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Former Lott Aide questions Dawson and Lange…

… and sparks flew.  Mississippi Business Journal has a great account of Kings of Torts authors Lange and Dawson being questioned by Steve Seale, a Jackson lawyer and former Lott aide:

The monthly luncheon of the Stennis Capitol Press Corps is usually a calm affair. A speaker gives a presentation, takes a few benign questions from the audience and everybody heads back to the office. Controversy and consternation are rarely on the menu.

That was not the case today.

Alan Lange and Tom Dawson were today’s keynotes. The two have written a book — “Kings of Tort” — that chronicle the judicial bribery cases that have landed Dickie Scruggs, Paul Minor and a  handful of former plaintiffs’ attorneys in prison. Lange, publisher of yallpolitics.com, and Dawson, who was lead prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford in the Scruggs cases, listed as their primary reason for writing the book the need for a data-driven, fact-based narrative about the corruption cases that have brought down some pretty powerful people. MBJ Staff Writer/Researcher Stephen McDill takes a look at the book here.

When Lange and Dawson opened the floor for questions, the first hand that went up belonged to Steve Seale, an attorney with Wise Carter Child and Caraway in Jackson. He shook his head in the universally recognized symbol for “no” a lot during the time Lange and Dawson were at the podium.

Seale took issue with Lange and Dawson’s assertion that they wrote the book purely to provide a blow-by-blow account of the Scruggs and Minor proceedings, and suggested that their motives had more to do with money than posterity.

“You would never had been heard of (without the notoriety of the Scruggs case),” Seale told Dawson. “You wrote it because it was Dickie Scruggs, you wrote it because it’s Mississippi, you wrote it because it’s corruption and that kind of corruption is something the public is always going to pay attention to.”

Seale then challenged the notion Dawson had that Judge Henry Lackey, who blew the whistle in the Scruggs deal, the FBI agents who investigated the case and the judges who presided over it were heroes.

“These are people who should do what they did because it’s their job.”

Seale also seemed offended at Dawson’s opinion that the legal profession had been damaged by the case.

“It’s been damaged only by people who didn’t do what they were supposed to do.”

Seale is a former chief counsel to former Sen. Trent Lott, who is Scruggs’ brother-in-law. It’s not a stretch to say that his opinion of the subject matter of “Kings of Tort” is influenced heavily by that fact.

For his part, Dawson said personal profit “was not the moving force behind the decision to write this book. I want a historical record out there of what happened. This was not a routine bank robbery. This was not some dope gang doing drive-bys. These were some of the most powerful people in this state, maybe beyond. They had the ability to destroy lives and attempted to do so. I don’t think you can discount the fact that so many people stood up and did the right thing. A lot of people would have backed away from this.”

Dawson did say that he “certainly hoped” that the book would sell well.

After Seale and Dawson went back and forth, Dawson talked a lot about the beginning of the undercover investigation kicked off after attorney Timothy Balducci attempted to bribe Lackey, who then reported the attempt to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“The most amazing thing is we kept this thing secret for eight months in a town like Oxford,” said Dawson, who has since retired from the Justice Department.

When it was over several members of the audience paid $27.95 for a copy of the book. In one of the most ironic things Magnolia Marketplace has ever seen, Seale was among them.

h/t Owens in comments

UPDATE: Steve Seale, having commented on the Mississippi Business Journal site about the story above, asked that his comment be repeated here.  Here it is:

