven't identified shown why this result was in error.

                            (2)  If "people behaving badly in divorce" is grounds to preclude folks from receiving public funds, I would suggest that the ranks of the unemployed are about to swell dramatically.  

                            You then write:

                            You simply don't care about injustice that happens right under your nose? If that's the case, I feel sorry for you. It appears you are living a wasted life. What purpose are you serving on this earth? If you wrote an autobiography, would it be called "The Purpose-
                             Free Life"?

                            In fact, I do care about injustice.  That's why I wrote a response to you.   I think that you have ignored precedent, misstated the law, and wrongly suggested that a court violated the law regarding jurisdiction.   I think, in other words, that you are being unjust -- perhaps out of sympathy with the ex-wife, perhaps because of your well-publicized problems with the Alabama legal system, or perhaps because you are merely ignorant or incapable of seeing the case from a different perspective.

                            You then wrote:

                            You want to know how Sherry Rollins and her daughters feel about the case? Contact me at rshuler3156@gmail.com, and I will get you in touch with them. You can ask them yourself. Let's see if you really are interested in this case, and the people who have suffered because of it

                            You are a journalist, right?   Why don't you write about what they told you and how they feel, rather than making your readers go get the information?

                            As for your offer, thank you, no, I will not contact you.   For a variety of reasons, I prefer to remain anonymous, and unfortunately, this precludes me outing myself to you.   Besides, how will me calling Ms. Rollins help her?   I doubt she wants to hear me opine that the Alabama courts were right to retain jurisdiction of her divorce.  

                            I   think its legitimate to ask if Ms. Rollins and her daughters agree with your using them as talking points to attack Mr. Rollins.   If you can give me a reason why you think my calling her will help, I'll reconsider, but I suspect that this is merely a rhetorical gambit, so that you might castigate me for not caring enough about Ms. Rollins.  Castigate away: until I hear a sounder basis for why the Alabama court acted outside the boundries of the law than what has been identified so far, I don't see how calling Ms. Rollings helps anyone.

                            You then wrote:

                            Here are some questions for you? Where do you live? Does it matter to you if the courts that you help fund operate according to the law? If you don't care, why not? What does that say about you as a citizen?

                            If you don't care about public affairs, why do you read Daily Kos? What's the point?

                            I'm not sure why you care where I live, but, for the record, as I have indicated previously in other places, I live in Texas.

                            I do indeed care that the courts that I fund operate according to the law; this is why I like to elect judges who will take the time to research the law beyond a single, intermediate court precedent.  

                            As for why I read Daily Kos, its because the aggregation of news and opinions here provides better insight into the world at large than any other location on the web, and because I enjoy being able to participate as a member of this community, and because this provides a forum for progressive politics.   This does not mean, however, that I agree with every post that is made at daily kos -- particularly on legal matters.  Indeed, if you read my comments, you'll see that I disagree with many posters on their legal analysis.  

                          •  Cthulhu (0+ / 0-)

                            I didn't ignore the Buck case. I researched the cases that were raised by either party in the Rollins case, and Buck is never mentioned. Ted Rollins' lawyers never raised Buck as grounds for moving the case to AL. In fact, I dont' see where they cited any case for moving the case to AL.

                            You are citing a 1973 case that I can't even find on the Internet. Wesson is a 1993 case, and the opinion itself cites 4-5 other cases that are much more current than Buck.

                            Apparently, you can't find the full Buck case either because you don't cite anything in it, only what you say is a synopsis. If you have the full case, feel free to send a link. I'd be happy to look at it.

                            The few references I've seen to Buck on the Web involve strictly child-custody matters, after a divorce and apparently after one parent or another moved. That's a vastly different set of facts and law than were present in Rollins.

                            Wesson is the controlling law, and even Ted Rollins' lawyers don't argue otherwise. Not one lawyer in Rollins v. Rollins, on either side, raised Buck or disputed Wesson as controlling law. So either the lawyers here are idiots or you are off target.

                            Congratulations for raising a classic red herring.

                            As for your other statements, I'm not going to bother addressing them. When you refer to Rollins as a "relatively normal divorce case" . . . well, that statement is so far off the deep end, that I see no reason to continue communication on this subject. And your notion that I am being "unjust" . . . well any respect I had for you pretty much left the building with that one.

                            You are honest enough to admit you are a lawyer, and I give you credit for that. But you aren't honest enough to admit that you have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth that our courts apply the law correctly--when many of them do not.

                            By the way, I knew you would want to remain anonymous. That makes it much easier to be a bomb thrower, to muddy the waters by raising inapplicable case law--that not even lawyers in the case have raised, according to the documents I have.

                            I only suggested that you contact me and/or Sherry Rollins because you wanted to know how she feels about my coverage of her case. I figured it would be best if you asked her yourself. I never thought it would be a good idea for her to discuss anything with you in your role as a lawyer.

                            You can't get the state right, and you blow up her case--in your mind--based on a synopsis of a case that is almost 40 years old. Why would she want to waste her time talking to you?

