jeudi 26 février 2015

Beclowning judges & fraudulent misrepresentations: Doug Handshoe's favorite topic. A commentary on "intrinsic" versus "extrinsic" in cases of fraud on the court

Consistency and candor with the court can make or break any case, but American judges who encounter "a deliberately planned and carefully executed scheme" to influence the court through machinations done outside the court's process is seen as among the most reprehensible conduct, which strikes at the very heart of the institution of justice.  A misrepresentation made within a proceeding, such as perjury, is called "intrinsic" while the latter kind of scheme is known as "extrinsic."

In June of 2013, homophobic blogger Douglas Handshoe was the Respondent in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Trout Point Lodge, Vaughn Perret, and Charles Leary in Nova Scotia Supeme Court. According to the U.S. Federal District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Handshoe was since 2011 on a "campaign" to harass, damage, and embarass, Trout Point, Leary & Perret online. This included publishing their copyrighted photographs without permission.

Unlike the previous lawsuit launched against Handshoe by the Trout Point plaintiffs, in this 2013 case Handshoe appeared and defended in Nova Scotia. He was, he stated on his blog, going to show the Nova Scotia judges how they had previously been "beclowned" by Leary & Perret, whom the Slabbed blog had targetted with a plethora of homophobic epithets including "queer fag scum."

In his "Reply to Applicants' Motion to Strike & Summary Disposal," signed by him and filed with the Nova Scotia Court on June 24, Handshoe made the following statement:
Remember that statement regarding an alleged link betwen Handshoe "and the Attorneys for Concrete Busters." That is that "any allegation of a connection is both fanciful and concocted from whole cloth." It is important because in April, 2013, Judge Louis Guirola filed in the court record a letter from Louisiana attorney Daniel Abel stating his belief that Handshoe and his attorney Bobby Truitt had confected a scheme to place false criminal allegations in an amended lawsuit by two waste disposal companies against Frederick Heebe and the River Birch Landfill. In particular, that lawsuit named Trout Point Lodge and another of Abel, Leary, and Perret's businesses, Cerro Coyote, S.A., as "shell companies" involved in a criminal RICO conspiracy with former politican Aaron Broussard. At that point, a waste disposal contract given to River Birch by Broussard's administrtion was under federal criminal investigation. The investigation of River Birch later collapsed.

When the Court filed that letter into the record in April, 2013, Handshoe and attorney Truitt remained silent: no response.

Trout Point, Perret, & Leary then succesfully moved the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal to expand the record of evidence on appeal to include Abel's letter and a letter from "Attorneys for Concrete Busters," specifically Smith & Fawer, LLC. The public record indicates the motion was opposed by Doug Handshoe and Bobby Truitt, but then when it came time to actually respond to the Plaintiffs' motion, Truitt filed nothing in response. Again, silence. A failure to disclose? Fearful of having to make positive assertions that were lies?

Smith & Fawer, for their part, ultimately retracted their accusations, dismissed the allegations in court, and said that they gleaned what was said about Trout Point Lodge and Cerro Coyote from "" The true URL for Slabbed is There was no mention of actual contact with Handshoe in the Smith & Fawer letter, signed by attorney Stephen Gele.

Daniel Abel wrote his letter to Judge Guirola because in his decision denying Trout Point, Perret, & Leary's enforcement of their 2012 $427,000 Canadian judgment against Handshoe, Judge Guirola referred to the allegations made in that waste disposal lawsuit despite the fact that it was never introduced into evidence. In legal parlance, he took "judicial notice" of not just the existence of the lawsuit, but also of the allegations contained therein. Judge Guirola also stated in the decision that he had looked at the Slabbed blog in October, 2012, that is, after the two sides had finished their submissions to the court. The record shows that in September, Trout Point, Leary, and Perret also filed an "emergency motion" asking the court to tell Handshoe to not publish about the plaintiffs while the court was deliberating. Judge Guirola took no action, other than to look at Slabbed.

