RICO !!!

It's Spring and Lawsuits Are Busting Out All Over

Blind Justice Image 3Just a few short weeks ago, it appeared that the Presidential race and State House elections would dominate political news in Michigan for the rest of the year. Now it appears that courtrooms in Detroit and Lansing will provide compelling political drama as well. Drama which is going to cost Michigan taxpayers a bunch of money.

There have been a number of lawsuits filed over the Flint water fiasco (over 71!), but yesterday a consortium of law firms filed a Federal class action lawsuit on behalf of Flint residents using the 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. This represents a whole new level of legal pain. Civil RICO provides for treble damages when a pattern of racketeering is proven to have occurred over time. It also guarantees the plaintiffs’ lawyers fees, a small fact which assures that civil RICO lawsuits will be pursued with enthusiasm to the bitter end. Conviction applies the stigma of typical previous RICO defendants, such as mobsters and drug kingpins, to a losing defendant. Michigan, at large, is a defendant in this suit. Capisce?

Brenda Lawrence, Ari Kresch

Brenda Lawrence, Ari Kresch

The prime mover behind this RICO suit is one Ari Kresch (P29593) who is best known as the founder of 1 800 Law Firm. He has partnered up with Bern Ripka LLC, the New York law firm which won $ 657.5 million from New York City for the health claims of the 10,000 first responders and cleanup workers at the 9/11 World Trade Center site. Anyone who thinks Michigan can quash this civil RICO suit with a claim of sovereign immunity would be well served to read up on the Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik WTC suit. NYC also thought they were protected by sovereign immunity. Why Counselor Kresch cut Bern Ripka in on the suit.1-800 Law Firm Logo And to cover all the bases, Counselor Kresch brought in an active Social Justice Warrior law firm (which he founded), Excolo Law PLLC.

The 118 page Kresch filing is well worth reading if you really want to understand what went on as the Flint water fiasco played out.Bern Ripka Logo It is a far better executed history of events than anything produced thus far by Michigan’s nitwit journalists. Very readable. You will understand why Governor Snyder hired a really good, very expensive, civil defense attorney on your dime. His personal wealth is on the line here. Cold comfort if the Kresch suit prevails because everyone in Michigan will pay with higher taxes and reduced services.  And we will all be labeled ‘racketeers’.  Dreck!

Yesterday also brought news that former State Representatives Courser and Gamrat filed notice with the Michigan Court of Claims of a lawsuit they will be filing against an array of State House functionaries over the extraordinary events of their ousters. The text of the lawsuit is not yet available, but comments from the plaintiffs’ lawyers suggest that this lawsuit has a real chance of success despite being panned by the usual media ‘legal experts’.

Those legal experts don’t seem to have paid much attention to the actual mechanics of the Courser/Gamrat expulsions. House Speaker Cotter used the House Business Office to do the deed, but under Michigan law and our 1963 Constitution the House Business Office is not empowered to enforce House Rules – the legal basis of the Courser/Gamrat expulsions.  The real basis for their expulsions, of course, was their refractory opposition to Proposal 2015-01.

The House’s Sergeants-At-Arms are exclusively empowered to enforce House Rules under MCL 4.382, Section 2 (2). The House Business Office is not even in the same chain of command. MCL 4.382, Section 2 (2) specifically empowers the House Sergeants-At-Arms “to enforce rules adopted by that house”. Not the House Business Office. The House Business Office answers to The House’s CFO, while Sergeants-At-Arms answer to the House Clerk. Speaker Cotter and his fellow defendants will have some serious dissembling to perform in open court.

The only good news here is the damages being sought by Courser and Gamrat are in the low seven digits. Millions, not the billions being sought by the other lawsuits.  But millions of dollars are still real tax dollars.

Today, Thomas H. Bleakley (P23892) filed a Federal lawsuit on behalf of DPS and EAA students against everyone involved in emergency management of Detroit schools. Interestingly, Counselor Bleakley included the principals who were recently indicted for looting the schools as defendants. More than what our Attorney General has done. Once again, Lansing insiders probably figure that the sovereign immunity doctrine will shield them. Counselor Bleakley will undoubtedly be learning how to pierce this defense from the experts at Bern Ripka, on the fly. It won’t be difficult.

The 102 page Bleakley filing is not a RICO civil action yet, but there is no reason why it won’t become one in the near future. Bleakley filed under the ‘Klan Acts’, 42 USC 1983.  With a claimed plaintiff class of 58,000 DPS and EAA students plus their parents, damages from this suit will be substantial even without the RICO treble multiplier.

We now know what motivated the introduction of Senate Joint Resolution M.  Its going to be a long time before our roads are repaired.  The road money is disappearing fast.  Even Medicaid expansion will be sucking hind tit.

You Betcha! (17)Nuh Uh.(0)

  12 comments for “RICO !!!

  1. JD
    April 7, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Brilliant piece. I have a hard time imagining recent events covered any better.

    I challenge anybody to introduce a realistic budget anytime soon which takes in to account even half of these future liabilities let alone immediate fiscal realities racking up fast now.

    Add billions more in unfunded liabilities long ignored before this Republican majority ignored them even further?

    Stick a fork in us.

    You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(0)
  2. Corinthian Scales
    April 8, 2016 at 5:29 am

    I love it! Bill Schuette just wasted more million$ of dollar$ pursuing his grandstanding little Courser/Gamrat witch hunt.

    Great indictments, Billdo!

    I hope those two break the State's treasury over his dumbshittery.

    And, for Courser and Gamrat, the million$ will be tax free.

