The "law career train wreck in slow motion" which is attorney Jill Clark may have a long way to go before it comes to rest in a smoking pile of twisted metal, but the bitter end might be in sight...
Some (not all or even most) Minnesota appellate court documents can be accessed through MNCIS. This judicial order is one of the accessible documents. The order reads as follows:
Filed April 5, 2012
Office of Appellate Courts
State of Minnesota, In Supreme Court (that part is from the letterhead)
In Re Petition for Disciplinary Action Against
Jill Eleanor Clark
A Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 196988
WHEREAS, a petition for disciplinary action has been filed by the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board in the above entitled matter.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that this matter is herewith referred to the Honorable Gerald J. Seibel, District Court Judge of the Eighth Judicial District of the State of Minnesota to hear, and to make and report his findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition of said matter to this Court on or before August 31, 2012.
Dated April 4, 2012
(Contains only "/s/" for a signature, which I understand is customary for this type of online document and "represents" a signature)
Alan C. Page
On her "Jill Clark Barks" blog, Crazy Town Counsel-of-Choice Jill Clark claims she is being "targeted" and calls herself a "Judicial Reformist."
Jill Clark, Analysis Of A "Moral Compass Gone Askew"
"Carbuncle on the flesh of the Goddess of Justice sorely in need of being surgically removed" is, however, a much more accurate and apt description.
In a somewhat more normal world of neighborhood politics, loony malcontents like Level Three Sex Offender Peter "Spanky" Pete Rickmyer, "Mayor of Crazy Town" Al Flowers and Jerry "So Involved" Moore couldn't do much more than howl from the sidelines like scalded dogs over their perceived wrongs, which are really more like "divine justice come-uppance."
But Jill Clark manages to make these people into her clients and eventual plaintiffs. They seek her out, it appears, or are introduced by crazies who are already her clients. (For example, three of the Mpls Mirror lady Terry Yzaguirre's children are Jill's clients, click here for example, click here for another example)
Like an insane conductor standing before a psychiatric ward jug band where each of the lunatics plays an instrument, Jill Clark orchestrates a concert of chaos.
Why does she do it? Members of the North Minneapolis "revitalization movement" who have been targeted in Clark's lawsuits spend a lot of time speculating the answer to this question. We may never know, though it seems pretty clear Clark gravitates to individuals she sees as "oppressed," so at some level Clark might feel she herself has been oppressed or, alternatively, at an early point in personal development she found satisfaction in "advocating for the oppressed."
But like a compass needle that doesn't quite face magnetic north like it should, there is a flaw in Clark's moral compass.
Consider: As loud, obnoxious, and wrong-headed as Al Flowers might be, he has a right to free speech and to participate at community meetings. So if Al Flowers showed up at a community meeting and was immediately seized and thrown out the door, that would be wrong. And in a republic as great as the United States, at least one lawyer should stand up and defend Flowers' right to loud, obnoxious, offensive and frequently slurry free speech.
But that's not what happened, now is it? Flowers doesn't have a right to SHOVE A CITY COUNCILMAN IN THE BACK for standing in front of him, back turned, arms crossed in silent-yet-expressive disapproval.
A good lawyer, a decent lawyer, a lawyer with a moral compass acting on behalf of Flowers might do something like call authorities and say, "My client is very sorry and would like to know if he apologizes to the councilman and agrees to stay 50 feet away for a year, while he gets anger management counseling, could any possible criminal charge now being contemplated just go away?"
What does CLARK do? On behalf of Flowers, she unsuccessfully sues the city councilman for ASSAULT, saying the councilman purposely stepped on Flowers' toes. Videotape of Flowers' various shouted remarks after shoving Don Samuels made it pretty clear to me and to a federal jury that "assault by backwards toe stepping" never took place.
In Clarky client after Clarky client, you can perform the same analysis.
What would a DECENT lawyer do as a zealous advocate, given the circumstances? What crazy thing did CLARK do, instead? Rather than an advocate for the oppressed, she becomes an attorney "pro malo," for the bad. And it's not even a matter of "crossing the line" of zealous advocacy and "trying too hard" for your client. In far too many instances, it's easy to look at the circumstances and say, "This client is worse off than they would be if it weren't for Jill Clark. Now the client has lost and it
Meanwhile, the politics of my neighborhood is distorted, much the way normal commuter traffic is distorted by a naked man running through traffic with a sword.
A Neighborhood Prays The Honorable Court, Put This Mad Dog Attorney Out Of Its Misery
These disciplinary proceedings will take a while, but there's a feeling the end is near. I think Clark senses the end is near, too, or she wouldn't have started a website which pisses in the breakfast Cheerios of every judge who puts on a robe, collecting obscure examples of bad judge-ery from all over the nation (and, in one instance, the nation of ZAMBIA, WTF) and beating her drum, her website screaming out, "Oh, they're repressing me, help help, I'm being repressed!"
In a manner similar to how we hopefully wait for rubble to be carted away from a burned out "thug store," or a backhoe to arrive long, long after condemnation placards have been slapped to the door of some haunted wreck of a building, so we wait, not holding our collective breath, for this ugly "Clark situation" to transform from "ongoing problem" to "cautionary tale for members of the legal profession."
Already, I am thinking ahead to the next hypothetical problem...
What Happens To Clark's Clients?
There's no other lawyer in that office. Clark has been closely associated with an attorney called Jill M. Waite, but after Waite was suspended for "epic non-payment of income taxes," Waite's perceivable legal activity has flatlined.
I have seen a document on the Appellate Court website which mentions Clark's legal assistant, Peggy Katch, writing a letter and asking for a time extension, even though Katch is not an attorney and, as the court notes, a non-attorney can't do that. (Jerry Moore v. John Hoff a/k/a Johnny Northside, order of March 1, 2012) So let's face it, if Clark goes down, there's probably no lawyer who can step in and take over the cases. There are probably very few lawyers who would WANT the cases, many of which are in "desperate last ditch appeal" stage. And it's obvious from looking through the MNCIS system that Clark has A LOT of legal balls in the air.
So if Clark is disbarred or suspended, those clients are up a creek. The system may slow down a little bit in response to cries of "But I don't have a lawyer!" and yet, sooner or later, it will grind forward.
At some point these unlucky clients may come to realize that, just as a dead cat still has some nominal value to science students studying anatomy, so even a suspended or disbarred Clark may have some value if she carries malpractice insurance. The "Twilight of the Gods" last act of this legal passion play might well be Clark's clients descending upon her like a school of bloodthirsty predatory fish.
Imagine a little pirana Jerry Moore fish, fighting a little Spanky Pete bottom feeder dogfish for a piece of Clark's liver while the Yzaguirre family "school of sharks" rips apart most of the metaphorical corpse.
And which media entity will have the most detailed coverage of this disciplinary proceeding and its aftermath?
You're looking at it.