His decision to deny Trout Point's effort to enforce its judgment, available on PACER, stated that in:

So, if Doug Handshoe and Bobby Truitt had nothing to do with placing those criminal allegations about Trout Point, Perret, and Leary in the lawsuit drafted by Smith & Fawer, then the judge's judicial notice might be unusual, but not devestating. Other than attorney Abel's suspicions, articulated in his letter to Judge Guirola, there was no other evidence that Handshoe and/or Truitt had contact with Smith & Fawer. In fact, as seen above, Handshoe denied any such contact in no uncertain terms, and in a court of law.

Then, last October, after winning their copyright infringement action against Handshoe in Nova Scotia, Trout Point, Perret, & Leary were trying to once again enforce a Canadian judgment in Mississippi.

Handshoe improperly removed the enforcement action to Judge Guirola's district court. It was remanded last November.

While that remand decision was pending, Handshoe filed a motion trying to convince Judge Guirola in Mississippi to enjoin Judge Piper Griffin in New Orleans from continuing with Mr. Abel's defamation lawsuit against Handshoe, Truitt, and Anne-Marie Vandenweghe in New Orleans Civil District Court. That was a crazy move, which Judge Guirola never entertained.

Nevertheless, Handshoe filed his own sworn affidavit along with his motion.You can see it on PACER.

Here is part of what he swore to in that affidavit filed with the federal district court:

Guess "both fanciful and concocted from whole cloth" was a bit of an eaggeration, no? Looks like an outright lie to the court. In addition, Handshoe & Truitt's silence before Judge Guirola and the 5th Circuit looks more and more like intentional non-disclosure. 

Beside the sudden admission in October, 2014, to what he had flatly denied to a court in June, 2013--that is to direct contact with "Attorneys for Concrete Busters"--Doug Handshoe made other statements of interest.

First, to anyone looking at the amended lawsuit by Concrete Busters, filed by Smith & Fawer, it was not "Steve Gele" that "drafted signed and filed" the complaint, it was Randall Smith. Knowing which attorney actually drafted the lawsuit would show some insider knowledge by Handshoe of how it was drafted before it was filed. How does Handshoe know he likes to be called "Steve" anyway?

Second, Handshoe says he "read the lawsuit online" but also that Mr. Gele "leaked" it to him. Which is it? He saw it online, or it was leaked to him? Maybe Mr. Handshoe needs to prepare his affidavits more carefully, checking for factual consistency? In addition, looking at the metadata of the PDF file published by Handshoe alongside other PDF's created by Smith & Fawer shows that the PDF file published by Slabbed most likely came directly from Smith & Fawer. So did the PDF of the lawsuit published on Third, Handshoe published the lawsuit online before the Times-Picayune did, not after. So, who gave the Times-Picayune the lawsuit? Handshoe?

Were Mr. Abel's statements to Judge Guirola that there had been "fraud upon the court"--that is "a deliberately planned and carefully executed scheme" to influence the court -- in the Trout Point Lodge v. Handshoe case correct? There are certainly lots of questions to ask Mr. Handshoe and Mr. Truitt, now that both will face discovery in New Orleans Civil District Court.

Handshoe practically admitted this was what was happening on October 5, 2012, when Handshoe published a lengthy post on the Concrete Busters allegations entitled “Civil District Court lawsuit filed by Concrete Busters against River Birch terms Trout Point Lodge Ltd. of Nova Scotia a 'shell company'.” He published: “I have an outstanding  matter in United States Federal District Court in Gulfport before Judge Louis Guirola that my lawyer, Bobby Truitt has me barred from commenting upon. But that does not mean that we can’t let Concrete Busters tell part of that story . . ."

Academic question: does this behavior rise to the level of criminality?

mercredi 25 février 2015

More stories: Legal clown Doug Handshoe, felon Fred Goodson, and questions about cross-border companies

Slidell Motel, Inc. was a Louisiana company that formed an integral part of the "O'Aces Casino," subject of a federal criminal and State Police investigation in the 1990s. Assets of Slidell Motel and related companies like Truck Stop Gaming were ultimately ordered forfeit by a federal judge as being part of a criminal racketeering enterprise run by Fred Goodson. Blogger Doug Handshoe--who now holds himself out in court documents as a "journalist" who interjects himself into all manner of public controversies--has repeatedly asserted that association with corrupt politicians and alleged racketeering and conspiracy are a matter of great & legitimate public interest. His own background and first-hand knowledge of such activities certainly seems so apropos.

