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General News    H3'ed 9/29/11

CEO Threatens A Lawsuit Against Progressive Blogger

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Author 13717
Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

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

Ted Rollins (photo above), 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 County  against 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.

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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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