I suppose there is a different standard for opinion writers and/or bloggers than there is for a real journalist. At least there seems to be no standard with respect to this account in this blog. You made no attempt to discuss this matter with me outside your own account of what was said (somewhat accurate) by me and by Mr. Dawson in response to my statement and question. And you quoted me correctly in the portion of what I said that you quoted. But, you did so out of proper context. I have no ethical or other objection to Alan Lange writing a book. After all, he has been “blogging” on this subject for some time (by the way, you chose not to comment on his obvious dig at the “real” journalists in the room as he began his remarks or to question his motivation regarding that dig). I do have concerns about Mr. Dawson’s role and said so. To amplify, I don’t believe a prosecutor (particularly one with the major role Mr. Dawson had in this case) should profit in any way from the sale of a book or otherwise about the investigation or the prosecution of the parties concerned. While I don’t question the fact that he followed whatever rules are established in this regard, Mr. Dawson himself spent several paragraphs at the beginning of the book explaining how he followed such rules and why he felt it was his duty to the public to participate. One question: absent participation in any profits/pay for being an author, why didn’t Mr. Dawson just make himself available to Mr. Lange as a source for the information in the book? As for my own motivations/concerns, I would have been happy to explain those if you had simply chosen to ask. You didn’t. Poor journalism. Again, an opinion. As for buying the book, I don’t endorse anything I read or the motivation behind same simply because I read something even if I have to purchase it to do so. I don’t do that even with the Mississippi Business Journal even though I generally benefit by reading it. My motivation in buying and reading this book was to review one (collaborative) perspective on the events and issues dealing with something I was tangentially involved in as Sen. Lott’s counsel (the attempted tobacco legislative settlement) and some of the people (Dick Scruggs, Zach Scruggs, Sid Backstrom, Mike Moore, and others) that I served in government with (Moore) and litigated AGAINST (Scruggs). One last comment. I believe that those that serve in government have a duty to do what’s right on all occasions … not merely when presented with a situation like the one presented to Judge Lackey. I’m glad he did what he did … and the other players did what they did … but I expected no less of them as their jobs REQUIRED them to do so. That was the duty and choice I made when I served in the U. S. Navy, in state government and working for Sen. Lott. If you want to question my reasoning and/or motivation, at least do me the courtesy of asking me to explain before you comment.

47 comments to Former Lott Aide questions Dawson and Lange…

  • Steve Seale

    Mr. Freeland, perhaps, since you decided to post a press account of what happened at the luncheon, you would, in all fairness (not that I expect that based on your comments about me when you were doing your blog during the Scruggs trials), publish my comments in response to the MBJ blogger’s postings.

  • NMC

    Curious what I’d done that Steve Seale thought was unfair in writing about the Scruggs case, I checked back, and found that I’d written about a letter he wrote on behalf of Zach Scruggs as a part of the sentencing letters. The post is here, and I wrote:

    >>
    The I’m-really-not-sure-I’d-have-said-that award goes to C. Stevens Seale at Wise Carter. “I worked for Senator for Senator Lott as Chief Counsel on his Majority Leader Staff.’ In that capacity, ‘I coordinated all federal judicial nominations and confirmations for Senator Lott.’ He goes on to suggest a case of mistaken identity: ‘The Zach Scruggs I know is not the Zach Scruggs who pled guilty to the offenses in your court. Therefore, I can only speak about the Zach I know .’
    <<

  • Jane

    Oh Robert, sweetheart, where have I seen the law firm name Wise, Carter, Child and Caraway? Oh, I just remebered they’re all over the documents that we have.

  • Jane

    Jane, it was. But I don’t recall this name. However if any firm would understand money and corruption over anything else its this firm. I’d like to help here. Going fishing. Bloggers being a little diffrent than whatever and all. This doesn’t sound like the law firm I know. Not due Mississippi, but that this occurred in the United States Judicial system. Which is a little more than the current G.O.B. network. Along with the history of blood sweat and tears of all those who gave to create OUR courts. RE: public attention to judicial corruption.

    To gain attention of the corruption I’d have to suggest inquiring if anyone knew an F.B.I. agent willing the label hero and some possible reward, ha. There maybe some risk involved. As far as Steve, my name is Robert Marie I’m a blogger. Back in 1998 I kinda lost my wallet in the court room during matters before Judge Graves. I’ve always wondered if someone such as youself or Trent may have seen it. Lost my I.D. and everything.

    The dates were 251-98-1061 and 251-96-493 the circus was in full swing. As the scales of blindness were being sold. I’m so certain a bit was purchased with money from my wallet. Your firm was certainly there making such statements to the feds are bit.

    Back to Jane. These guys might really be tight. Remember Sandyhook? I just discovered I’m writing on your name. Its one of them blogger things you know. Tom!! sorry.

  • Anderson

    Does some technical glitch prevent Mr. Seale from paragraphing, or does he prefer to give the appearance of ranting?

    … And the bitchy little “not that I expect it” says that Mr. Seale is a very, very small person. Take it back to junior high, Mr. Seale. (Leaving aside that NMC wrote nothing “unfair.”)

    Frankly, there are a couple of other law firms in town that I associate with personalities like Mr. Seale’s, and to its credit, Wise Carter is not one of them. How unfortunate for them.

  • Anderson

    The dates were 251-98-1061 and 251-96-493 the circus was in full swing.