Douglas Handshoe, Treasurer of Slidell Motel,
part of O'Aces Casino

A reliable source has forwarded documents from the Louisiana Secretary of State, and Doug Handshoe officially became Treasurer of Slidell Motel, Inc. sometime between the 1998 and 1999 annual filings. In February, 1999, he was officially recorded as Treasurer alongside convicted felon Fred Goodson as President, who was at the time in federal prison. Lots of questions remaim . . . 

On September 23, 1997, accountant Doug Handshoe, Fred Goodson's son, Alex, and Demetrios Pappas incorporated Interstate Management Services, Inc. across the border in Mississippi. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Government did not indict Alex Goodson, but had subsequently named him an unindicted co-conspirator. Handshoe's friend Alex was also an intervenor in the forfeiture proceedings.

At the same time, across the border in Louisiana, Handshoe was acting as the accountant for Truck Stop Gaming, another Goodson company ordered forfeit by the federal criminal court, and as part of the related bankruptcy proceeding. Goodson was convicted on June 27 and sentenced on October 15 of that year, so this was a period when Goodson was already found guilty but free pending sentencing for one count of RICO, one count of RICO conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, five counts of money laundering and three counts of the use of interstate communications in aid of state bribery. His daughter and Alex's sister, Maria, was found guilty of one count of mail fraud in connection with Truck Stop Gaming, Ltd.'s 1995 license renewal application.

Slidell Motel had been formed in 1988 by Fred Goodson, Panagiottis Hirris, and Demetrios Pappas, all of Sidell, Louisiana. Goodson's wife Martha joined that trio as a shareholder, with the four holding all the shares. Goodson had a habit of incorporating lots of companies.

In February, 1997, having not yet been convicted, Goodson was still personally signing Louisiana Secretary of State documents on the dotted line as President, with Mr. Hirras still Treasurer.  By 1998, however, Goodson's signature on the official Secretary of State renewal papers looks like it was made with a stamp, and his phone number suddenly changed to Mississippi, with a 601 area code. That stamped signature makes sense, of course, because Handshoe's business partner Fred Goodson was at that time in federal prison. Not sure how stamping someone's name on official registration papers while he or she is in prison accords with Louisiana law or accounting ethics. . . . especially for a company that was supposed to be sold off by court order.

On the 1999 filing, the longstanding address for Slidell Motel suddenly changed to Morgan Bluff Road in Pearl River; Martha became the Registered Agent and Pappas and Hirras were out as officers. Martha signed for Fred as President (still in prison). Doug Handshoe was in as Treasurer, with Goodson remaining President, Martha as Secretary, and back to a Louisiana area code for the phone number. Pappas, though, had by now turned up over at Interstate Management in Mississippi.

On April 13, 1999, the bankruptcy court granted an order appointing Handshoe as "liquidating agent" for Truck Stop Gaming's real estate, after he had already served as company accountant for 2 years.

No annual report for Slidell Motel was filed in 2000.

In 2001, Fred Goodson was still President, with Martha signing for him under a power of attorney, instead of using a stamp. Guess they thought better of that. Handshoe remained signing as Treasurer.

Mr. Doug stayed on as Treasurer until 2006, the last year a filing was made. The Secretary of State wrote a warning letter in 2010.


So, what about Handshoe and other Goodson corporations? And Handshoe's role as both accountant for the Goodsons and liquidator for the government? As always stated in previous posts, there's no indication Handshoe was ever under criminal investigation along with Fred and Maria Goodson. Martha Goodson, Pappas, and Hirras all escaped indictment as well.

The crimnal forfeiture bankruptcy case was wrapped up on September 19, 2005. 