                            Not sure why I've wasted my time communicating with you. I've seen your kind many times here on DK. My work as a reporter gores your ox, and that's why you try to shoot it down. You have a lot of company among lawyers who read Daily Kos. Many of you are much more interested in protecting your profession than in promoting justice and fighting injustice.

                          •  Cthulhu (0+ / 0-)

                            You say you are a lawyer in TX, and I'm pretty sure Campus Crest has several properties in TX. In fact, I think they might have more properties in TX than in any other state. Not sure about that, but I think that might be the case.

                            Anyway, makes me wonder if this explains your interest in this subject. Might also explain why you wish to remain anonymous.

                            By the way, it's not "hyperbole" or "innuendo" to report what a public court file shows. It's journalism, the kind that apparently makes you quite uncomfortable.

                          •  Whoops, sorry, didn't see this ad hominem (0+ / 0-)

                            Let me respond, so that there is no confusion.

                            To my knowledge, I (and every person in my firm) has never represented Campus Crest, Mr. Rollins, or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries, insurers, lenders, contractors, subcontractors, or bonding agencies, nor are we seeking such representation now, nor do we expect to have such representation in the future.  

                            And I'm sorry you have trouble understanding what the terms "innuendo" and "hyperbole" mean.   Let me see if I can help you.   An "innuendo" is an insunuation, usually of wrongdoing, which is designed to suggest that the person subject of the innuendo did something wrong without directly saying so.  

                            From one of your articles in Legal Schnauzer:

                            What did it mean for Ted Rollins? Not much. He filed a lawsuit for divorce against his wife in Alabama--and Shelby County Judge Al Crowson actually allowed it. For anyone who's had a few days of Law School 101, that last sentence should shock the conscience. That's because such a transfer of a case across jurisdictional boundaries simply cannot be done.

                            It can be done, however, in GOP-controlled Alabama when your name is Ted W. Rollins--and you are part of one of America's richest families. It probably did not hurt that Ted Rollins had worked for years with Bradley Arant Boult and Cummings, one of the largest and most conservative law firms in Alabama.

                            See, you are implying that Mr. Rollins received special treatment.   You don't say he got special treatment.   You just point out that he's rich, he is GOP, he is well connected, and that the GOP dominates the county where he filed suit.   See?   You get to insinuate that he did something wrong, but you don't spell it out.

                            Let me give another example.   You are smart enough to know that accusing me directly of being a shill for Mr. Rollins might get you a warning or banned -- it might even generate some hide rates, because at Daily Kos, you don't accuse people of being paid shills without some damn good proof.   So, instead, you say:

                            You say you are a lawyer in TX, and I'm pretty sure Campus Crest has several properties in TX. In fact, I think they might have more properties in TX than in any other state. Not sure about that, but I think that might be the case.

                            Anyway, makes me wonder if this explains your interest in this subject. Might also explain why you wish to remain anonymous

                            See - that's an innuendo.   Its a sly suggestion that I've done something wrong, but if I were confront you, by, for example, suggesting that you had no fucking basis to make this suggestion that I am affiliated with Rollins, you'd come back and say something like "Suggestion?   What suggestion?   I'm just asking questions."

                            Its really easy to use innuendo to smear someone unfairly.   For example, one might ask whether you are in any way expecting compensation from Campus Crest competitiors who will benefit if Campus Crest is discredited in its attempt to get a contract with Alabama.  Or, since you are so interested in Ms. Rollins case, one could ask whether you have received favors from her -- sexual or otherwise -- since you admit being in contact with her.   Do you fancy her?   Is that why you have taken on these labors on her behalf?   Is she related to you by blood or marriage?   Is she an employee?  I'm just "asking questions," but you gotta admit, its weird, isn't it, you spending all this time attacking her ex, talking about how tough her situation is, trying to help her supposedly for free, wink wink nudge nudge say no more, say no more squire....

                            See, this would be innuendo.   Its the same sort of thing you are doing by "asking questions" about my motives.   Its the same sort of thing you are doing by implying that Mr. Rollins received special treatment even though case law suggests otherwise.   Its not a fair way to discredit an opponent, in my opinion, which is why I don't do it.  Indeed, I don't expect answers to any of the questions I asked, and I freely admit that no one should insinuate from the fact that I asked the question any suggestion that you have impure motives.   I'm just illustrating how it feels to be a victim of innuendo.

                            BTW, this was parodied beautifully in South Park, where Cartman begins acting like Glen Beck and "asking questions" about Wendy.   You see, you can "ask questions" to imply wrongdoing, and then walk away from it if anyone complains.  

                          •  Cthulhu (0+ / 0-)

                            There's a big difference between what I've written about Ted Rollins/Campus Crest and the examples you give--my work is supported by facts.

                            It's a fact that Ted Rollins' case was transferred from SC to Alabama, after it had been litigated for almost four years in SC, and that is contrary to black-letter law. It's also a fact that Ted Rollins is a member of one of America's wealthiest families and he is represented by Bradley Arant, one of the powerful, pro-business law firms in Alabama.