    Why “Robert” is posting as “Jane” is too inside-baseball for me, but those “dates” look more like social security numbers, the first one anyway. Should that be, um, on the internet?

  • Tobias

    I’m lost on the “Robert” and “Jane” stuff as well. But I would mention that Seale’s former boss, Trent Lott, wrote and released a book about his life and work in the Senate while he was still in the Senate. I imagine he followed all the rules necessary for sitting Senator to profit from a book while (unlike Dawson who had already retired) he was still in office.

  • Bodean

    Why is it always about them “sweet potatoes”?

  • catty

    Notice how the rats get so agressive when they know they are on and have been on the sinking ship. Coming from a proud former award winning journalist, today’s journalist are a sad lot and even more sad is the unability of many here to see right from wrong.
    Scruggs et.al. can not be defended so to attack the main characters who helped to identify bribery is beyond the pale. A convicted felon, especially one who pled guilty, is not to be protected by attacking the ones who brought him down.

  • Crispin Garcia

    Anderson, those dates are cause numbers for cases from Hinds County Circuit Court. Now whether it’s the first or second judicial district I have no idea.

  • Anderson, sorry about that. Three computers and one, that’s one internet connection. I was in a hurry to some prior duty. Damn all these years. Your right it does look like a SS#. Numbering five and being the only male here the posting could have been, April, Amber, or Sara. As well as Jane. Sara’a only 18 months but she trys really, really hard. Sorry bout that. My bad.

    Oh yea! “should that be, um on the internet? Sure it should. In fact I was wondering about a bill board. Beside the feds have said they would allow my blog activity. Even that poor excuse of a blog site. I didn’t asked they brought it up. So as long as I don’t upset someone here. All is well. If allowed I can say things that I can prove. Now whats better to an American Justice system created for all as we blog right along here. If anyone cares. Their response [the feds] to my request for an investigation of this matter centers around their STATE jobs. They will not investigate their boss. My understanding. Its been awhile now. Had I been wrong about the type of complaining I’ve made. Someone would have taken me to court. Huh? I don’t see cancellation of the constitution as a whole. ie. places other than MS. I’ve notice a forty year lap in the system in state. A common thread older folks seem to be going to the graybar over things yrs. gone past. Just maybe is all we have.

    Tobias if you can handle a run on explaination of a really lawless event of supposed utter secrecy. Perhaps you to could find your way. hppt://www.mftms13.wordpress.com.

  • Steve Seale

    Mr. Freeland, as you didn’t ask me personally at the time about the letter I sent on behalf of Zach Scruggs and merely commented on and attempted to lampoon the distinction I drew between the Zach Scruggs I knew from my dealings with him and conduct by Zach Scruggs which resulted in his conviction, I regarded your doing so as unfair. I still do. But I do appreciate your publishing my comments to the MBJ articles on your blog along with the articles as they more fully explain my position regarding potential profits from book sales by Mr. Dawson resulting from his work as a prosecutor with the power of a subpoena. There is one additional comment that I made to the MBJ blogger that further explains this if you would like to publish it as well.

    “Anderson”, the difference between really small people and those who are at least straightforward is that we use our real names. If you choose to do so, I’d be happy to have a real discussion with you about these matters.

  • catty

    Regret the typos above…..its inability not unability….can’t see for looking.

  • Anderson

    Mr. Seale is happy to be well-connected with powerful people, and professes not to understand why those not affiliated with former U.S. senators — that is to say, most of us — would need to protect our jobs and families with anonymity.

    I’m sure that being criticized by someone he cannot attack in the “real world,” but can only address on the merits of his position, must be intensely frustrating to Mr. Seale.

    … Mr. Seale apparently believes that nothing he writes can be commented upon unless the commenter first contacts him about it to find out what he *really* meant. That is an unusual notion.

  • NMC

    I’ll just let Steve Seale and everyone else connected to the internet know: If someone writes a document, signs it, and sends it to a court, I feel it completely within the bounds of ethics, fairness, and whatever other form of propriety you might name for me to comment upon that document as I see fit.

    I’ll also note this not-small irony: Mr. Seale posted a comment on this blog stating that what I had written was unfair and that he was sure I wouldn’t post his new comment. But you know what? He did not contact me first before he commented in a critical way upon what I had written! I’m just shocked!