So, there's a few questions:
  • According to contemporary press reports, federal judge Vance ordered Fred Goodson to forfeit his ownership in Slidell Motel in August, 1997, in yet Goodson stayed on as President of that corporation alongside Handshoe as Treasurer even while in prison and long thereafter, even while Handshoe was supposedly working as "liquidating agent" and, so Handshoe claims, also for the Department of Justice. Was this forfeiture--or seeming lack thereof-- in accord with the the Order of Judge Vance?
  • Why were Handshoe and unindicted co-conspirator Alex Goodson incorporating a new entity in Mississippi at the same time Handshoe was supposed to be participating in a bankruptcy and liquidation of Goodson assets in Louisiana?
  • Is it normal and ethical for an accountant to become an officer of a corporation that he or she is purportedly also liquidating the assets of under court order, but that never happens? Slidell Motel kept on filing renewals into 2006.
  • Is it normal and ethical for an accountant to become an incorporator and officer of a corporation in one state when one is working under orders of the federal district court in another state on liquidating assets ordered forfeit by the federal judge as the proceeds of criminal activity, along with the son and brother of the convicted felons involved?
  • Who was Demetrios Pappas, part of both Slidell Motel and Interstate Management?
  • What was H.O.M., Inc. of Mississippi, another Goodson company across the Louisiana border, of which Handshoe was Registered Agent?
Time will tell . . .

samedi 21 février 2015

Civil rights attorney Daniel Abel prevails in Louisiana Supreme Court against "fabled Slabbed legal team," day after legal clown Doug Handshoe sues Loyola University and its legal clinic

Friday the 13th wasn't a very good day for "super lawyer" Jack Etherton Truitt and his client Douglas Handshoe. 

On February 13, the seven Justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously denied the appeal by "Bobby" Truitt of a New Orleans trial court decision that Trout Point Lodge co-owner Daniel Abel's lawsuit against Truitt, homophobic blogger Handshoe, and former Jefferson Parish Assistant Attorney Anne-Marie Vandenweghe was purportedly an anti-SLAPP suit. SLAPP stands for "strategic lawsuit against public participation." This decisively puts to rest any contention by the three defendants that Abel is suing in defamation over a matter of public interest or that he is a public figure. There is no public interest at issue in Abel's lawsuit, the trial court, the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, and now the Supreme Court have decided.

Truitt, who once ignorantly denied in a Twitter exchange with this blog that the prevailing party in a Louisiana CCP Article 971 (anti-SLAPP) motion is owed attorney's fees by the losing party, will now indeed owe Mr. Abel his fees, which could be substantial. Truitt has for some reason removed that tweet--where he also questioned where Randall Cajun went to law school--from publication.

Mr. Truitt attended law school at Loyola University in New Orleans, as did Mr. Abel.

Loyola University sued by Handshoe
The day before the Supreme Court handed down its decision, February 12, Handshoe had filed a motion to amend his Mississippi federal court lawsuit against Abel for alleged misrepresentation under the U.S. Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The amendment asks to include as new defendants Loyola University of New Orleans, the Loyola legal clinic Associate Director Ramona Fernandez, legal student Janey Lamar, and process server Chris Yount. Handshoe alleges counts of "abuse of process" and "malicious prosecution." He goes to the extent of ironically stating that he is being "harassed" and "defamed" through legal process by the University's legal clinic and the others. He also accuses the new defendants and Abel of "cynically using a minor child that was a non-party to the litigation" to do so. There was "misuse of the legal process, incuding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and Louisiana's defamation laws to silence reporting on a matter of public interest," Handshoe wrote in his brief for Judge Keith Starrett. 

Fernandez and the non-profit legal clinic are representing the minor child in an appeal of a trial court decision that Yount's defamation lawsuit against Handshoe and Jack Truitt was indeed an anti-SLAPP suit. Lamar is simply a law student who works at the clinic, which was appointed by court order to represent the child's interests in legal matters, including the divorce.

Unfortunately for Handshoe, the Chief Judge of New Orleans Civil District Court, the Court of Appeal, and now the Supreme Court have now said public interest is lacking with regards to Abel and Trout Point Lodge, undercutting Handshoe's conclusory allegations in Mississippi federal court. Handshoe has repeatedly referred to Abel and his associates as "SLAPP Happy Nut Jobs," an allegation now definitvely reputiated by three Louisiana courts. Handshoe will pay the consequences, but will he cease his blogging of falsehoods?

Notably, Handshoe is also now suing Yount and Abel for "abuse of process" and "malicious prosecution" in two courts at the same time, which appears far more than legally dubious. All of his legal adversaries, according to Handshoe's various legal filings, are part of a grand international conspiracy to silence his blogging, which a U.S. federal district court described in 2012 as a "campaign" to harass, damage, and embarass his targets. 