                            Maybe you think that being wealthy, and being represented by powerful interests, do not give one an edge in American society. If so, I suspect you are in the minority.

                            Your examples are not based remotely on fact, and you've offered no information that they are.

                            BTW, I didn't say you or anyone at your firm has represented Rollins/CCC or its affiliates. But your interest in sticking up for Rollins/CCC by publishing bogus information regarding the applicable law in the Rollins v. Rollins divorce case is suspect with me.

                          •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Darmok

                            You keep saying that the decision was contrary to black lettrer law.   It wasn't.   "Black letter law" is the law as enunciated by the Alabama Supreme Court.   And, forgive me, but you aren't a lawyer and you have no real idea how to conduct legal research.  

                            You a;so keep saying the case was transferred.   It wasn't.   There was no transfer of venue.   Instead, a competing case was opened.  These are vastly different things.  

                            Now, on to a more critical point -- yes, indeedy, you never said that me or anyone at my firm represented Rollins/CCC.   Like I said, you used innuendo to make that point.   In fact, if you look back at what I posted, I even explained that if I were to say that you suggested a relationship, you'd respond that you were just "asking questions."   And wow, look, that's what you just did -- and you then repeated the innuendo, this time with hyperbole that I'm pushing a "bogus" case.

                            I'm pleased that you now understand what constitutes innuendo.   And, from your tone, I guess you can now see how tough it is to respond to an innuendo.   I mean, you keep publishing a bogus interpretation of law, based on a case which can be distinguished, and refuse to accept the existence of other cases which take the exact opposite position.   One could begin to wonder why you keep pressing such a bogus position -- Hmmmm.   Inquiring minds want to know....

                            See?   That's why innuendo sucks -- its impossible to fight, and anyone can make out an insinuation based on whatever theory they want to push, cherry-picking a framing point to cast aspersions in the form of a question.   Its intellectually dishonest -- and I suspect you know it.

                            As for wealth and power not giving an advantage in society, I didn't argue that, any more than you argued that all wealthy people are corrupt.   Why do you keep assigning me motives which I do not have and arguments which I do not advance?  

                          •  Mr. Shuler (0+ / 0-)

                            I will try to address each of the issues you have raised.

                            I didn't ignore the Buck case. I researched the cases that were raised by either party in the Rollins case, and Buck is never mentioned. Ted Rollins' lawyers never raised Buck as grounds for moving the case to AL. In fact, I dont' see where they cited any case for moving the case to AL.

                            This is not how a responsible person performs legal research.   It is certainly not what I would expect from a journalist of your level of experience.  

                            Apparently, you can't find the full Buck case either because you don't cite anything in it, only what you say is a synopsis. If you have the full case, feel free to send a link. I'd be happy to look at it.

                            The few references I've seen to Buck on the Web involve strictly child-custody matters, after a divorce and apparently after one parent or another moved. That's a vastly different set of facts and law than were present in Rollins.

                            Actually, I use a service called WESTLAW to conduct legal research, because it lets me conduct searches.   However, the Buck case can be found here if I've done my citation correctly.  Otherwise, go to findacase.com and look it up.

                            I cited the WEST synopsis because it gave a good overview of the case.   However, to make the point more plainly, from the free web citation there is the following quote:

                            The opinion of the Court of Civil Appeals takes note of the fact that the question of jurisdiction of that court was argued and resolved in California on July 27, 1973. The California Court determined that it did have jurisdiction of the cause and such determination was made after the husband (respondent there) had filed a Motion to Dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction and had personally appeared before that court to so argue. The Court of Civil Appeals then concludes that the California determination as to jurisdiction is res judicata and entitled to Full Faith and Credit by the Alabama Court, citing our case of Ex parte Aufill, supra, and Stallworth v. Stallworth, supra. This Conclusion does not militate against the result which we reach here. The fact that the California court has jurisdiction does not preclude an Alabama court from also having jurisdiction where one of the parties to the marriage is domiciled within this state and the children are physically present here.

                            The is from the Albama Supreme Court.   Yes, it is an older opinion that Wesson -- but that is irrelevant, because Buck controls, as it is from a a higher court.

                            From what you have previously said, the facts in Rollins are very close to Buck.   The children, according to you, were domiciled in Alabama after the South Carolina action was filed.   The father was domiciled in Alabama.  The mother, who filed the original out-of-state petition, was living in Alabama when the Alabama case was filed.  As a result, per Buck, the Alabama court could exercise concurrent jurisdiction.  

                            Surely, you can see that this issue is not as simple as you have made it in your diary, even if you disagree with my reading of Buck.

                            You then write:

                            Wesson is the controlling law, and even Ted Rollins' lawyers don't argue otherwise. Not one lawyer in Rollins v. Rollins, on either side, raised Buck or disputed Wesson as controlling law. So either the lawyers here are idiots or you are off target.

                            Congratulations for raising a classic red herring.

