The (Johnnie) Cochran Firm tricked our family as wrongful death attorneys for my handicapped brother, Larry Neal, and I request your advice on what to do about it.
Larry was a mentally and physically handicapped man who was arrested repeatedly on misdemeanor offenses following mental hospital release in the 1970's. He had basically been an inpatient since before puberty. Apparently, Memphis Shelby County Jail was weary of the enforced role as psychiatric caretaker for Larry. Police arrested Larry and denied having him in custody for 18 days while he missed his prescription heart drugs and died. If more was done to kill Larry, his family does not know.
For six years, we have been denied any records or accountability related to his secret arrest and death. After Larry's death, an elaborate cover-up ensued that was facilitated by The Cochran Firm. Despite two lawsuits against The Cochran Firm, Larry's family has no records or explanations about his demise. First The Cochran Firm, which pretended to conduct discovery for us, did not actually seek the records. Later when we recognized the fraud and subpoenaed Larry's records, the federal subpoena was not honored.
POLL: Should Larry Neal's Family Sue for the Cochran Firm Fraud Again?
It is a question to consider carefully. As you can see from the photograph above, those are many wealthy and powerful people who used their position as Larry Neal's wrongul death attorneys to prevent my family from suing Shelby County Jail. Unethical behavior is sometimes a companion to criminal conduct. After serving suit, I started being followed and notified 2,000 people on my email list after one particularly horrifying experience that was witnessed by the guard who walked me to my car. Since Cochran Firm attorneys were on my mailing list, they also got my notice. Cochran Firm attorney Angela Mason complained to United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia that I accused Cochran Firm attorneys of hiring a Caucasian man in a white vehicle to follow and harass me. Of course, I had accused no one. But more importantly, I had not revealed in my email the color of the vehicle that followed me most often, and neither had I ever told anyone. How did Angela Mason know what color it was?
The day after Larry's funeral services, my 80-year-old mother and I went to The Cochran Firm office in Memphis on an appointment that had been facilitated by The Cochran Firm's Atlanta office. We had assurance that the two offices - Atlanta where my mother and I lived and Memphis where Larry died - would work together to bring a lawsuit against the jail and other parties because of Larry's negligence and wrongful death. The statute of limitations in Tennessee is only 12 months for such cases.
The Cochran Firm held our lawsuits inactive for 10.5 months and lied to my family about work that was NOT being done. The firm thereby defrauded us of the opportunity to sue the jail. Six weeks was inadequate time to find another attorney, hold interview and contract meetings, and that attorney research and file three lawsuits, two of which were meant to be filed against government entities (the jail for wrongful death, the State of Tennessee and Larry's final care home for negligence). The jail was to be sued because officers there repeatedly lied during Larry's incarceration for nearly three weeks in order that Larry would miss his heart medications and die. Larry's death removed him from being a continuing burden to police, which was not Larry's fault. The State of Tennessee, of which Larry was a ward, refused to readmit him as an inpatient. This refusal happens to many families in America, with authorities saying that the acute mental patients do not present an immediate danger to themselves and others and cannot be hospitalized. Tragedies often result from the denial of inpatient services.
The Cochran Firm did not inform Larry's family that Julian Bolton, a long-standing Shelby County Commissioner, was manager of The Cochran Firm's Memphis office, although the Shelby County Commission owns and operates the jail we sought to sue. The Cochran Firm did not lift a finger to actually honor its contract with my 80-year-old grieving mother for nearly a year, but merely used its position as our wrongful death attorneys to protect the jail while the one-year statute of limitations ticked away.
Because the unscrupulous lawyers protected Shelby County Jail, our intended defendants, from lawsuit, we sued The Cochran Firm for its fraud. Suit was served to the firm's Atlanta office, the office we contacted on August 1, 2003. That was the day when Shelby County Jail reported Larry's death and admitted Larry was secretly incarcerated there during the entire time his social worker and family searched for him as a missing person. (No wonder police did nothing to help find the 54-year-old mentally ill man who needed heart meds for survival - they already knew exactly where Larry was!)
The Cochran Firm had no defense for what it did. Seeking to avoid paying justified damages to the Neals and avoid public exposure in court, The Cochran Firm's Atlanta office where our lawsuit was served simply denied being related to The Cochran Firm in any way whatsoever. Furthermore, it denied having any association with The Memphis office of The Cochran Firm. Instead, the Atlanta law office claimed to be a firm called Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith & Sistrunk, P.C. (CCGSS), wholly owned and operated in the State of Georgia, and disclaiming all connections to The Cochran Firm. The firm is so wealthy and well-connected that it was comfortable in this perjury.
