Attorney Jill Clark, who may need to consider another state of residence and new career endeavors following the resolution of her current health and lawyer disciplinary problems, has now hired attorney Ben Myers and, incredibly, once again tried to get herself back in federal court after being laughed out the first time. So what happened? She was laughed out a second time.
Now representing Clark, Myers filed something in federal court which alleges the state court system is corrupt and trying to crush Clark for political reasons.
Ben Myers may have his own agenda for jumping into Clark's losing battle at this point...
Help, Help, I'm Being Repressed
As this blog documented in June of 2010, for the past couple years attorney Ben Myers has had a serious complaint against him pending with the Lawyers Board of Professional Responsibility. It is said the wheels of justice grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine, and that is probably the case here. Last I heard, the matter was still pending.
This blogger has always assumed the reason for the delay was to wait for a resolution in the closely-related "True JACC" lawsuit before the matter with Ben Myers could be addressed. After all, if a lower court says Ben Myers and his Old Majority cohorts filed something "not in good faith," there's still the possibility a higher court might say, "The faith, while not good, was also not bad enough to be bad, and therefore lands in the middle to become non-specific, intermediate faith."
But with the JACC case resolved, the disciplinary matter with Ben Myers might finally grind forward. So what better time for Ben to jump in and defend Jill? After all, if the Lawyers Board moves forward with discipline of BEN, right on schedule, Ben can cry foul and claim, "They're just going after me because I tried to defend Jill! See? I TOLD YOU the whole system is corrupt!"
Ben shows exquisite timing, desperate and made-up-on-the-spot though his tactics may be. I mean, do they teach this "legal dark arts" stuff in fourth tier law schools late at night, when the dean isn't around and the law students bring some beers for the burned out professor?
How Do You Know When Ben Is Lying? His Lips Are Moving, But So Is One Of His Eyeballs
It reminds me of the time my fraternal twin half brother Ben Myers broke into the liquor cabinet of our stepdad (one of seven) and we were having ourselves a time, putting shots of whiskey in our bowls of Coco Puffs to make ourselves an "Irish breakfast" just like our mama. In walks stepdad unexpectedly (he'd been fired from his coin polishing job at the casino when an Ike dollar fell out of his sock) and he takes one look at Ben standing there, whiskey bottle in chubby little hand, and WHAT does stepdaddy do?
His face turns PURPLE but he did a perfect "about face" and walked away. Walked away to go tell Mama to discipline Ben. Damn if stepdaddy was going to have the social worker out at the trailer again for beating "Little Ben" within an inch of his life, or have Big Mama Sweetums (who was known as Skinny Minnie Sweetums at the time) make him sleep out in his army surplus pup tent (again) for being mean to her children.
Ben knows he's in trouble. He knows it. So what does he do?
To my eternal amazement, Ben takes the half-filled liquor bottle and SMASHES HIMSELF IN THE FACE WITH IT, HARD. Then falls down on the floor, crying and screaming. And the crying was real, mind you, as was the gushing blood and ocular fluid from his freaking eyeball. Folks wonder why Ben is cock-eyed. Well, THIS is how it happened.
Naturally, Mama thought stepdaddy had assaulted Ben. The divorce was final before she finally believed what I'd been trying to tell her about Ben DOING THAT TO HIMSELF. And that's why Ben got dropped off at the orphanage. So that particular step daddy would come back.
This thing Ben is doing now? Representing Jill Clark in what may be the final moments before his own legal leash is brutally reeled in? It's just like what I described, up above, though hopefully nobody will be fooled by Ben's timing. But, of course, the guy has one good eyeball left and he knows it, so WATCH OUT.
(End parody font)
Without even giving this blogger an opportunity to finish writing about what Ben Myers filed in federal court on behalf of Jill Clark, the federal court has already bounced Jill's case back to state court. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but when bad things happen to Jill Clark quicker than Johnny Northside can write about them, you know the S.S. Jill Clark is taking on water faster than its bilge pumps can push it out. It probably took longer for those filings to be prepared than it did for the court to reject them.
About the only thing the federal filing accomplished was to make sure Clark's documents would end up on the PACER website and then, like bruised melons which end up thrown out behind the store but find their way to the trunk of a dumpster diver's car, the federal filings made their way to this blogger. I found the part about Clark being up for seven days and her husband locking her out of her email especially informative. So, picking through the wreckage of Clark's latest filings, what do we find?
Did Clark And Longrie Have The Same Legal Writing Teacher? WTF?
Keep in mind Ben Myers filed on behalf of Clark in federal court. But the federal filing included a number of pertinent documents from the state case, including the document entitled Respondent's Suggestion For Voluntary Recusal And/Or Motion To Disqualify All Seven Justices. This document was written by attorney Diana Longrie, the ousted former Mayor of Maplewood.