                            Go.   Read the Buck opinion.  All Mr. Rollins attorneys would need to do is oppose the motion to dismiss (even tacitly).  If the trial court already knew of Buck, the lawyers for Mr. Rollins would not need to cite it -- and may have chosen not to for tactical reasons.

                            There's nothing red about my herring, sir.   In fact, I've cited you the relevant case law, and you disagree, but you haven't read the case, and then tell me the case is irrelevant.   You are a journalist, right?   You deem this to be normal journalistic practice when reporting on a legal story?

                            You then write:

                            As for your other statements, I'm not going to bother addressing them. When you refer to Rollins as a "relatively normal divorce case" . . . well, that statement is so far off the deep end, that I see no reason to continue communication on this subject. And your notion that I am being "unjust" . . . well any respect I had for you pretty much left the building with that one.

                            Sigh.   So far, you haven't told us anything abnormal, except that you think Wesson controls.   Since I've handled perhaps a dozen divorce cases, and you appear to have handled none, I will leave it to the reader to judge whether your statement or mine has more credibility.  

                            I am sorry you think that it is "just" to imply that a court committed a travesty of justice when it appears you have no basis to reach that conclusion.    

                            I wasn't aware that you had any respect for me previously.   Its one of those things I grieve for on long winter nights.

                            You then write:

                            You are honest enough to admit you are a lawyer, and I give you credit for that. But you aren't honest enough to admit that you have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth that our courts apply the law correctly--when many of them do not.

                            By the way, I knew you would want to remain anonymous. That makes it much easier to be a bomb thrower, to muddy the waters by raising inapplicable case law--that not even lawyers in the case have raised, according to the documents I have.

                            You switch with amazing rapidity from the specific to the general.   You tell me that the Rollins court made a plain error; I challenge you and point out that your assertion does not appear to be the case.   You then tell me that I have a vested interest in perpetuating a myth that our courts apply the law correctly because I am a lawyer.  

                            My interest in this case is merely trying to correct what i perceive to be an error in your statements.   Since I regularly write appellate briefs, I don't think I have much of a vested interest in saying that courts apply the law correctly -- 20% of my practice is built on saying that they do not apply the correct law.   Having said that, however, does not mean that I think that the Rollins court got its decision wrong.  In fact, everything you have shown me suggests that, at least on the jurisdictional issue, the Rollins court was correct.  

                            You then write:

                            I only suggested that you contact me and/or Sherry Rollins because you wanted to know how she feels about my coverage of her case. I figured it would be best if you asked her yourself. I never thought it would be a good idea for her to discuss anything with you in your role as a lawyer.

                            You can't get the state right, and you blow up her case--in your mind--based on a synopsis of a case that is almost 40 years old. Why would she want to waste her time talking to you?

                            As for a 40 year old case and its lack of validity, let me spin a case back at you, decided the same year:  Roe v. Wade.   I think its still the law of the land.   I also think that various intermediate appellate courts have tried to scale it back; most of those attempts have been eventually overruled.   Just because a supreme court decided something in 1973 does not make it invalid.

                            As for being a bomb-thrower, and so forth, I thought that journalists accepted the need for some people to remain unnamed.   And as for talking to Ms. Rollins, I'm lost.   I asked how she felt about you using her case (and her children) as a talking point in your vendetta against her ex-husband and her children's father.   You tell me to go call her myself.   Again, if Ms. Rollins' plight is part of your story as a journalist don't you think you should report that part of the story, instead of instructing a reader to go find out for himself by calling her?

                            Finally, you write:

                            Not sure why I've wasted my time communicating with you. I've seen your kind many times here on DK. My work as a reporter gores your ox, and that's why you try to shoot it down. You have a lot of company among lawyers who read Daily Kos. Many of you are much more interested in protecting your profession than in promoting justice and fighting injustice.

                            You've wasted time with me because I (and other commenters on this diary) have suggested that your reporting is not credible.  You've done your best to discredit me by ad hominem and by pointing out that I got a state wrong, but you have never been able to beat back the essential point I have rasied -- namely, the precedents from Alabama go against your position.  

                            As for protecting my profession, how does point out that you are wrong on jurisdiction make me a shill for lawyers?  

                            Anyway, you've got your case.   I'll give you the last word, and leave it to the readers to determine whether your view of the law is correct or not.  

                          •  Cthulhu (0+ / 0-)

                            Once again, you get the most basic facts wrong about the Rollins case.

                            The Alabama Supreme Court based its finding in Buck on the state's duty to protect one of its citizens--the husband who lived in Alabama when he filed his lawsuit.

                            The circumstances in Rollins are exactly the opposite. Ted Rollins, based on the public record, never has been domiciled in Alabama. He lived in South Carolina and filed a lawsuit in Alabama.

                            In fact, Sherry Rollins was the party domiciled in Alabama, and she was the one, based on Buck, who was due to be protected as a citizen of the state. Instead, Circuit Judge D. Al Crowson subjected her to a lawsuit by a non-citizen, acting contrary to both Buck and Wesson.