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
  3. Sue Schwartz
    April 8, 2016 at 6:43 am

    10x25 thanks again. Ain't this fun. Dontcha just love law. The Gamrat, et al thingy--I think the case correctly lies in federal court not the Court of Claims, which is now the Court of Appeals. Not too impressed with either of their attorneys--definitely civil RICO. Regarding the DPS suit--Yippee, civil RICO--entertainment for the next 16 years or so. Cases like this one, no matter what the merit, will drag and drag--loosing another generation of kids. But the biggie Flint RICO matter, now that's gonna be the most fun of all. The state under no circumstances should be paying to defend all the bad actors in this--I just may add my two-cent$ to make sure this doesn't happen. In fact, I don't think the state should pay one dime because two of the three matters have bad actors committing criminal acts. A class-action within a class-action--more fun! The Gamrat thingy has stupidity and again, at no time should we as taxpayers be paying for any legal fees of any defendants (hence the Court of Claims, which is used solely for suits against the state). But hey, the State takes 45% or so of its budget from the Feds--the Feds have a Court of Claims--just a suggestion. For how these cases will turn out, I suggest reading "A Civil Action" by Jonathan Harr. And, why this week--the State GOP convention in Lansing. Will the Gov show on Saturday--will he be politely received? What about Schutte--I gotta go if only to watch the drama.

    Lastly, witness the collateral damaging when all the manufacturing jobs are gone--instead of educating engineers, scientists, etc., were producing a huge service industry--attorneys.

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
  4. JD
    April 8, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Is it only me...or is there but one decision to make (now) for those that read the above piece in disgust and most every other that has been put forward here of late:

    If well over 10,000 (very) angry protestors can knee-jerk activate the single largest show of force in recent Michigan history...how would 20,000 or more anytime before the election sway local and state elections? If one side is being bought off with these billions to never(?) show up despite having proven that they can (in force) at a moment's notice..what issue will it take for the rest of the state PAYING this hush money to do the same?

    Save what is about to happen in this year's lame duck; there will be no more critical piece of ground in this state than the Capital lawn on a moment's notice. We can expose/complain about these abuses of our bankrupt state all year long as it is raided like a treasure ship forced on the rocks. Yet none of it means a hill of beans to us OR our grandchildren until we all stand face to face on those steps both before AND after November..again.

    And if it doesn't cost a million plus (again) for helicopters or video footage costing over $19,000 to simply hand over? It certainly won't rise to the historic nature of what has PREVENTED citizens from making unmistakable statements on their own hallowed ground since.

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
  5. Corinthian Scales
    April 8, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Boy howdy! Looks like someone ^ forgot to take their Namenda this morning...

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • JD
      April 8, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      You evidently had to be there in 2012 during Right To Work (all 3 days) to understand the end result and its place in Michigan representative history to date.
      Proposed "change" performed behind country club walls (for how many years now?) is somewhat different than lying under a tent staring down enraged lunatics trying hard to get a piece of you and horses already sent to trample over the entire mess.

      What will happen both before and after this election is the story of Right To Work (history) repeating itself during the exact same election cycle. The only difference for 'conservatives' this time around?..nobody cares enough to even so much as 'debate' our fast upcoming (sad) reality save at "VIP" closed-door events at $50 a pop.

      We'll see what happens very soon and how our children will compare and contrast the two most important periods in Michigan history involving their future aspirations or any willingness to show them the way forward.

      You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
      • Corinthian Scales
        April 8, 2016 at 12:51 pm

        Still wailing about 4 years ago? You're right - nobody gives a shit - it's done. Move on. No, not onto whining about a handful of schmucks shaking down cucks for fifty bucks, either.

        You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(1)
  6. JD
    April 8, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Corinthian Scales
    April 8, 2016 at 7:46 am
    "..Boy howdy! Looks like someone ^ forgot to take their Namenda this morning..."

    Isn't that the exact same strategy that a sitting Michigan Senator employed to discredit a fellow patriot who (frankly) "I" couldn't even so much as hold a candle to? At least the Michigan Legislature has (cough) "strict rules of conduct" which may or may not have elicited an apology after the entire state came to her defense:

    https://www.scribd.com/doc/74856972/Formal-ethics-complaint-against-Senator-Jones

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Corinthian Scales
      April 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Strategy? Do you mean identifying you as a habitual whiny little bitch? If that's what you mean, well, then ya, call it whatever floats your boat. As far a Joan and, Jones go - they're bookends. One is an irritating grating twat who lives for recognition of attaboys, the other runs an ignored blog.

      You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(1)
  7. 10x25MM
    April 15, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Radio Moscow was the first MSM outlet to cover the Flint legal festival in a story yesterday by Steve Carmody:

    ....Marc Bern is a New York City lawyer, who’s already signed up more than 400 plaintiffs in his suit. It accuses the governor and others of racketeering.

    Bern helped win nearly a billion dollars for thousands of Ground Zero workers who fell ill after cleaning up the site of the 9/11 attack.

    “But you know what? That pales today with respect to what is happening here in Flint," Bern told reporters when he announced his Flint water class-action lawsuit.

    Bern and other lawyers are chasing what they hope will be big settlements.

    They’re taking cases on contingency.

    If their clients win, the lawyers get a percentage of the settlement or judgment.....

    One thing most lawyers here agree on is that resolving these lawsuits could take years. Perhaps more than a decade. That would mean Flint children who drank lead-tainted tap water when they were in the first grade might be set to graduate from high school by the time the legal wrangling is done.

    All the rest of the MSM outlets are doing an ostrich, along with our entire state government. Someone needs to hire Ken Feinberg and establish a settlement fund before this gets real expensive.

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)

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