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Will Lawyer Get Away With Making False Statements Under Oath in Divorce Case?

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Message Roger Shuler

Drees, it seems, has learned a lesson that we, too, have learned the hard way: Lawyers make "mistakes" in court, and such "mistakes" are especially likely to occur when the case has "significant financial repercussions" for the lawyer. In other words, if you are about to hit a lawyer in his wallet, you'd better be on the lookout for a "mistake." In Turner's case, considerable funds involving child support were at stake--not to mention child custody.

Does Drees consider Turner's false statements to be a "harmless mistake"? Apparently not, given that Drees' wife has not seen her children in two-plus years--and Drees himself has seen his professional life upended.

Where does the Alabama State Bar stand in this matter? Hajo Drees seems to hold special contempt for an organization that is supposed to keep wayward lawyers in line. From the press release:

The Alabama State Bar Association certifies that Alabama licensed attorney Kile Turner did not lie under oath. (Case #, ASB 08-176 (A)) In fact, it ruled that Mr. Turner is absolved of all consequences from making the mistake of giving false factual statements to multiple courts under oath to win his case. The Alabama Bar further states that it has and will punish anyone who states that Kile Turner lied while he was under oath in an Alabama Court. The Alabama Bar acknowledges that Kile Turner made a mistake when he presented totally false and manufactured evidence but recognizes that he meant no harm to anyone, especially to Dr. Hajo Drees and his family by convicting him of a felony crime that entered the public record and illegally found him guilty of domestic violence for the past three and one half years--even though this mistake was pointed out to him over fifteen times.

According to Hajo Drees, the Alabama State Bar has shown that it is willing to go after anyone who would dare question Kile Turner's integrity--while showing little interest in the integrity of the judicial process in Alabama.

Are we surprised to see that the Alabama State Bar, so far, has taken no serious action against Kile Turner? Not at all. We've seen lawyers make statements, in official settings, that range from "blatantly false" to "outrageously fishy." And we've yet to see one held accountable. Want some examples of how lawyers can "bust a move" when trying to wriggle out of a jam? Try these:

The Bill Swatek Shuffle--Pelham, Alabama-based William E. Swatek is Exhibit A here at Legal Schnauzer for all things involving the words "legal" and "sleaze." Swatek filed a bogus lawsuit on behalf of our criminally inclined neighbor Mike McGarity, launching our legal headaches. We've outlined Swatek's sleazy tactics in a seriees of posts. But here is one of our "favorites":

During the course of litigation, Swatek filed a Motion to Clarify, seeking to join three additional neighbors in the lawsuit against me. The motion claimed that the three additional neighbors had viewed photographs of property belonging to them and wanted to assert conversion claims against me. There was only one problem with Swatek's motion: It was filled with lies. One of the neighbors, Eric Hallmark, told me in a phone conversion that he was not familiar with the motion and had no intention of joining a lawsuit against me. At a deposition of his client, Swatek stated that prior to filing his Motion to Clarify, he had a meeting with the additional neighbors in his office. Swatek further stated that he was "positive" the motion was drafted with their permission. Swatek was not under oath in the deposition, but clearly was lying in an official proceeding regarding Hallmark's statements, which I have on tape. And the motion Swatek crafted amounts to fraud on the court, and since he used the U.S. mail to send it to me, it probably constitutes a federal crime. I reported it to the Alabama Bar State--and the matter was not even investigated.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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