                            Not that my position needed to be strengthened, but you actually strengthened it. Thank you very much. (And thanks for the link to Buck, by the way. Interesting case. Glad to see it supports what I've been reporting all along--that Alabama judges royally shafted one of their own citizens, Sherry Rollins, contrary to clear precedent on multiple issues of law.)

                            You raise the issue of credibility. Let's review yours: (1) You got the state wrong re: the location of the Rollins case; (2) Your theory that Buck should govern the Rollins case is based on your assertion that Ted Rollins was domiciled in Alabama. But he was not, he never has been, and I've never written that he was.

                            Furthermore, you suggest that for roughly 18 years--from 1993 when Wesson was decided until now-- the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals has been intentionally ruling contrary to binding precedent of the Alabama Supreme Court--and getting away with it. If that's the case, you must be even more cynical about our justice system than I am.

                            Buck addresses very different issues from those present in Wesson. As a lawyer with extensive appellate experience, plus work in matrimonial law, you surely are smart enough to know that.

                            Why you intentionally have attempted to obscure the truth about the facts and the law in Rollins is really the story here.

                            I suspect you charge $300 to $500 an hour for your legal services. Yet, you've invested a fair amount of time on this site trying to discredit my work--apparently for free.

                            I feel certain that you did that for a specific reason--and it had nothing to do with a desire to educate the reading audience at Daily Kos.

                            After all, I've shown that you weren't trying to educate at all-you were trying to obfuscate. At that, you have failed.
                             

                          •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

                            You plainly do not understand matrimonial jurisdiction, but I'm glad you bothered to at least attempt to read Buck.  Thankfully, other persons reading this will realize what I am saying, even if you don't.

                            To make the point very clear, Buck says that (1) the existence of a pending case in another jurisdiction does not prevent an Alabama court from hearing the case, (2) this is particualrly true when, after the first case was filed in another state, the children from that marriage end up in Alabama (as was the case here).   Conversely, Wesson says that the party which filed the case in the first jurisdiction cannot, when dissatisfied with that lawsuit, then file the case in Alabama.  

                            You keep saying that Wesson must govern.   I'm trying to show you why it doesn't apply in the way that you say it does.   I'm also trying to show you that questions of divorce jurisdiction are not as cut-and-dried as you would have them be.   And, most critically, I'm trying to drive into your head the difference between holding and dicta.   Since Rollins was upheld on appeal (according to you), this would suggest that maybe, just maybe, there is an explanation for the outcome re: jurisdiction other than all the judges are crooked.

                            I'll leave it to the jury of Daily Kos to pick over the case law, if they are interested, to determine who is right.   Perhaps people will all see it your way; perhaps not.

                            As for the remainder of your allegations, I wish I could get paid $300 - $500 per hour to do what I do.   Unfortunately, I am paid much less than that.   I do thank you for the compliment.

                            Re, your point that an Alabama intermediate court has been deciding matters wrong for 18 years, um, no.   Wesson does not contradict Buck, it merely provides a gloss on it for one specific situation.

                            As for your point that I understrand matrimonial law and appellate law, thank you.  

                            As for why I'm bothering to respond to you, well, you see, I really respect Geekesque.   You (far above) decided to suggest when he stopped responding to you that he somehow was cowering the face of your brilliant legal acumen.   I picked up the gauntlet because your crowing I found offensive and legally wrong.   And so, I got on Westlaw and did a few moments research.

                            Total time on this project for me:   2.6 hours.   Hardly a jihad, and more fun when traveling than reading Skymall.  Its interesting that you view my interest as having ulterior motives, but alas, no, I'm so dull that I find arguments over jurisdiction interesting.  

                            Good luck, but I urge you to exercise far greater caution when rendering an opinion on "the law."  

                          •  Cthulhu (0+ / 0-)

                            I distinctly recall you saying that you were going to give me the last word on the subject. Then you reply twice more to my statements. Seems you lied.

                            You also conveniently ignore the crux of the Wesson finding, which is directly on point to Rollins--and neither party in the Rollins case disputes that. In fact, you go to great lengths to state that Wesson says something it does not say. Here is what Wesson really says:

                            It further reveals that the husband was a resident of New York at the time of filing the New York action. Therefore, jurisdiction would have been proper in New York. Once jurisdiction has attached in one court, that court has the exclusive right to continue its exercise of power until the completion of the case, and is only subject to appellate authority.

                            You also ignore the fact that you were wrong about your whole basis for claiming that Buck applied--that Ted Rollins was a resident of Alabama when he filed a lawsuit here. Buck is grounded totally in the finding re: a lawsuit filed by an Alabama citizen. Ted Rollins never has been an Alabama citizen, I caught you in your blunder, and understandably you are uncomfortable at being proven to be a blowhard, a fool, or both.

                            If you went to all of this trouble because of your respect for Geekesque, I'd say you wasted your time. And you need to do a better job of picking your online compadres.