Or was it? I mean, it has Longrie's signature on it. But reading through the document all I see is "Classic Jill Clark." And I say this as somebody who is an English Writing major magna cum laude, as sensitive to textual clues as connoisseurs are to, well, grapes or whatever wine stuff floats their boat.
Some things about the document that strike me as all-too-Clarkian to be a coincidence.
1.) Its length. Clark writes long stuff. If what she wrote isn't long enough, she attaches a bunch of crap until the document approaches the mid-50s range of pages.
2.) The title. So many legal documents filed by Clark have titles no lawyer has ever before dreamed up, and no lawyer after her will ever find a reason to use. Law documents are supposed to have informative yet somewhat prosaic titles.
3.) Light on law, heavy on politics and talk of a conspiracy. Legal filings are supposed to rely on, well, THE LAW. They're supposed to be filled with various cases being cited. But Clark fills her briefs with lots of argument and then throws in a little dash of case citations like a guy with high blood pressure who loves salty food, but knows it's bad for him. In the purported Longrie filing on behalf of Clark, at one point the document cites to seven cases...
4.) ...in a FOOTNOTE! And this is exactly the kind of thing Clark does with footnotes, which are supposed to be for minor, incidental, or somewhat tangential points. But Clark uses footnotes to cite legal cases that belong in the BODY of her briefs. But if she did that, she wouldn't have as much room to spill her conspiratorial b.s., would she?
5.) Clark's odd and incorrect use of quote marks. Clark frequently uses single quote marks where she should use double quote marks. But then sometimes she slips back to double quote marks.
6.) Squares containing lengthy quotes from a document (like an email) instead of using italics for lengthy quotes from a document. Take this purported Longrie document and compare it to the filings in the Yzaguirre cases where Clark had to rely heavily on long quotes from various documents. This use of squares for long quotes appears to be a deeply ingrained habit of Clark. Of course, she doesn't do this when forced to quote at length from a rule. For that she may use italics.
7.) Using underlining as well as italics for emphasis in the same document. Using boldface for emphasis in the same document as well as underling and italics. Clark uses so much emphasis on so many different points that reading her writing is a chore. She constantly demands the reader pay attention HERE, there, oh, wait, you need to look at this as well and did I mention this OTHER point? All of this within a few paragraphs. At one point in this most recent document, whoever was writing it put a 111 word paragraph in italics (which made sense) and also in boldface. (Which was just too much)
8.) A period outside of a single word that's in quote marks. God, it makes me shudder. Let me "demonstrate". Shudder. You see how incorrect that looks? I can hardly make myself do it on purpose.
9.) Parenthetical comments. God, I love parenthetical comments. (I think it's an expression of my love for tangents) But I have to discipline myself not to overdo them. Clark uses a lot of parentheses, too, but you find yourself wondering, "Why did she put THAT in parenthesis? Seems like it should just be part of the text." Well, so does the author of THIS document, supposedly Longrie.
10.) There is no freaking way that Longrie could have gotten up to speed so quickly on all of Clark's intricate, detailed alleged conspiracies within conspiracies. Lawyers constantly SUMMARIZE and PRIORITIZE what gets written. For one reason, it's just so much harder to remember somebody else's facts instead of your own. So lawyers write the "gist" of what's being alleged. But this document appears to be written BY Clark and ABOUT Clark.
The Ethics Of Legal Ghost Writing
Lawyers help each other write briefs all the time. Plagiarism, as laypeople and English majors think of it, doesn't exist the same way in the world of lawyers. Indeed, a lawyer might virtually "recycle" words that worked from a particular case, transferring those same exact words and arguments over to a similar case. Judges sign off on rulings written by law clerks. Lawyers draft orders for judges to sign. Lawyers in the same law firm take on writing work for other lawyers when somebody gets busy.
So signing your name to a brief is really more a way of saying, "I take responsibility for the words written here."
My question is WHY? If the document was written by Clark (it sure smells like it) why would Longrie sign it? What was Clark supposedly doing during that period of time right before the document was filed on July 23, 2012?
Is Longrie In Same Boat As Ben And Jill When It Comes To The Lawyers Board?
Searching Diana Longrie's name on Google, the FIRST thing that pops up is her Congressional campaign website. She's running against a Congressperson of the same party with 12 years of service. Way to piss in the wind, Longrie. Have you been taking campaign tips from Roger Smithrud?
The SECOND thing that pops up is a local blogger documenting a story about Longrie being accused of an ethical lapse in her private practice as an attorney, click here. This controversy happened in March of 2010 but, as we have seen with Ben and, for that matter, Jill Clark, discipline by the Lawyers Board of Professional Responsibility can take a long time as everything is carefully sorted out.