In addition, Handshoe's primary allegation that attorney Abel is guilty of "misrepresentation" under the DMCA looks like pure folly. Abel was the legal representative of the father of a minor child when a DMCA notice was served on Handshoe's web host. By law, the father was guardian of all intellectual property generated by the child, and therefore had legal standing to serve the DMCA notice regarding Handshoe's publication of the child's drawing on his web site "Slabbed." Handshoe's Mississippi brief also suggests, Abel had been ordered by the court in Louisiana to see that the drawing was removed from publication on Handshoe's web site. Handshoe claims that order was immaterial.

According to legal commentators, Abel, as the father's attorney, was fully within his rights to act as the father's agent in serving the notice; in fact, attorneys commonly draft and serve DMCA notices. In addition, over 5 months ago, Abel challenged the very jurisdiction of the Mississippi federal court over him. The judge in that case, however, has not issued any rulings since early September, 2014. 

As previously mentioned, in addition to being sued for defamation by Abel in New Orleans, Handshoe and attorney Truitt are also being sued for defamation in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana by Chris Yount, a process server and private investigator who has worked for Abel. According to Handshoe's web site and court documents, Yount served Handshoe with legal process on several occasions over the past few years. This included in two Nova Scotia Supreme Court cases where plaintiffs including Trout Point Lodge have won $817,000 in damages against Handshoe for defamation and copyright infringement. To many observers, Handshoe's publishing about Yount's child and now his lawsuit against Yount looks like payback, including using the legal system ironically in just the kind of abuse of legal process that Handshoe is now alleging against Loyola University and the others. 

There is currently an appeal pending in that case to the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, which will consider anti-SLAPP issues in Mr. Yount's case, where Ramona Fernandez represents the minor child, nearly identical to those Mr. Abel so succesfully litigated in Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. The Supreme Court denial of Mr. Truitt's appeal could have serious positive implications for the pending Yount appeal. 

Abel's motion to compel Handshoe to answer discovery in Abel's lawsuit against him, Truitt, and Vandenweghe, will be heard next month; a hearing on attorney's fees can't be far behind.  Legal observers say Handshoe has little chance of winning, and will for the first time in all his various legal battles be subject to discocvery alongside Truitt and Vandenweghe. 

Notably, self-styled as the Gulf South's premier legal affairs blogger, Handshoe tried to have the enforcement of the Nova Scotia copyright infringement judgment against him in state court removed to the same federal court where he is suing Abel, but was miserably unsuccesful. Handshoe had argued for protection against the $180,000 judgment under the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act, but failed last November when Chief Judge Louis Guirola determined that enforcing the copyright order had nothing to do with defamation.

Attorney Abel served his copyright notice on Handshoe's then-web host Dream Host because Handshoe was publishing on Slabbed a sexually explicit drawing authored by the minor child. (Handshoe admits to twice making such publications in his amended suit). Dream Host apparently had enough and dropped Handshoe, who now uses HostGator. According to the allegations in Yount's suit against Handshoe and Truitt (which appear in an appeal brief filed by Fernandez), they used Slabbed not only to publish the drawing after the court file was sealed by a judge in a Louisiana divorce proceeding, they also both published text on Slabbed to create the false and defamatory innuendo that Yount was sexually molesting his child. If true, that would be defamatory per se under Louisiana law. Courts in both the United States and Canada have repeatedly found that Handshoe publishes homophobic material on Slabbed.

In his amended legal complaint, Handshoe writes that the drawing shows "a minor child being sodomized by a line of robots." The divorce court apparetly did not agree with Handshoe's conclusions, as Mr. Yount has custody of his child, and the child has serious legal representation in the form of Ms. Fernandez and Loyola University. 