                          •  Oh, I will give you the last word; (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Darmok

                            Its just that you keep bringing up new points.   Now, I'm a liar, because I wouldn't let you insinuate that I'm employed by Mr. Rollins.  So yeah, you'll get ther last word if you want it...when the argument is through.

                            No, I'm not particularly uncomfortable with my "blunder" regarding Mr. Rollins citizenship, since trying to follow all your threads is somewhat difficult, and since you will only post pieces of the file.   You see, personal jurisdiction is granted over a petitioner by the filing of the lawsuit....but you knew that, already.

                            As for blunders, alas, tis true, I've made a few.   It is, after all, not my case, and I haven't spent that much time on it.  When we asked for additional case filing information, you told me to go get the file myself. B  ut, let's see:

                            (1)   You keep claiming that the case was transferred.   It wasn't.  

                            (2)   You keep claiming Wesson to be black letter law.   It isn't.

                            (3)  You claimed that you did legal research, but you couldn't find a case on-line when given the citation.  

                            (4)  You keep claiming that the Alabama court did not have jurisdiction over an Albama domicilliary because of a prior lawsuit filed by that domicilliary in another state.   This isn't the law.

                            Nice to meet you, Mr. Kettle.   Why, what a fine shade you are wearing!

                            I'm sorry you don't like Geekesque.   He has a very sharp mind.   I respect him a bunch.   Pico, too.   We don't agree on many issues, but I've always found both to be insightful.

                            Ta ta, fellow citizen.

                          •  Cthulhu (0+ / 0-)

                            So you lied again about giving me the last word. In other words, the argument goes on as long as you are losing. I guess it will go on a long time then.

                            You admit you have a hard time following the simplest facts about the Rollins case, and yet you can't resist commenting on them anyway.

                            "Stolen" actually would be a better word to describe what happened to the Rollins case. Do you like that better than "transferred"? We'll go with stolen then.

                            I've read the entire file, and you admit you haven't. BOTH sides indicate that Wesson is controlling law. There is no dispute on the record, even from the judge or Ted Rollins' lawyers.

                            I conducted legal research on every case that was referenced by either party, or the judge, in Rollins. No one raised Buck. That's because it doesn't apply. That's because Ted Rollins was not a citizen of Alabama when he filed his lawsuit, contrary to what you thought.

                            I haven't "Shepardized" Buck, but I have doubts that it's even good law. It's almost 40 years old. Why don't you go back to 1875 and see if you can find something that, in your mind, contradicts Wesson. Geesh, Louise.

                            The notion that two cases could go on simultaneously in two different states doesn't even pass the common sense test. That, however, is irrelevant because Ted Rollins was not an Alabama citizen when he filed his lawsuit, contrary to your skewed notions of what has taken place in this case. Buck never has been and never will be an issue in Rollins v. Rollins.

                            You've proven you can't get the most basic facts correct, but we are supposed to believe your research on a case that you've shown you know nothing about--on a record that you haven't even looked at.

                            If a few Kos readers, such as Geekesque, want to buy into your poppycock, fine with me. It won't fly with me, and I suspect it won't fly with readers who have functioning brain matter between their ears.

                            You've proven you are a liar about giving me the last word. And I see no reason to believe that you don't have some interest in the Rollins situation--or some friend/associate of yours does.

                            Lawyers engage in a lot of tomfoolery, but they don't do it for free--unless they have a good reason. You are too dishonest to reveal what your true agenda is.

                            No wonder you wanted to remain anonymous. Again, you have my e-mail, my phone number, and my real name and location. You can reach me any time if you feel so strongly about your position.

                            You now have said "ta ta," meaning for the second time that you are ready to drop this charade. I'm betting you have lied once again.

                            Some free advice: Lick your wounds, admit you got your ass kicked by a non-lawyer, and save yourself further embarrassment. You are in way over your head, fellow citizen.

                            By the way, Geekesque has to engage your services to help fight his battles? Pathetic. He picked the wrong guy, I'd say.

                          •  I promised you the last word, (0+ / 0-)

                            and you got it.   I look forward to your next posting on this topic.  

                          •  Good, thanks . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            You won't have to wait long.

      •  Didn't Bush v Gore establish... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, Preston S

        that jurisdiction doesn't matter any more ?  

        Even when the Constitution clearly establishes jurisdiction ?

        Especially when one of the parties did some big favors for the judge(s) ?

        I am here to represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Roar louder!

        by Josiah Bartlett on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 01:43:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Josiah . . . (0+ / 0-)

          Good question. My memory is that Bush v. Gore didn't establish much of anything. I seem to recall that the justices more or less stated that the finding applied only to that one case, with no precendential value.

          Perhaps someone else can add to that thought or correct me if I'm off target.

          •  Sorry Roger... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semiot

            I was just being snarky.  The precedent B v G did seem to set was that laws be damned, a judge will do what a judge wants to do.  

            Of course, the Supremes don't seem to have any effective oversight except for the courts that may follow them one day and turn over whatever they set as precedent.  There's no way any of them will ever be impeached.