No attempt was made to stop commercials for the Atlanta law office that ran every five minutes on Atlanta MARTA trains. No attempt was made to discontinue ads on television, in newspapers, on billboards, on the Internet with legal search engines or even the firm's own website! Why bother to cover perjury when a wealthy firm can simply disclaim that it even exists while continuing to operate in Georgia under its public identity, and a judge will declare it so? That is exactly what happened. In May 2006, Georgia Superior Court declared the most famous and widely advertised law firm in the state non-existent under its advertised identity and dismissed the Neals' lawsuit.
THE COCHRAN FIRM FRAUD MADE ME SICK - LITERALLY
After our case was dismissed with the court ruling that the Cochran Firm office we served suit to did not exist, I was physically ill every morning riding Atlanta MARTA train to work and having to watch the commercial of Johnnie Cochran fading into the background and the firm he left behind assuring commuters that it would carry on in his tradition and giving the address to the NONEXISTENT Atlanta office. I was so hurt over the fraud that I had to give up the train and television, where more Atlanta Cochran Firm office commercials played every five minutes it seemed. When I still felt frustrated and sick, I also had to give up being a litigation secretary. I could not continue to process other people's justice quests when my 82-year-old mother and my family had been so horribly betrayed. Reality hit and I had to return to work, but I soon sued again. Since the frauds did not exist as The Cochran Firm in Georgia, we sued in USDC under the diversity rule, which requires that plaintiffs and defendants not co-exist within the same state. I expected someone to say, "NO," but the fraud continued.
My mother's distress is naturally induced by losing her "special" child under mysterious circumstances under secret arrest and the jail having lied to us repeatedly for weeks while Larry was dying in government custody. That hurts me also, but that is not the loss that hurts me as much as recognizing that I do not count. I cannot have equal justice. I am not included in "liberty and justice for ALL." I loved America - watched Yankee Doodle Dandy every 4th of July. I thought I was a citizen. I thought my family - taxpayers, some military men, voters - counted. We don't. We are too black, too poor, and to top it off, Larry was mentally ill and therefore expendable. In fact, federal court even told us that everything that was done to us was "immaterial," presumably because we are deemed to be immaterial ourselves. Knowing the truth about how little we mattered in America hurts me more than losing Larry did. I researched and discovered something that surprised me. I am not the only one who does not count.
Since learning that plenty of Americans, including African Americans, poor and working-class Caucasians, Latinos, and Native Americans are dogged out in the "justice" system like the Neals, I became a human rights activist. I work to help more people to COUNT in America - people like Troy Davis, a fellow Georgian who must rely on the same courts we did. He is also a black man who is not wealthy, and I feel so sorry for him. I especially advocate for the 1.25 million mentally ill inmates in this country who are imprisoned like Larry was for reason of a common, treatable health condition. Sick people should be in hospitals or in community care, depending on their offenses, but never imprisoned, abused, or killed. But mental illness in America is often answered with imprisonment, homelessness, gross abuses, and sometimes death. See more about my advocacy at the subtitle below, Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill. Help if you can. There are many Larrys living behind bars who need us. They are male, female, black, white, and other - 1.25 million of them.
KATHRYN JOHNSTON CASE - MORE FRAUD?
Six months after Georgia Superior Court dismissed our justified lawsuit against The Cochran Firm by disclaiming that it had been served to a Cochran Firm office, Kathryn Johnston was killed in the worst no-knock warrant case in history. The Cochran Firm signed contract with her survivors to sue Atlanta Police for killing the 92-year-old African American in pre-dawn hours in her own home. Her family has yet to recover damages in the lawsuit that The Cochran Firm supposedly filed for them wherein the lawyers reportedly alleged "negligence," not "wrongful death," although three police officers went to prison for her murder. It appears that unethical law firms and others are coming against citizens to minimize or eliminate damages that should be paid after abuses of power by police and perhaps infractions by businesses and others that are in the "hook-up." The Cochran Firm has now expanded its legal "services" to the Latino community.
GREATER IS HE THAT IS WITHIN ME THAN HE THAT IS WITHIN THE WORLD
The Cochran Firm's Atlanta office had itself declared nonexistent by using a name that was not even registered in the State of Georgia (CCGSS, P.C.). The Neals sued The Cochran Firm's home office, the Memphis office, and David McLaughlin, our assigned attorney, in United States District Court under the diversity rule. The diversity rule cannot be used where plaintiffs and defendants reside within the same state. The USDC judge declared that The Cochran Firm's fraud, malpractice, and perjury in court were all "immaterial," probably because that is how the court saw Larry and his survivors. Again, the Neals' case was dismissed right before it was time to take it before a jury.
The representation that there is no Cochran Firm office in Georgia was brought before the court by The Cochran Firm's attorneys, Carlock, Copeland, Semlar & Star. It is my understanding that attorneys are officers of the court and should not knowingly misrepresent evidence even for high-paying clients.