More news on the "no holds barred" Handshoe/Truitt legal circus coming soon . . .

samedi 29 novembre 2014

Douglas Handshoe, CPA looses fight to block $180,000 copyright infringement judgment under the SPEECH Act

Justice may finally be coming, her sword drawn, for inveterate blogger Douglas Handshoe, a homophobic Mississippi accountant who seems to have too much time on his hands.

homophobic blogger Douglas K. Handshoe
On November 24, 2014, a judge of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi granted the motion of Trout Point Lodge and its owners to send a court action seeking enforcement of their $180,000 Canadian copyright infringement judgment against Handshoe back to state court. The significance of this ruling is that Handshoe had attempted to remove the litigation to federal court under the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act in June.  Trout Point, Perret, and Leary have won a total of $817,000 in Canadian judgments against Handshoe, and this will be the first to move towards actual enforcement. Another $210,000 in defamation awards awaits eventual enforcement by the Trout Point plaintiffs, who have demonstrated a calm persistence in pursuing Handshoe in his home state.

Handshoe has also been sued for defamation by at least two persons in Louisiana, including a case where his attempt to have the defamation action against him dismissed as a "strategic lawsuit against public participation" or SLAPP suit was flatly rejected, not once but twice, by Chief Judge Piper Griffin of New Orleans Civil District Court. Handshoe has publicly cried  about all the lawsuits against him being SLAPP suits, and his opponents being "SLAPP happy nut jobs." The courts apparently do not agree.  

Handshoe's loss in Mississippi comes more  than 2 1/2 years after Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Hood awarded record damages for defamation against Handshoe in February, 2012. Since then numerous other courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit have called Handshoe's homophobic rhetoric "reprehensible" and "grotesque."

Concluding the second Canadian lawsuit against the Mississippian, in which Handshoe appeared and defended, on Valentine's Day, 2014, Nova Scotia Justice Kevin Coady issued a written decision finding Handshoe had violated the Trout Point plaintiffs' copyrights in four images by publishing them without permission on his blog Slabbed juxtaposed with homophobic, false, and defamatory words. The pictures were of the Plaintiffs. He award maximum statutory damages of $20,000 for each instance of infringement and also awarded a significant $100,000 in exemplary damages.  Both cases have attracted significant media attention in Canada, and test the waters of cross-border legal relations in the Internet age.

Trout Point quickly moved to enforce that judgment in Mississippi state court; Handshoe removed it to federal court 6 months ago claiming it was a federal question under the SPEECH Act. The case ended up in Chief Judge Louis Guirola's court. The blogging CPA also filed numerous motions seeking that the federal court require a bond from Trout Point, and also asking the Mississippi court to stop the third-party New Orleans lawsuit against him through an anti-suit injunction. Such an injunction would violate basic constitutional principles going back to the Founding Father's Anti-injunction Act. Handshoe frequently yammers on his blog about how Leary, Perret, and others seek to violate his constitutional rights, but apparently has a serious problem recognizing the rights of others. Judge Guirola ignored such filings by Handshoe.

In what the Chief Judge did take up, Handshoe petitioned the court to find that because the Nova Scotia Supreme Court's 2014 decision also included findings of, and damages for defamation, the copyright infringement damage award was also somehow susceptible to the SPEECH Act's provisions. He also at points argued that the decision was somehow res judicata, obviously not knowing the first thing about this legal principle despite claiming his web site to be "the premiere legal affairs blog in the Gulf South."  Handshoe also again hurled numerous baseless allegations of felonious criminal activity against the Nova Scotia gay couple in his federal court submissions, which he has been doing online since 2010. Handshoe does not know Leary and Perret. Comments he published on his blog have referred to them as "queer fag scum" among numerous other epithets.

In his removal notice, Handshoe tried to argue the Plaintiffs were doing something untoward by enrolling the copyright judgment; the federal court did not agree.

Chief Judge Guirola wrote: "Plaintiffs argue that they are not seeking to enforce a foreign judgment for defamation but for copyright infringement. The Court agrees. Based on the clear and explicit language of the Canadian court Order incorporated by reference into the state court petition, the underlying judgment is for copyright infringement."

However, the federal judge did not stop there. Knowing the full background of Handshoe's previous SPEECH Act case, he conducted a further analysis, asking: "whether this foreign judgment for copyright infringement falls within the purview of the SPEECH Act. If so, then removal was proper. If not, the case must be remanded."