            You could catch Clarence and his wife getting barrels of money handed to them by Charlie Koch and nothing would ever happen to Clarence.

            Oops, didn't I read something about that a month or so ago ???

            I am here to represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Roar louder!

            by Josiah Bartlett on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 07:14:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Please tie in why his personal life is anyone's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque, Darmok

    business but his.  You said his divorce was blatantly illegal.  Please provide source material for your accusation.

    Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 11:45:54 AM PDT

    •  Structure . . . (7+ / 0-)

      Are you aware that divorce cases are conducted in courts, which are taxpayer funded? Therefore, it's not just his "personal life," it's public business.

      To be more specific, I live in Shelby County, Alabama, where Rollins v. Rollins was litigated. My taxpayer dollars fund that court, as do the tax dollars of every Alabama citizen. Furthermore, Mr. Rollins used public facilities to complete a $380 IPO for his company, and he is building student housing at public universities all over the country.

      If that doesn't make it your business, it certainly makes it mine.

      The story contains links to source material. If you want more, feel free to visit my blog and type "Ted Rollins" in the search function at the top of the page. It will call up everything I've written, plus numerous documents and citations to law.

      Legal Schnauzer

    •  When it becomes public. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, worldlotus

      When someone's personal life becomes public, such as in a divorce proceeding, it becomes anyone's business.

      If you decide to work out of your home and file a dba, it's public. If you are accused of a crime and prosecuted, it's public.

      Also, the diarist never said the divorce was illegal. He said the change of venue was.

  •  Kossacks might . . . (8+ / 0-)

    be interested to know that a progressive blog called BlueNC.com has picked up on today's story, which I greatly appreciate.

    Campus Crest Communities is based in Charlotte, so the story apparently is drawing interest there. I'm told that Poyner Spruill is one of the more prestigious law firms in NC, so Mr. Rollins pulled out the heavy guns to threaten me.

    BlueNC.com on Ted Rollins and Campus Crest Communities

  •  Be a pity if WBTV WSOC etc heard of this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus

    (Charlotte local TV affiliates.)

    Just sayin'.

  •  Go get 'em! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal

    Don't take that bullshit from these shysters.

    You called their bluff and have proven you're not going to be intimidated by their juvenile tactics.

    Keep it up! They're obviously scared.

    Every election either the democrats lose or the republicans lose. But in every election there is always the same winner. And he drives a Mercedes.

    by Methinks They Lie on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 11:58:23 AM PDT

  •  Story is . . . (3+ / 0-)

    getting attention in North Carolina, home to Campus Crest Communities.

    My thanks to folks at BlueNC.com

    BlueNC.com

  •  The Rollins clan . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, Preston S

    has close ties to GOP elites, including Clarence Thomas and Harlan Crow.

    The Road from Clarence Thomas to Harlan Crow . . .

  •  Blogging doesn't have the legal precedents yet (8+ / 0-)

    Journalists working for newspapers have their organizations' resources going for them.  

    People who can maintain legal staffs on retainer have historically gotten used to filing actions that have knocked newspapers back into being restricted in what they can publish.  The hope of the blogs is that a new medium means a new day and expanded press freedom.  Pray it is so.  

    What most people don't seem to know is that corporate lawsuits are only partially about the merit of the case.  Suits can be won strictly on tactical points.  The side that can throw the most money at the problem and out intimidates the other tends to win.  

    Small newspapers and the alternative press can't really afford to play that game.  This is why the public dialogue across the US is pretty restricted.  Editors tend to prefer to print PR stuff because it comes with a corporate stamp of approval and therefore won't attract lawsuit lightning.

    There have not been that many blogging lawsuits compared with the history of court cases that have defined American journalism for over two centuries as an organizational practice under the First Amendment.

    Conservative table pounding has succeeded in blunting the aggressive pursuit of the truth in the newspaper industry.  It only stands to reason that the same pursuit of intimidation would arise to attack the blogosphere.  

    I hope you guys wind up with cases that result in precedents that strengthen online journalism rather than strengthening the intimidators.  I appreciate the fighting spirit.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 12:51:37 PM PDT

  •  Send a letter back to the attorney (4+ / 0-)

    "you are causing me serious emotional distress by your baseless threats.  I am seeing my doctor this afternoon.  If this conduct continues we will be filing a complaint for a temporary restraining order, injunctive and declaratory relief and intentional infliction against you."

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 01:05:46 PM PDT

  •  What a maroon (5+ / 0-)

    As a former journalist, I can say without fear of contradiction that it's boner-inducing when they throw a tantrum like this. Why? Because it's like a lighted roadmap to exactly where you know you want to be.

    Hit a sore spot, did I? Let me press a little harder.

  •  He's just trying to scare ya. Those things almost (3+ / 0-)

    never stick.

