[Chat] No good deed goes unpunished

Stephen J Gewirtz gewirtz at bellatlantic.net
Sat Jun 20 13:24:04 EDT 2009


It occurs to me that a good person to contact is:
> *Terrell Warren*
> 410-878-8186
> 5800 Wabash Avenue
> Baltimore, MD 21215
She is the community liaison for Northern District in the State's 
Attorney's office.  I have no doubt that she will be very interested in 
the efforts to intimidate a potential witness, and she can put you in 
touch with the right person in the State's Attorney's office.

Also, I have read or seen on tv that there are cases of people serving 
very long sentences in prison who have nothing better to do than to file 
lots of groundless lawsuits, e.g. against the jurors who have convicted 
them.  Such lawsuits are always thrown out, but they nonetheless 
constitute a nuisance for the jurors who are forced to respond.  Do not 
let them intimidate you.


Stephen J Gewirtz wrote:
> Kevin,
> Years ago, I read that someone in NY had been convicted of the common 
> law crime of barratry (the bringing of 2 or more groundless suits at 
> common law).  I do not know whether barratry is a crime under Maryland 
> common or statute law, but this state makes a lot more use of common 
> law than just about any other state.  You can easily research online 
> any Maryland court cases involving the lawyer who has threatened to 
> sue you as well as the person who poured gasoline, and if you find 
> something that suggests that either has committed barratry, you may 
> want to contact the office of the State's Attorney and possibly the 
> Attorney Grievance Commission.
> Here is a link to research Maryland court cases involving both the 
> lawyer and the person who poured the gasoline:
> http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp
> I just looked, and there are 467 cases listed involving the lawyer.  
> The first page of them contains cases in which he was the attorney, 
> and that may be true of all of the rest of them.  Take a good look at 
> the cases (and that will take quite a bit of time).
> In any case, since what you reported to the police was accurate, and 
> since it was the police who turned it into an attempted arson charge, 
> I cannot imaging that a judge would not dismiss any lawsuit against 
> you.  And I would hope that the lawyer and/or the plaintiff in the 
> lawsuit would be risking a charge of barratry if either has brought 
> other groundless suits.
> Also, I would second the suggestion of calling the Sun and the TV 
> stations.  Some publicity would probably be devastating for those who 
> are apparently attempting to abuse the law here.
> As I think about it, it may be the case that the lawyer sees you as a 
> likely witness in a criminal case against his client and is hoping to 
> intimidate you into not testifying, possibly as part of a deal to drop 
> the lawsuit.
> Steve.
> regina ARMENTA wrote:
>> Wow!  I can't imagine that this could happen to someone for calling the police.  I would suggest contacting the news papers and the CV association. 
>> Regina Armenta
>> www.yogaonwheels.org
>> --- On Fri, 6/19/09, Kevin Zeese <kzeese at earthlink.net> wrote:
>>> From: Kevin Zeese <kzeese at earthlink.net>
>>> Subject: [Chat] No good deed goes unpunished
>>> To: "'Charles Village Discussion List'" <discussion at charlesvillage.info>, "Charles Village Chat" <chat at charlesvillage.info>
>>> Date: Friday, June 19, 2009, 3:23 PM
>>> Your
>>> suggestions are welcome on 
>>> the situation below.
>>> Last
>>> September we saw someone 
>>> walk across the alley behind Calvert to the St. Paul side
>>> and pour gasoline over 
>>> the door of a garage.  We could smell the gasoline
>>> from our house, about 
>>> five doors down, and then a person with us went up to it
>>> and confirmed that it 
>>> was in fact gasoline.
>>> We thought this was bizarre and did 
>>> not know what to do. 
>>> We did not know the 
>>> persons intent but were concerned that if there was a fire
>>> it could affect the 
>>> whole block of row houses.  If a neighbor had seen
>>> someone do this to our 
>>> house or the house next door we'd want them to call the
>>> police, so we 
>>> did.
>>> The
>>> police sent out the arson
>>> squad.  We never accused 
>>> anyone of arson but did report the pouring of
>>> gasoline.
>>> Recently we found out that the 
>>> individual was arrested and held over in jail for three
>>> days, paying a $1,000 
>>> bond to get out.  The police wanted to charge him with
>>> attempted arson but 
>>> the prosecutors felt they could not prove it.  The
>>> police/prosecutor never 
>>> called us to discuss whether there was anything more than
>>> gasoline being 
>>> poured.   
>>> We
>>> received a letter from a 
>>> lawyer, Howard Schulman, threatening to sue us for
>>> defamation because we 
>>> accused his client of attempted arson.  In the letter
>>> the lawyer 
>>> acknowledged that his client did indeed pour gasoline in
>>> the alley.  He 
>>> claimed it was to kill rats.  Pouring gasoline and
>>> other chemicals in the 
>>> ally is itself illegal.
>>> We
>>> wrote back saying that the 
>>> lawyer had the facts wrong and we did not accuse anyone of
>>> attempted arson, 
>>> merely that he poured gasoline on a neighbors garage --
>>> something the lawyer 
>>> admitted.
>>> The
>>> lawyer wrote back with a 
>>> draft complaint continuing his threat to sue and telling us
>>> to have our lawyer 
>>> or insurance company call him.
>>> We
>>> contacted our insurance 
>>> company which initially said they would cover this, but now
>>> say they do 
>>> not.  They say they talked to the lawyer and that he
>>> does intend to 
>>> sue.  He suggests we get a
>>> lawyer.
>>> Of course, getting a lawyer would probably
>>> cost more than 
>>> settling the case but we do not want to settle a false
>>> claim or hire a
>>> lawyer.
>>> We see
>>> this as a legal stick-up 
>>> -- the type of thing that will discourage others from
>>> calling the police when 
>>> they see a crime.
>>> Any
>>> suggestions?  Any 
>>> lawyers or others with experience with
>>> this?
>>> Thanks.
>>> KZ 
>>> -----Inline Attachment Follows-----
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