Handshoe failed to convince the judge on any point.
Copyright infringement is not included in the language of the SPEECH Act,
which specifically includes defamation, libel, and slander in its definition of
defamation. Furthermore, the Court finds that the judgment sought to be enforced
– which concerns the publication of photographs that Plaintiffs claimed to be
copyright-protected – is not a judgment for a “similar claim alleging that forms of
speech are false, have caused damage to reputation or emotional distress, have
presented any persons in a false light, or have resulted in criticism, dishonor, or
condemnation of any person.” 28 U.S.C. § 4101. Indeed, unlike the judgment at
issue in the claim previously before the Fifth Circuit and this Court, the judgment
at issue here does not involve allegations of false or damaging forms of speech at all.
See generally Trout Point Lodge, 729 F.3d 481. Instead, the judgment concerns
purported property rights in photographic images. See, e.g., Axcess Broad. Servs.,
Inc. v. Donnini Films, No. 3:04-cv-2639, 2006 WL 1115430, at 3 n.1 (N.D. Tex. Aug 26, 2006) (“A copyright is a property right . . . .”).
The judge also took up and flatly rejected Handshoe's yammering about"bifurcation," and his innuendo that the Nova Scotia court justice somehow illegally colluded with Trout Point.  
Defendant claims that the Canadian court bifurcated the Canadian case into
multiple component judgments in an effort to circumvent the SPEECH Act. Defendant’s mere argument is insufficient to meet his burden to show that removal was proper. See Simons v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 193 F.3d 848, 850 n.7 (5th Cir.
1999) (“‘Removal . . . cannot be based simply upon conclusory . . . allegations.’”)
(citation omitted). Nonetheless, Plaintiffs are not seeking to enforce any defamation component judgment, but only the copyright infringement component judgment. There is no indication that the judgment sought to be enforced encompasses any monetary damages awarded for defamation, and, thus, no basis for removal under the SPEECH Act. 
Defendant’s statement that the final opinion of the Canadian court and Plaintiffs’ filings in that court “indicate[] a vastly differing fact pattern where defamation is the primary tort alleged[,]” (Def’s. Mem. 2, ECF No. 13), does not persuade the Court that removal is proper, either. This Court was not provided a copy of the final opinion of the Canadian court, only the judgment. And, while the filings attached to Defendant’s Memorandum do include defamation allegations, again, the actual judgment sought to be enforced is not for defamation. 
Thus Mr. Handshoe will be heading back to state court, where the Canadian judgment for copyright infringement is very likely to be enforced considering the close relationship between the U.S. and Canada, as well as their common respect for copyright protections. This precedent-setting decision will help delimit future inquiries into the breadth of the SPEECH Act's protections. It also eliminates a large swath of legal arguments Handshoe might have hoped to make to avoid justice. 

samedi 30 août 2014

SLAPPed down redux: Doug Handshoe loses his anti-SLAPP motion . . . twice . . . a legal jackassery update

Homophobic blogger Douglas K. Handshoe, a Mississippi accountant, has not once, but twice failed to get the Chief Judge of New Orleans Civil District Court (CDC) to accept his motion purporting that civil rights attorney Daniel G. Abel's damning defamation lawsuit against him is somehow designed to prevent public discourse on a matter of public interest. These types of motions are called "anti-SLAPP" (strategic lawsuit against public participation).

Handshoe has referred to his legal adversaries repeatedly as "SLAPP Happy Nut Jobs." Now it appears the only nut job is Handshoe and his dwindling coterie of followers. 

Inspection of CDC documents reveals that Handshoe first attempted his anti-SLAPP motion in October of last year, and when the court flatly denied it, he tried again a few months later, only to have the same result confront him. How the extremely litigious Mr. Handshoe could file two motions for the same relief in the same court is unknown, but it could be deemed an abuse of the New Orleans court's process. In the same hearing, Handshoe co-defendant and former attorney Bobby Truitt attempted to quash Abel's subpoenas, and failed:

Handshoe, however, apparently thought he knew better than the court, and attempted his at this point idiotic and ill-conceived motion again a few months later. On April 25, 2014. the judge again denied Handshoe's anti-SLAPP motion.

Douglas Handshoe, CPA
Legal Jackassery at its finest!

