I noted in a post a while back that I had evidence strongly suggesting that officials at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham know that Shelby County judges cheat on their behalf. And my evidence suggests that Briarwood officials try their best to take advantage of this.
What am I talking about? Well, it's a 2003 lawsuit filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court styled Dr. Charles Mayfield v. Briarwood Christian School. It contains some most interesting information that pertains to our Legal Schnauzer case.
The problems with McGarity escalated to the point that, when my wife and I fought to protect our property rights, he filed a bogus lawsuit against us. And Republican judges in Shelby County repeatedly made unlawful rulings, benefitting McGarity and his sleazy attorney, William E. Swatek.
I have noted that both Swatek and Circuit Judge J. Michael Joiner have ties to Briarwood school. And I have speculated that McGarity's lawsuit against me might have been a way to divert his attention from a legitimate case he might have had against someone connected to Briarwood as a result of the hastily done real-estate deal.
Shuler notes that ome readers have scoffed at the notion that Shelby County judges would act in ways that would protect the interests of Briarwood. But he says those readers might want to reconsider when they learn about the Mayfield case.
The Mayfield case is a classic personal-injury case. Dr. Charles Mayfield, who lived at the time in Jefferson County, was attending a youth soccer game on the Briarwood campus when he tripped over a wire and injured himself. Mayfield filed a lawsuit, stating that Briarwood was negligent in not removing the wire and had contributed to his injury.
Mayfield was represented by Craig Lowell, an attorney from the Birmingham firm of Wiggins, Childs, Quinn & Pantazis. Briarwood was represented by Jennifer T. Dewees, who also is based in Jefferson County.
The lawsuit initially was filed against Briarwood Christian School. But the Briarwood side quickly filed a motion stating that the proper party for purposes of the lawsuit was Briarwood Presbyterian Church. For legal purposes, the school is a ministry of the church, so the case was restyled Mayfield vs. Briarwood Presbyterian Church.
While the school is in Shelby County, and the accident took place in Shelby County, Briarwood's own lawyer noted that the suit properly was against Briarwood Presbyterian Church, which is in Jefferson County.
Now here's where it gets interesting: I don't pretend to be an expert on jurisdictional law. A number of factors can come into play when deciding where a case should be heard. But the overriding factors seems to be this: The proper jurisdiction for a case usually is the county where the defendant is based.
In this case, that issue is easy: Briarwood Presbyterian Church, the defendant, is based in Jefferson County.
But what did the Briarwood attorney do? She filed a motion seeking to have the case moved to Shelby County.
Now why would she do that? My guess is that she was told to do it by someone in the Briarwood chain of command, someone who knew the school would get favorable treatment in Shelby County. And had the case gone to Shelby County, who would it have wound up before? My guess is J. Michael Joiner, but it probably wouldn't matter. My experience suggests that Joiner would ramrod the case according to his desires, regardless of the judge.
Here's another guess from your humble blogger: I suspect all of the lawyers, and the judge, in the Mayfield case knew what was going on with the motion to move the case. It's a poorly held secret in Birmingham legal circles that Shelby County judges favor certain attorneys and interests.
What would have happened to Mayfield's case if it had been moved to Shelby County? Shuler provides a clue:
What was the outcome and what can we learn from this case about the Christian Right?
What does this tale say about Briarwood Presbyterian Church? Here's what it tells me:
* Someone in the church's leadership knows the church will be legally protected in Shelby County.
* The church is more than happy to take advantage of this situation.
* If innocent people are harmed and/or cheated by Shelby County judges on Briarwood's behalf, the church evidently has no problem with that.
Kind of gives you the warm and fuzzies about Christian family values doesn't it?