  • NMC

    I’ll even add this to my intention to comment on whatever court documents seem worthy of comment: I should think by the time Mr. Seale wrote the letter for Zach Scruggs, it should have been painfully clear to him or anyone else following the Scruggs matter that there was likely to be public comment (and not necessarily flattering or sympathetic public comment) upon anything filed in the cases. The phrase “assumption of a known risk” comes to mind.

  • NotZachScruggs

    Zach’s done his time and paid his debt to society. Why drag him through this “Zach I knew/ Zash I didn’t know” Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde crap again, Mr. Seale? Why not leave him be, and let him get on with his life, without reminding the general public of a letter that appears to have been designed to make sure — in a lefthanded way (as NMC observed) — that he spent time in the slammer?

  • Ben

    What the heck’s going on here? This place reminds me of a Presbyterian church minister’s pay raise committee meeting. Y’all get right.

    Which reminds me: this site is taking longer and longer to load. Is it all these mean-spirited electrons clogging up the plumbing.

    And Merry Christmas … I mean that.

    Now everybody go to a neutral corner and beeehave. Don’t make me stop this car ….

  • Owens

    It isn’t available online yet but in this week’s print edition of the Northside Sun former MS Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz slams the Lange+Dawson blog book for its substantial distortions.

    Until it is available online I took the liberty of scanning the column for NMC readers. All rights reserved to the Northside Sun. Click on the image to zoom.

  • Anderson

    Yay! Justice Diaz cites us to some purported authority: 5 C.F.R. s 2635.702. Thanks, Owens!

    I don’t find federal cases discussing a book in that context, nor does a search for “public services,” “private gain,” and “book” in the same paragraph yield anything.

    Nor is it clear how a prohibition against books would square with the First Amendment.

    Government servants write memoirs and similar books all the time. Valerie Plame had to let the CIA censor her book, but I don’t recall anything about her not being able to collect any royalties on it (if there were any besides her advance).

    Anyone better informed on this subject, please shout it out.

  • Slack Jawed

    Regardless of what you may think about, or think you know about, Steve Seale, the comment above about the law firm he works at is as far from right as it is possible to get. The Wise Carter law firm is a highly thought of firm, established by good and fair men who fought hard to change the injustices in Mississippi at a time when the races were completely separate and absolutely inequal. Their sons continue to do good work, and the lawyers and staff who work with them are exceptional. Your libelous remarks about Wise Carter cannot go unanswered. You obviously know nothing about Wise Carter and, by extension, more likely than not do not know anything about anything else you’ve written about in response to this article. Please shutup and sit down.

  • Slack Jawed

    Ah – I see now the source of “Jane” Robert Marie’s venom. Apparently you have gone up against the attorneys at Wise Carter who represent Kansas City Southern and Illinois Central and had your butt whooped. Marie v. Vicksburg Chemical Company, Cedar Chemical Corporation, Nine West Corporation, Trans-Resources, Inc., TPR Investment Associates, Inc., Gaylord Chemical Corporation, Kansas City Southern Railway Company, Illinois Central Railroad Company and Union Tank Car. Cause numer 2:2007cv00343 in the southern district of Mississippi. Judge Starrett.

    No wonder you are bitter. You don’t want to sue a railroad in Mississippi. Wise Carter’s railroad section is the smartest, but meanest bunch of attorneys you will ever come up against. They seldom lose.

  • Slack Jawed

    Jane – did the court grant your motion to proceed in forma pauperis? Based on the paranoid allegations in your amended complaint, which I believe you wrote yourself?, your post above is much more coherent than one would expect. Even if you did get all your facts wrong in your post on this page, as I would guess you did in your complaint, which the court dismissed with all due haste.

  • Steve Seale

    NotZach, just so you know, my original letter, quoted by Mr. Freeland, was sent to the court in support of Zach. The letter was intended to show that my experiences with Zach had always been good and that I hoped the court would take that into consideration with regard to his sentencing. This is a common practice where people with various prior interactions with those before the court express the nature of those experiences … both good and bad. As mine with Zach were good, I wanted the court to know that.

    Mr. Freeland, I didn’t think I needed to contact you before responding. You were blogging/posting about me and things I’d said and I was merely responding. It’s a stretch to state that I assumed the risk that you would comment on my letter directed to the court. In fact, when you state that you are completely within your rights to comment, you indicate you aren’t bound by any standard. What I thought was unfair was your characterization of what I said without discussing it with me first. I don’t know your motives for doing what you do or in writing what you write about the matters you blog on. But I don’t comment on those motives and wouldn’t without seeking to find out more if I had an interest in so commenting.