  •  did this lawyer know you are not a KID? (4+ / 0-)

    people hear 'blogger' and think kid in the basement in PJ's...  so that letter was an attempt to scare you.  Your response was quite good

    "Orwell was an optimist"

    by KnotIookin on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 01:37:21 PM PDT

  •  as always, great job roger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, worldlotus

    just keep doing what you do best, and the rollins of the world won't know what to do. kudos!

    The Texas Miracle is that, after years of Perry, we don't look like a Tent Revival Thunderdome preaching to the uninsured. Oh, wait...

    by papa monzano on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 01:46:32 PM PDT

  •  Stick it to him! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal
  •  Rule 11 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, worldlotus

    I got to know-

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 02:43:38 PM PDT

  •  That's exactly how you handle that letter. (5+ / 0-)

    Threaten to countersue for frivolous suit and seek CR 11 sanctions.

    As a young attorney, I applaud your response letter. Well done.

  •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

    They just applied to create a community in our city promising to be progressive.

  •  Well you just upped the ante, so I don't see how (1+ / 0-)

    they can't call your bet without a serious loss of face.  This will be interesting.

    "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius -/- "Yeah, well, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi

    by nailbender on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 05:00:59 PM PDT

  •  Roger, after working for a year (2+ / 0-)

    as a legal assistant and taking some legal classes, I would seriously, seriously advise you not to communicate again AT ALL which this guy or his attorney, except through your own attorney. Please don't assume that you can do this by yourself. People who act pro se get their lunch handed to them all the time, even with sympathetic judges. Please, please listen to me. DO NOT DO ANYTHING MORE ON THIS WITHOUT CONSULTING AN ATTORNEY.

  •  I think you should correct this statement . . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cacamp

    I am sympathetic to your position.

    However, you will want to be scrupulously careful in what you say and correct any errors brought to your attention if you want to be prepared to respond to a suit like the one being threatened.

    To wit, you say:

    "That lawsuit, styled Rollins v. Rollins, was handled in a blatantly unlawful manner--especially considering that Mrs. Rollins already had filed a divorce action against Mr. Rollins in Greenville, South Carolina, where the couple lived at the time. With jurisdiction already established in one state, it could not lawfully be moved to another. But it was, and Ted Rollins wound up with a hugely favorable result"

    I know nothing other than what you say, but I can tell you that it is not uncommon to have forum fights between competing litigants and jurisdictions.  (Don't know about family law, but certainly in other areas).  Forum fights are not only common but almost always 'lawful.'

    Also, you statement is contradictory in and of itself.  You say what was done was "unlawful" but then also indicate that the second court accepted the validity of the second suit and actually ruled in favor of the filer of that suit.  Unless the second court acted without knowledge of the first suit (which could be a BIG deal), then by definition the filing of the second suit was lawful.

    You can certainly criticize someone for filing a competing suit as being difficult or causing the other litigant difficulties, but if the second court accepts the suit as valid with knowledge of the first then it is per se lawful.

    Personally, I would correct this portion of your post.

    Good luck!

    "Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings." Heinrich Heine, from his play Almansor (1821)

    by egrass on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 06:52:20 PM PDT

    •  egrass (0+ / 0-)

      Perhaps I didn't make this clear, but the case originated with the wife's lawsuit in South Carolina in 2001. It remained in South Carolina for roughly four years, until essentially being hijacked by Alabama.

      Multiple SC judges found they held jurisdiction over the case. I've cited that in a comment above.

      In fact, multiple pendente lite rulings had been made in SC and Mr. Rollins had a bench warrant for his arrest for contempt of court on those orders.

      Don't know how a jurisdictional issue can be more clear cut. A four-year old case gets suddenly moved to another state? Can't happen under the law. But it did.

      I'm writing about it, and that's why Ted Rollins wants to shut me up. More than a dozen lawyers in Alabama know what happened in this case, and they have a duty to report that kind of judicial misconduct. But they don't do it. That's because judges control the Alabama State Bar, and a lawyer who stands up to a judge will find himself in another line of work. One of the legal professions many dirty secrets.

      Another reason our legal system, in which lawyers police themselves, is a huge failure.

  •  Excellent response! (0+ / 0-)

    Nicely handled!

  •  Keep us up to date.. I'm tweeting this (0+ / 0-)

    diary - and will try to help raise awareness of any future shenanigans this CEO plutocrat decides to engage in.

    This is a good example of how entitled the plutocrats feel - not only do they want the middle class liquidated, but they feel they should be above criticism or question.

    Every day they reveal a shared mindset with the aristocracy of old - in control, don't like to be questioned, and demand everyone bow down and kiss their fucking rings.

    Congress drags Obama down just like my friends make me drink on weekends.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 05:45:38 AM PDT

  •  This story should be shared on twitter and (0+ / 0-)

    other mediums.

    I tweeted this a few minutes ago and included @poynerspruill.  It's important to make two points:

    1 -- CEOs don't get to control the flow of information or abuse the law to intimidate

    2 -- Such attempts at silencing reporting / blogging will only lead to wider distribution

    Congress drags Obama down just like my friends make me drink on weekends.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 05:56:00 AM PDT

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