Handshoe owes some $817,000 in Canadian court judgments to Abel's business partners Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret as well as Trout Point Lodge. An effort to collect a copyright infringement judgment against Handshoe is currently winding its way through the Mississippi court system.

Handshoe's campaign to damage and embarrass those he has chosen to target using the Internet may be entering a new chapter as Abel's lawsuit moves inevitably forward.

CDC documents also show that Abel has applied for a default judgment against Handshoe and his co-defendant Vandenweghe. The court set a hearing to confirm the default on September 3, 2014.

Handshoe, who has claimed to be the premiere legal affairs blogger in the Gulf South, apparently will have some serious lessons to learn about legal process.

Stay tuned for more Douglas Handshoe legal jackassery from the federal courts of Mississippi . . . 

lundi 14 juillet 2014

Douglas Handshoe's "interest in the sexual activities of other men"

After miserably loosing his limp-wristed attempt at an anti-SLAPP motion in New Orleans Civil District Court (SLAPP stands for "strategic lawsuit against public participation"), Mississippi homophobe & blogger Douglas Handshoe has now taken to making allegations about a minor child's sex drawing he has distributed on his blog Slabbed and now (allegedly illegally) using the U.S. federal courts online PACER system.

Louisiana civil rights attorney Daniel Abel is reportedly acting as attorney for the child's father and legal guardian, who has sued Handshoe and his fellow blogger Jack Truitt for defamation in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Handshoe has in turn "dubiously" sued Abel in Mississippi federal court under the Copyright Act for allegedly misrepresenting his role as agent for the owner of copyright in the drawing. A lawyer "misrepresenting" that he's the legal agent of the father? Huh?

Anyway, in his first court filing in that latest lawsuit brought by Handshoe, the defendant Mr. Abel has drawn attention to what he alleges is Mr. Handshoe's obsession with the sexual lives of other men (and now, children):
Slabbed Nation member and financial backer Jack Truitt has already found out that courts do not favor the kind of alleged private libel that the Slabbed blog dishes out on a daily basis (Truitt lost his anti-SLAPP motion too), and Abel's tack will ensure Slabbed publisher and primary author Handshoe will soon have serious explaining to do in federal court. Why a Wiggins CPA is so interested in gay men and sex drawings found in Louisiana divorce documents raises a lot of questions about Mr. Doug (or is it Ms. Doug?).

On July 3 Abel let the federal court know exactly what he thinks of Handshoe's conduct involving exposing the minor child and his drawing to public scrutiny:

The legal brief filed by Abel speaks for itself. While asking for more time to answer Handshoe's charge of "misrepresentation," it also claims serious violations of civil procedure and criminal law by Handshoe.

Indeed, it appears to be much more serious than violating civil procedure. Douglas Handshoe has apparently made serious accusations on Slabbed related to child molestation, and also published what he himself claims is child pornography. His conspiratorial, homophobic mentality is on full display in this episode of how Slabbed crumbles.  There are laws against such actions; that Handshoe has not only allegedly used his own blog, but also illegally used the federal court's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (P.A.C.E.R.) system to distribute such materials astounds even the most jaded of legal observers.

Again, Abel's motion speaks for itself:

And now PACER shows that copyright troll/hypocrite Handshoe has yet again taken to the federal courts of Mississippi to try to stop the enforcement of a CAN $180,000 final court judgment against him for 4 kinds of copyright infringement on Slabbed and elsewhere. Apparently, his arch enemies Chalres Leary and Vaughn Perret enrolled their newest Nova Scotia money damages award against him in Mississippi state court. This was after Handshoe appeared in Canadian court, defended, filed all sorts of motions, and then when things didn't go his way, retreated back to Gulf Port. Having subjected Slabbed readers to the full extent of his engagement of the Canadian judiciary, Mr. Doug might be in trouble this time.

Seems like there's a pattern here of blogger Doug stealing the creative words and images of others, and then hurling allegations at those whom he had robbed.

Handshoe's serial copyright infringement on his blog might finally catch up with him . . . and accusing Abel of violating the Copyright Act? Really, Doug?

"Gay robots," Doug?

Mr. Abel may be on to something in Handshoe's seeming obsession with gay sex . . .