    In any event, having clarified the point that I was trying to make after some effort, even though I didn’t expect my intentions and motives to be judged without a discussion with those judging me in that regard beforehand, I will now leave it to you bloggers to continue your discussions in your mostly anonymous fashion.

  • supergreg

    Lighten up, Francis.

  • Owens

    The online version of the Diaz book review is now available.

    “As the book unfolds, we discover misstatements and blatant misrepresentations of facts and the addition of salacious details. We are left to wonder why the court records were not sufficient to support the author’s positions and opinions? Why do they resort to unsworn statements and unproven allegations?”

  • Robert

    ” YOU WENT UP AGAINST THE ATTORNEYS AT BLA BLA BLA.” Slack Jawed it takes all kina of people to fill this world. Your just another one. It was by lies our awards were stolen. Your comment is just another one. That you commented to some late action to those criminal acts committed by the law firm of Wise,Carter,Child and Caraway and others. If preventing any plaintiffs to appear before a court is what makes your attorneys so great. They are still subjected to greater laws than those violated to these actions. Due process and property loss to name a few.

    You say my remarks are libelous. OK, I’m waiting. Let’s see the facts we would argue are criminal actions against my family to use our cause to settle claims to divide with clients of a trial which faile to prove injuers or lost to others. That this crime involved millions or perhaps billions. And I have documented proof. The last place your Mean or Smartass attorneys want is to face me in a court of law. Since those of us in the know understand WHATS RELLY GOING ON. You have a problem.

    Apperantly the location of your nose places your eyeballs in the proximity of the firms buttocks. Take a few steps back catch your wind. Tell you what as Mr. Seale exits here. Why don’t you leave a few more comments and more likely than not your the one who will be told to shut up.

    Like I say Slack or is it Slick. This firm and others used my family’s claims to settle known millions and divided those awards using fraud from a failed trial and left us to die without any compensation. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    So how about that libelous crap any takers?????????????????? I haven’t got a double A battery to put on my shoulder. But I dare you.

  • ampal

    beyond this exchange, i think the point is that dawson fellow should have simply sat down with lange for an interview instead of co-authoring the book. i recall an fbi agent who wrote a book about clinton’s white house. he had to get every word reviewed by the justice dept. wonder if these men did the same.

  • Anderson

    beyond this exchange, i think the point is that dawson fellow should have simply sat down with lange for an interview instead of co-authoring the book.

    In the “round 3″ thread, I noted the example of Vincent Bugliosi, who co-authored Helter Skelter, and wondered if he kept his share of the royalties. Anyone got anything on that?

  • Slack Jawed are you the firms spoke person? Your information is about as far from the truth as crooked lawyer could get. Your attorneys loss big time. Our cause was settled without trial to the entire event. These willing settlements did however protect an unamed defendant said to be worth $500 billion in insurance. As well it did prevent us before the court. Along with threats we would never be allowed to bankrupt these corporations. Was that the action you refer to?

    Worlds largest paper manufacter attempts toxic disposal which distroyed our home making us sick to an assumed death. In unlawfully protecting the corporate enity. The cause’s of actions have greatly increased. If any of the many attorneys involved want to legally argue the sell out of the states justice system to a bunch of thieves, OK with me.

    If anyone from any of these great firms have anything to say, why don’t you allow them to speak. It’s clear your not informed of the facts. Something this firm can not handle in a court of law.

  • ampal

    anderson, bugliosi was a los angeles county prosecutor not a federal government employee who worked for justice. the fbi agent, gary aldrich, made millions on his book, unlimited access, but had to have his book reviewed and censored by justice.

  • Anderson

    Right, Ampal, but I don’t see how the ethical issue depends on which government one works for.

    And the Aldrich example tends to support Dawson, unless someone is aware of (1) a rule requiring that Dawson’s book be pre-vetted, which (2) was not done.

  • Slack Jawed

    Jane/Robert –

    The only law firm listed on any of the pleadings you posted on “your” blog is Brunini Grantham Grower and Hughes. What exactly is Wise Carter’s connection, if any, to the lawsuit and why the accusations of misconduct? What are you talking about? If you really have something to say, spell it out.