Much more happened in this drama, and those who are interested in more information are invited to read from my 173 articles at http://NowPublic.com/duo. One might also browse online for THE COCHRAN FIRM FRAUD, and visit our website's DOCUMENTS tab at http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/ - The website was last updated in February 2008. It will be updated to include the culmination of the USDC court case and other information. I do not open our website from our home computer because of the horrible cyberstalking that we endure, but we will have a trustworthy professional to do the updates very soon.
Whereas mainstream media does not report news of my brother's death and the ensuing Cochran Firm Fraud, much has been published on the Internet. I am perplexed about a wealthy celebrity law firm choosing to have its reputation ruined to protect one settlement that is more than warranted and could easily be covered by malpractice insurance or the proceeds from just one lawsuit. It is comparable to a successful restaurateur losing the confidence of most of his customers who overhear him arguing with one woman complaining about a roach in her plate. I believe that attorneys are smarter and more reasonable than that, especially David McLaughlin, who enjoys the designation of being a Super Lawyer.
WHAT MIGHT IT MEAN?
Since I cannot understand a law firm giving up its reputation when trust is the main necessity between lawyers and clients, I pay close attention to H.R. 645. That congressional bill was introduced in January by Florida representative Alcee Hastings. It proposes six concentration camps (FEMA centers) to be erected within America capable of warehousing millions of people. I follow news about enforced H1N1 vaccines and wonder what is in the needles. The Government and drug manufacturers have already absolved themselves of any responsibility for deaths and sickness the vaccines cause. I wonder why any wealthy, successful law firm would allow its name to fall from grace to this extent unless the elitist, well-connected partners know something about the future of law practice in America that the public does not know. Martial Law virtually cancels the laws we supposedly adhere to in America.
ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL (AIMI)
The last few years have been frightening but rewarding for me. Hundreds of thousands of other people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and various other acute problems were released from inpatient care around the time Larry was. Many patients fare well in society despite mental dysfunctions. Others suffer from a condition called "anosognosia," which makes it difficult for them to recognize their own illness and seek or accept treatment. Larry often avoided taking his psychiatric drugs in part because he felt he did not need them once he was stabilized after a psychotic episode, and in part because of side-effects. Even when unmedicated, Larry was non-violent. Larry suffered mumps at age eight, and the swelling and fever were quite intense. His jaws went down suddenly in just hours, and he was never the same mentally. The belief is that the infection from his jaws went into his brain. When untreated, Larry would often talk or sing too loud, have hallucinations, spend hours reciting historic speeches and Bible verses, and generally disconnect from reality. His loud reciting and singing was perceived as disturbing the peace.
After Larry's tragic death, we founded an online advocacy organization called ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL (AIMI). AIMI works to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and decriminalize the common, treatable health condition. Some AIMI members have mentally challenged loved ones, and some are mentally or emotionally challenged themselves. However, most of AIMI's 200+ members have no immediate connection with mental illness themselves or through family members. They are simply people who care about promoting human and civil rights and feel that incarceration is the inappropriate response to mental illness in the 21st century.
AIMI believes the nation's 1.25 million mentally dysfunctional inmates should be in hospitals or community treatment, depending on their offenses. Our advocacy helps remove the stigma and encourages lawmakers to support alternatives to incarcerating mental patients. H.R. 619 seems to be the best alternative to restore the availability of inpatient care, and we solute Rep. Eddie Johnson for proposing to reinstate Medicaid insurance for inpatient mental health treatment. Additionally, Congress passed a number of important laws to benefit the mentally ill during the two years AIMI has been in existence. We hope our voices helped effect positive changes when joined with those of many other fine mental health organizations and dedicated, effective prisoner support groups. Larry did not die in vain.
Thanks for your attention and participation in the poll. Please send our link to this blog to your friends and groups so we will have plenty of good advice. http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/ - I am going now to see why the curb at my house has been outlined with a foot of blue paint about the size of vehicle license plate - one before and after our property line - and no other homes in my immediate area have this (aerial?) marking. If that seems paranoid, you may not have not watched my Cochran Firm Fraud 1 and 2 videos on YouTube or reviewed the affidavits from others who witnessed a few of my stalking events over the past two years, which are in our USDC file. Check online for Neals vs. The Cochran Firm, and get a free Pacer account to see the documents. Also, please view The Cochran Firm Atlanta office commercial at the link below. It was released just over a week after USDC dismissed our lawsuit that was filed under the diversity rule, requiring that plaintiffs and defendants residing in different states. It appears the lawyers are tired of lying about their identity. What next? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlcolpUzckU
Thanks for your interest.
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill