Saturday, June 26, 2010

(PARODY POST) My Twin Brother Ben Myers Finally "Settles Up" With Defendant Megan Goodmundson...

Blog post and photo by John Hoff

(Portions of this paragraph below are parody)

My twin brother Ben Myers--who was separated at birth, but just kept coming back no matter how many times our Big Mama Sweetums would dump him off at the orphanage in Texas--recently "settled up" with Jordan residents Megan Goodmundson, Anne McCandless, and Denny Wagner for attorney fees in his failed and (let's just be frank, here) stupid and ill-conceived defamation lawsuit. The lawsuit (like so many others) came out of bare-knuckle Jordan Neighborhood politics and was filed by attorney Kristi McNeilly, quite a piece of work herself.

(Portion below is not parody)

At least one complaint is pending with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility over the failed lawsuit. The Office recently wrote to Megan Goodmundson to explain their delay in moving forward on the complaint against Benjamin Myers and Kristi McNeilly, saying as follows:

June 8, 2010


Re: Complaint against Kristi McNeilly and Benjamin Myers
Minnesota Attorneys.
Our Case Nos. 27037 and 27026

Dear Ms. Goodmundson,

The above matter has been pending in this Office since August 2008. We are writing at this time to explain our delay in concluding this matter.

Following our receipt of your complaint...

...we received additional, unrelated complaints against Ms. McNeilly and Mr. Myers. Because it is the policy of this Office to, whenever feasible, resolve all complaints against an individual lawyer at the same time and as part of the same disposition, we have deferred final resolution of your complaint until we can complete investigation of the other complaints against Ms. McNeilly and Mr. Myers and can determine appropriate disposition for all the complaints. Please be assured that we are working as expeditiously as possible to complete our investigation and to conclude this matter.

(The letter goes on to thank Ms. Goodmundson--who has been waiting nearly two years for her complaint to be resolved--for her patience)

In the meantime, the three defendants in Ben's defamation lawsuit finally got some of their money back, each receiving a check for a whopping $545. According to Goodmundson, each defendant actually spent something like $2200 to defend themselves in the lawsuit. More money was spent just to collect money from Ben Myers, but this was a case of "it's the principal of the thing."

Here's how the money breaks down, according to a June 16 document from attorney Ferdinand Peters.

Total amount received (from Ben Myers) $3,000.
Less attorney fees (for Ferdinand Peters) $1,200.
Additional costs--court reporter fee, garnishment fee, motion for attorney fees--$165.
Total due to cluents: $1,635.
Distribution to each client: $545.

(Portions of the post below are parody)

The photo above shows Megan Goodmundson holding her check for $545 which--I would like to point out--she promptly loaned me so I could fix my piece-of-crap vehicle with the bizarre left-handed ignition. Hey, it's not like my brother Ben Myers would ever loan me the money. Not with a check I could actually take to the bank, anyway.

So, folks might be wondering where, exactly, Ben scraped up that $3,000? Well, here's what happened. The mother I share with Ben Myers had a neighbor in the trailer court who shared many things with "Big Mama Sweetums," including an abject addiction to Nyquil mixed with Night Train and the occasional gardening tool. After a bad fall on the front steps late one Friday night, the neighbor wasn't able to hobble around so good anymore, but somehow Big Mama Sweetums managed to finagle a caretaker position from the state, and got paid good money to do the kind of stuff she was already doing for free: play endless games of gin rummy with the neighbor, and drive her around to the store.

Despite Mama Sweetums' tender albeit completely unskilled and at times inebriated caretaker efforts, the neighbor continued to go downhill. And then one day they just found her dead under the trailer house with a whole bunch of other creepy stuff like used needles, dead cat skeletons and a rusty firearm the police had been seeking since, oh my word, the late 1970s. Truthfully, she'd probably been dead a few months longer than the state checks had been arriving, but nobody seemed to make a big deal about it and, somehow, Mama Sweetums ended up owning the trailer through a purported will written on looseleaf notebook paper. Quite a document it was, too, like "here's a list of things I want you to buy at the store" and then, in a sentence scrunched in just above the signature, in slightly dubious handwriting, "Oh, also, this is my final will and testament and I will (Big Mama Sweetums) my trailer house and all the stuff inside, including the contents of the liquor cabinet."

But it worked, and you can't argue with success, but too bad that lawyerly success gene wasn't passed on to Ben.

So--to nobody's surprise, really--Mama Sweetums rented out the second trailer and became a minor slumlord. But this was right around the time Ben was needing $3,000 to pay off his ill-conceived lawsuit. As usual, he asked Mama Sweetums for the money and, as usual, she threatened him with a restraining order.

However, Ben knows all the hiding places in Mama's trailer or--if he doesn't quite know ALL of them--it isn't a very big trailer, so given an hour or two of opportunity to ransack while Mama Sweetums was hanging out at the Holy Roller pot luck dinner, Ben found $2,855.81 worth of squirreled away slumlord proceeds, plus half a dozen jars of coins which Mama had "inherited" from her dead neighbor and was dying to spend on pull tabs and bingo. Oh, Mama was furious when she found Ben's handwritten IOU duct taped to the gas stove. But what was she going to do? Call the police? It's not like Ben wouldn't file a defamation lawsuit against his own mother and, really, what PROOF was there of the money being in the house or even being stolen since Ben left her an IOU and it's his word against hers?

(Then again--and it's kind of a conspiracy theory, I know--part of me thinks Mama loaned that money to Ben willingly but just told me a different story because I've told her SO MANY TIMES not to be loaning her hard-earned money to my worthless fraternal twin half-brother. Who ransacks a trailer but then leaves an IOU? I'm sorry, Mom, but aspects of your story don't exactly hold together)

On a final editorial note...

(and this part is no longer in parody font, I'm dead serious, here)

How can citizens of Minnesota be expected to wait TWO YEARS for lawyer discipline to be resolved and/or dished out? And in the meantime the lawyer is doing his/her thing, possibly creating yet more problems and entanglements for other defendants or the lawyer's own clients? This maddening issue with Ben Myers and Kristi McNeilly is ripe for resolution and I want to advocate strongly for it to be (finally, at long last) appropriately resolved.


Your Eyedea said...

Woot! She always has the prettiest nail job.. :)

Johnny Northside! said...

This post was corrected to read "Ms. Goodmundson" instead of "Mrs. Goodmundson."

JNS blog regrets making Megan feel that she has lost decades of her life and become her own mother through nothing more than one misplaced letter.