So the question is WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THAT COMPLAINT and does the status of that complaint motivate Diana Longrie the same way it (probably) motivates Ben Myers? Oh, look, they're oppressing me for stepping up to defend Jill Clark.
Digging Into The "All Seven Of You Step Down, Um, Please" Motion
Well, at last, in regard to what's actually WITHIN the "suggestion, er, maybe a motion" document, the author of the document (whoever she may be) "suggests" all seven State Supreme Court justices should voluntarily recuse themselves.
Then, living in a legal dream world of the author's own creation, "Longrie On Behalf Of Clark" (or maybe "Clark as Longrie on behalf of Clark") asks for this to happen as soon as possible, so whoever replaces the recused justices might be challenged on the basis of THEIR impartiality.
How about we just clone 12 little Jill Clarks and have them sit in judgment of Clark?
No, wait. That's a terrible idea.
Anyway, the "all seven of you" motion mentions how Clark wanted to have this whole proceeding happen under seal, but it's not happening that way. The motion complains about how Clark wanted to subpoena two individuals who are "indisputably friends of Lloyd B. Zimmerman" and supposedly communicated with Zimmerman about Clark.
The motion then goes into considerable detail about the relationships and histories of the justices on the State Supreme Court. Once again creating a legal dreamworld and then trying to inhabit it, like a child inside a fort made out of snow, the motion suggests the justices should make voluntary "disclosures" about "facts, relationships or attitudes" unknown to respondent Jill Clark.
The motion goes into considerable detail about the old professional responsibility charge against Clark...the one she lost and had to pay $1,000...and more or less tries to refight the whole thing. Classic Clark. As supposedly written by Longrie.
In the course of that old complaint, which involved Judge Zimmerman, at some point Zimmerman fired off an email to a friend and confidant and asserted, "The resounding feedback I've received from judges and lawyers is that Jill Clark got what she deserved." Documentation of this kind is presented in Clark's DEFENSE and yet what it documents is overwhelming dislike of Clark among both lawyers and judges.
In fact, I have it on good authority that some of the lawyers who dislike Clark the most are the lawyers fighting cases involving civil rights, racism and police brutality. By filing cases that are simply ridiculous while waving the banner of these issues, Clark damages the very causes she purports to represent.
Two Legal Philosophy Factions At War With Each Other?
Acting as though her bid for election ever had a snowball's hellish chance in the first place, the motion argues both Judge Zimmerman and the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility had a motive to harm Clark's chances for election to judge. Emails (which Clark attaches) supposedly reveal this, but a great deal must be read into individual sentences to even create the IMPLICATION of this. It seems more likely that Clark's ridiculous, hubris-filled campaign was noted in passing as a factor that might cause attention to any disciplinary matters against her, since she was a candidate for public office.
The document tries to paint a picture of a world where there are some judges fanatically devoted to the idea judges should be appointed, not elected (I find myself squarely in that camp, even for district court judges) and Clark supposedly represents the other extreme of the idea, wanting judges to be elected, perhaps by a vote of individuals hanging around the courtroom (sex offender Spanky Pete, the suspects waiting to be put on trial in that very courtroom) and voted out by a "show of hands recall election" when they make an unpopular decision. The last part of that sentence was a bit of a joke, but the document does assert Clark is upon one end of the spectrum and individuals like Judge Zimmerman are on the other end.
The disciplinary proceedings against Clark were (so the document alleges) "archived" for future use against her to destroy her chances of becoming a judge. Supposedly there have been, direct quote, "years of cumulative planning" to misuse the Minnesota lawyers professional responsibility disciplinary system. This is being done by "certain individuals with vested interests" who want to "destroy Clark's reputation and thereby her chance to be judge."
Putting forth what actually appears to be some kind of legal argument instead of rhetoric and charges of conspiracies, the document alleges Clark gave answers to the lawyers professional responsibility board in exchange for confidentiality, so everything should remain confidential which happened with her prior discipline. However, I don't see any "confidentiality agreement" attached to the brief as evidence. It seems more like the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (OLPR) kept Clark's previous discipline quiet so the punishment meted out wouldn't be severe and include public disclosure. Now, with Clark crazy as a bat in a small room with a bright blowtorch, the OLPR needs to use documents about the previous proceedings as EVIDENCE. This EVIDENCE starts to turn up in court files like floating debri from a sinking warship, which is where I got it. It's not like somebody within the system emailed it to me.
(Parody font, OR IS IT?)