  • Slack as you noted they represent one of the railways. The one whos surpreme court judge’s son works for or did. That’s the one. Here’s exactly what they did and/or doing. On or about December 1996 my oral agreement to accept 10 million. Only condition. No questions asked.

    10-30-96 exposure confirmed.
    3-20-96 home damage reported to defendants.
    12-16-96 depo, Jane Marie 251-96-493
    Thereafter all medical aid per medication ceased. The 10 million withdrawn. Threats re: all aspects of what occurred. Arrested failure to provide home. Child taken etc. We are an unwanted party at this point. Given legal problems. years getting work files. Officially.

    Marie v. Vicksburg 251-98-1061
    3-20-97 pleadings index
    8-28-98 $84 million Vicksburg offer.
    2-12-99 cause combined to class joiner
    6-24-99 Judge Graves denys a motion to exspell us.
    the class jury trial failed. Appeal failed. Demand to court of action failed.
    From this point the claims are ours. Any further act affects our right to relief. The use of me and my family to mantain the failure of others to abide to law is senseless. With the amounts and actions had, to no relief is absured.

    As though the class trial was won, or the jury verdict was meanless as was the two failed appeals. Our awards were are used to potray a win to a cause of fraud.

  • Jane

    Slack Jawed unlike the fraudulent class we have real problems. I couldn’t began to explain our medical conditions. We also lost our home to a toxic seizure. An act violating constitutional property right. Had we not been the worse of conditions to the event the attorneys would have used someone else. By the time the first offer was accepted on our behalf we had had conflicts with our attorneys known to the defense. These firms took about 40 persons injuried, us being the worse. Others being corporate employees. We were used for settlements. That we lived in a wooded area in the middle of nowhere ground zero [ our home ] resulted in a very low exposure possiblity to others. Anyway the number of persons involved in the joiner numbered 20,000. The global settlement had been sought since the Vicksbugr offer and had to await approval of the higher court. Every action to persue the class joiner ignored any legal right to redress of our issues by our settled claims.

    The intent was always to discard us from action by all involved or rather self injected and taking awards. In that pleadings of cause began prior to our arrest. Using us for settlement was always the intent. Vicksburg now bankrupted. One attorneys has followed our awards from one firm to another. To be made of such use. Suffering such loss. At what point would one conclude hate being the motivation factor of the greater crime thats denys relief to setted claims.

  • Ampal and Anderson:

    Tom Dawson, a Mississippi Liar, planned, outlined, and was thinking about the book with that right-wing blogger back in 2008 while he was STILL working actively as an Assitant U.S. Attorney and later, as a consultant. That’s a big ethics problem!

    (Curiously, the Liar signed a SECRET six-month contract with your local U.S. Attorney just days after retiring this past January.)

    Helter Skelter (1974) was published five years after the murders (1969) and three years after the guilty verdicts (1971). Vincent Bugliosi also ran for office in 1972. We find it incredible that a somewhat computer-illiterate Dawson wrote, edited and proof-read a book in less than four-months after leaving the USA according to his full-of-it timeline.

  • Anderson

    Rove — can I call you that? — leaving aside your tendentious nomenclature, you can’t show that something’s an ethics problem just by calling it one.

    If I were appointed U.S. Attorney, I might decide from the get-go that a memoir of my service might be interesting, and keep a diary to assist me in writing same after I left office. You really mean to tell me that’s an “ethics violation”? If not, then how did Dawson behave unethically?

    For the record, I am a yellow-dog Democrat of the “disappointed with Obama from the left” ilk, and have no interest in supporting Mr. Dawson or his co-author.

    I just don’t believe in substituting my partisan politics for an objective analysis of this issue, and I have yet to see anyone point to any rule that Dawson allegedly broke.

  • bellesouth

    From Oliver Diaz’s review
    * Office of Government Ethics: 5 CFR 2635.702: An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity, including nonprofit organizations of which the employee is an officer or member, and persons with whom the employee has or seeks employment or business relations. . .Appearance of governmental sanction. Except as otherwise provided in this part, an employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office in a manner that could reasonably be construed to imply that his agency or the Government sanctions or endorses his personal activities or those of another.

  • Anderson

    NMC or the internet demons nixed my comment re: 2635.702, but I don’t find a case where it’s been applied to simply writing a book about one’s government work, and the plain text doesn’t appear to support same — leaving aside the First Amendment problem. Perhaps Justice Diaz will elucidate at some future time.

    (I infer that the President by executive order cannot do what Congress is forbidden to do in the First.)

