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General News    H3'ed 4/19/11

Lawyers Can't Handle the Truth About Their Profession

By       (Page 1 of 5 pages)   6 comments
Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

How is a lawyer likely to react when confronted with the undeniable truth about the ugly side of the legal field?

He probably will lash out in abrupt and misguided fashion. I know because just yesterday a lawyer threatened me with a defamation lawsuit because of my coverage of an Alabama divorce/child custody case.

I attended a status conference at the Jefferson County Domestic Relations Court on Turner v. Turner, a case that involves the custody of triplets who now are 10 years old. Turner v. Turner embodies much of what is wrong with our broken justice system, and we have reported on it several times. (See herehere, and here.)

The case got even uglier yesterday as I was leaving the hearing. Tom Kendrick, of the Birmingham firm Norman Wood Kendrick and Turner, approached me, introduced himself and proceeded to threaten me, on about five different occasions, with a lawsuit for portraying his firm in a false light. I informed Mr. Kendrick that I've been a professional journalist for 30-plus years, with 11 years of experience in daily newspapers, and I had not written anything that is defamatory on Turner v. Turner--or any other subject.

Kendrick appeared to be visibly shaken by my presence at the hearing--or the overall issues raised by the Turner case. Why would that be? Kile Turner, the defendant in the case, is a partner in Kendrick's firm. And here is a key issue, as we presented it in a recent post:

During the divorce/child custody proceedings, Kile Turner stated under oath that Dr. Hajo Drees, Angela Turner Drees' current husband, had been convicted on two felony counts of domestic violence--one involving his ex wife and one involving his son. Those statements apparently played a key role in Turner receiving custody of the three children, triplets, that he had with Angela Turner Drees.

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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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