"Honorable Lloyd" Buys Johnny Northside Honorable Shots
OK, they emailed it to me. I do lunch with Judge Zimmerman all the time, though I only knew him as "Lloyd who buys me lunch when I'm around the courthouse" for so long I didn't realize his name was "Zimmerman" until once when the waitress accidentally put the credit card receipt down in front of me at Atlas Bar and Grill. That was our little "goodbye, I'm going to Afghanistan" lunch where Lloyd jokingly bought me a shot of "Death's Door" whiskey.
Lloyd--excuse me, Honorable Lloyd--sent me a care package in Afghanistan and even, my word, SHOES for Afghans, an entire duffel bag full. What they're going to do with all those ox blood colored Italian wing tips, I just don't know, but it's the thought that counts, even in a Third World country struggling with violent insurgency. And when I talk about my son, Honorable Lloyd is always like, "Hey, bring your kid and let's go fishing at my cabin in--!"
Well, I better not say.
Anyway, the conspiracy by The Anointed Appointed (this is what the anti-election judicial faction calls itself, though it actually started out as a joke that I made to Honorable Lloyd) extends even to secretly enlisting bloggers to help fight their battles. I can say all this stuff in parody font like it's parody, but, Jill, between you, me and Spanky Pete we know it's not really a joke, don't we?
(End parody font, or was it ever parody in the first place?)
The document makes mention of the fact that Clark's opponent in her current judicial campaign (which Clark apparently can't run because she's on disability inactive status) Lorie Gildea, has recused herself from the proceedings. This seems proper, even when Clark, as an opponent, didn't have a prayer, even without her brain cracking a head gasket. But then Clark tries to say Gildea is a potential WITNESS in the case, due to an email sent in 2008.
In a little section with plenty of boldface type, the document tries to lay out the "relationships" of the seven Supreme Court justices, by which she means their "relationship" to George Soule, the guy Zimmerman emailed and said Jill was getting what she deserved. Well, turns out Soule manages judicial campaigns. Therefore, and I say this in all seriousness, Soule is certainly an inveterate collector of gossip within the legal community. The document tries to make a case for Clark--it shrieks of conspiracies--but at the end of a careful reading, one is left to ask, "So what?"
So what these justices and the Lawyer's Professional Responsibility people know each other? And they know some other people as well? The OLPR is practically an arm of the Supreme Court. Even Clark says as much. Of course it's going to be somewhat personal and incestuous within a legal community, and disciplinary matters are going to be ugly when a lawyer is CLEARLY LOSING HER MIND but somehow still in possession of a law license, filing crazy crap, dragging people into court who should NOT be dragged into court.
It's a small, closed community within which Clark is not merely the problem child...no, she's more like that weird girl on the freshman floor who can't handle the pressure of college and starts beating her head against the bathroom wall, crying, "If I'm daddy's little princess, why did he make me go away?" And she's a registered student, and has a right to be weird and different, and she has exercised that right clear up until Finals Week, but she's also very clearly LOSING HER FREAKING MIND and while she has rights, oh yes, the men with Haldol and 4-point leather restraints are coming just the same.
And you have to ask yourself, "Is this real? Or an act right before Finals Week?" But what does it matter? There will be a proceeding, there will be inquiries, but clearly these matters can't be ignored.
Judge Zimmerman Compares Clark To Dangerous Debris Left In The Road
Pages to a transcript are attached to the brief, but the pages are incomplete, starting and stopping in mid-sentence. They are attached only to prove some small, particular point documented on that page. In a page attached to prove something else, we join the Honorable Lloyd Zimmerman in mid-point, comparing Clark to, well, a tire.
...the road. Rather than stop and take the tire off the road, cars go around it. Most judges who have Miss Clark, they just remove themselves. I could have turned the other cheek and walked away. I thought when a lawyer lies, when a lawyer does wrong in such an obvious, obvious, egregious way, I'm not going to walk away from a bully.
He later added Clark had acted in a "disgraceful" way.
More Details To Follow On Johnny Northside Dot Com
There are a lot of neighborhood issues going on right now, including the alleged sex trafficking of two minor females at a property owned by slumlord Mahmood Khan. However, stories about people being arrested with weapons, trouble at a slumlord's property, new information about a particular sex offender, these problems come along ALL THE TIME. But for the past half decade or so, Jill Clark has created her own unique distortion of North Minneapolis politics by acting as "attorney pro bonehead" to various bad actors.
The "Old Majority" Faction of JACC...
And, right on the bottom of the list where he loves to be, Peter "Spanky Pete" Rickmyer...which is not to imply that's the end of the list.
Clark losing her law license--and it sure looks like that's what's going to happen--represents the defeat of a major enemy of Northside neighborhood revitalization and--as a sort of added bonus, like whipped cream and a cherry on top of the chocolate sundae--a stark and terrible warning to present and future bad actors who think they will go to war against the decent people trying to turn this neighborhood around.