  • Anderson:

    It’s called prosecutorial misconduct. Our blog has documented cases across the country, from big-mouthed prosecutors in New Jersey, to hiding-the-evidence AUSAs in Alaska, to poltical witch hunting feds in Alabama and California.

    And yes, Dawson is a bold-face liar.

    According to a radio interview, he told listeners he wasn’t involved in any criminal cases since January. Dawson was on contract until June. Surely, Dawson wasn’t knitting or fashioning costume jewlery.

  • bellesouth

    Slabbed has “a supremely interesting commentary” on this very same subject. There is an actual . . .

    link to Improving Prosecutorial Accountability, a study by the Washington-based Justice Project that profiles the growing problem of prosecutorial misconduct and ways to build in checks and balances into the judicial system.

  • Slack Jawed

    Jane – I am sorry to hear about what was obviously a terrible situation. I have no idea what happened, of course, but knowing Wise Carter’s reputation in the community and the attorney from that firm involved in your case, I am sure that there are two sides to the story. Neither Rick nor Wise Carter would have done back then, or would do today, any of the things you describe. That kind of conduct is not tolerated at any of the large defense firms in Jackson, including Wise Carter. I sincerely hope that things have turned around for you and your family in the years that have passed since the Bogalusa derailment in 1996.

  • a friend of the law

    I know Steve Seale from my law school days. While my political beliefs and his may differ in some respects, the Steve that I knew then was very smart, had a dry, witty sense of humor, and obviously had a lot of legal talent. And nothing that he has done since law school has caused me to change my opinion.

    But, I think here, with respect to NMC, Steve is protesting a bit too much over not much. And I would (and likely will) tell this directly to Steve.

    I disagree with Steve regarding his denouncement of anonymnity. For some of us, it is necessary in order to be able to speak freely, while preventing thugs like Ed Peters from coming after us, in a subversive way, to try to destroy our livilihoods (I use Ed as an example here, because he came after me a few years ago —before all this Scruggs related stuff broke — re a FOI request I made for documents that apparently embarassed some of his “friends” when I put the docs on a public internet board — a little sunshine was my only motivation).

    I do agree with Steve’s point about the problem with Dawson’s profiting from his former service as a prosecutor by writing this book. I think any profits he makes from this deal should be donated to some charitable organization that works to promote legal and social justice (eg Innocence Project, etc.). Likewise, I find Trent Lott’s new profession of lobbying (after serving in Congress for so long as a House member and in the Senate)toublesome in this regard —it seems that Lott is using his prior service to now profit as one of these political leeches. Are Lott’s profits going to a charitable group to promote social and legal justice? If not, perhaps Steve can work on his former boss in this regard —at least as hard as he has come down on Dawson.

  • Robert

    Slack, thanks for the kind words. There far and few between regarding what happen. As far a presently. The nedical problems are a nightmare and for whatever reason We are not afforded the right of our home, the courts, or any access to needed care or relief from awards.

    These attorneys have knowingly and intentionally violated state,federal and constitutional civil rights. They have involved judges, senators, govenors and others FOR POLITICAL PROTECTION TO THEIR UNGODLY CRIMES.

    As I’ve notice lately after 14 years I see a little concern.

  • Lost Gap 5

    Should the State of Mississippi have a claim against John Grisham for part of his earnings? He wrote “A Time to Kill” while he was wasting his time as a legislator.

    Jim Hood could sue him on behalf of the State. Oops, he would be family.

  • Anderson

    Oh, that’s funny — I wondered where my comment about the alleged CFR reg had gone, and I was looking in the wrong thread.

    Hard to find “pearls” in the mud bath! ;)

    … Anyway, someone asked (probably in the other thread!) “what about Ed Peters?”

    Philip Thomas thinks that Dawson’s book casts doubt on whether the deal with Peters was justified.

    The book does not cite facts that make it sound like the government needed Peters to get to Langston. Instead, it looks like they could have gotten to Langston with Balducci’s and Patterson’s testimony. From there, they could have gotten to Peters with the testimony of Balducci, Langston and Patterson. Then, Peters would have had to turn on DeLaughter in order to reduce Peters’ prison sentence. Immunity to one individual was not necessary.

    More at the link.

  • A friend of the law – you consistently make my top 10 list of people in Mississippi who actually make sense and give me pause to hope there are even more folks out there similarly situated.

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