Saturday, September 26, 2015

Amicus Letter re Cochran Firm Fraud to Ninth Circuit Court

Mary Neal

Via Facsimile
Via U.S. Mail

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States District Court
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

            Re:       Amicus Letter in re:
THE COCHRAN FIRM, P.C., an Alabama corporation, Plaintiff-counter-defendant - Appellee, v. THE COCHRAN FIRM LOS ANGELES, LLP, a California Limited Liability Partnership, Defendant, and RANDY H. MCMURRAY, P.C., a California professional corporation; RANDY H. MCMURRAY, individually, Defendants-counter-claimants - Appellants. No. 13-55502 D.C. No. 2:12-cv-05868-SJOMRW

Dear Honorable Judges:

I.  The Cochran Firm has filed an appeal of the Order issued by United States District Court, Central District of California (“ CA USDC”). USDC ruled on May12, 2015, that neither The Cochran Firm nor any of its district offices meet the criterion to be called “a law firm.” The Cochran Firm is a court-declared fraud. The paragraphs in this letter are numbered because of hackers having stolen parts of articles written on this matter numerous times in the past. This letter has thirty-one(31) numbered paragraphs.

II.  The Cochran Firm came before this honorable court to appeal CA USDC’s Order, although The Cochran Firm offices put forward that exact defense in other courts to avoid liability after breaching the Code of Professional Responsibility. Various Cochran Firm offices and the so-called headquarters office in Alabama ordinarily disclaim association with each other, especially when former clients sue or threaten to sue for fraud, malpractice, breach of contract, and racism. The Cochran Firm is “a single law firm” nowhere except in its false advertising and press releases. The partners misuse Johnnie Cochran’s name to attract consumers who contract with The Cochran Firm frauds for legal services, but what many of the clients actually get is a case of Legal Abuse Syndrome.

III.  Please accept this as my amicus letter regarding The Cochran Firm’s appeal of USDC’s righteous Order. Many former clients and attorneys of The Cochran Firm have levied allegations of racism, fraud, and deliberate malpractice against the firm, and their continuing operation as “a national law firm” is a threat to justice for many other legal consumers, particularly African Americans. I am a former and future plaintiff against The Cochran Firm partners, who defrauded my elderly mother and myself to rescue police and others who were to be our defendants in a wrongful death and two negligence civil actions regarding my mentally, physically disabled brother, Larry Neal. The advertised Cochran Firm office in Memphis, Tennessee contracted with my mother in an undisclosed conflict of interest, then proceeded to withhold legal services while the Tennessee statute of limitations passed.

IV.  This letter has five(5) sections after the initial three numbered paragraphs:
1.  Hattie and Mary Neal vs. The Cochran Firm
2.  Judy Nashville’s Allegations Against The Cochran Firm
3.  Christopher Tucker vs. The Cochran Firm
4.  Summary
5.  Nine(9) Links to Verifying Testimony and Documentation

V.  Whereas the cases discussed herein entail The Cochran Firm’s identity crisis, which is the subject of the legal action before this honorable Court, the list of defrauded former clients of The Cochran Firm is actually much longer. See a partial list of parties with whom I have had contact about The Cochran Firm’s frauds against them, including some who filed lawsuits against the frauds, at an online article at link 9 to this letter, which is called, “Beware of Treacherous Lawyers: The Cochran Firm.” 

VI.  HATTIE NEAL and MARY NEAL vs. THE COCHRAN FIRM – Plaintiffs’ initial contact with The Cochran Firm was with the law office in Atlanta, which identifies itself (when it suits the firm to do so) as being The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office. Other times, it called itself Cochran Cherry Givens Smith & Sistrunk, PC, CCGSS, P.C. or CCGSS, LLC. This office made an appointment for our contract-signing in the advertised Cochran Firm’s Memphis office the day following Larry’s funeral. We did not have long-distance phone service in 2003, so the Atlanta office made all arrangements for us. The Atlanta office assured us that the Atlanta office and Memphis office of The Cochran Firm would work together to bring justice on our behalf and that they had the entire resources of The Cochran Firm at their disposal.

VII.  Lawyers and staff in both the Atlanta and the Memphis office indicated to us that they would work in unison to bring justice regarding the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal before signing contract. The Neals were falsely led to believe (through U.S. Mail fraud) that The Cochran Firm was pursuing a vigorous investigation and preparing three civil action lawsuits related to Larry Neal’s secret arrest and wrongful death: Shelby County Jail in Memphis for wrongful death, the State of Tennessee for negligence, and another negligence action against Larry’s final care home. In fact, we expressly assured that during “periods of silence” by the firm, the firm was diligently working on the cases.

VIII.  As one who has a lengthy background working in the legal field, I had no clue that a concern presenting itself nationally and internationally as being a professional corporation or limited liability corporation would or could go to court and disclaim any association with other offices that are also presented to the public as being within that same corporation. When we sued The Cochran Firm for fraud and malpractice, that is exactly what happened regarding “Hattie Neal and Mary Neal vs. The Cochan Firm,” Ga. Sup. Ct., CA File 2005CV104215 (2005).

IX.  The Atlanta office answered the Neals’ lawsuit and claimed that our lawsuit was wrongly served to that law office. It claimed that CCGSS was in no way related to The Cochran Firm headquarters in Alabama or to the Memphis office of The Cochran Firm. In fact, CCGSS claimed being wholly owned and operated in Georgia. The farce continued when the Neals sued again in 2007 for malpractice and fraud in United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, under the diversity rule. The diversity rule requires that plaintiffs and defendants have different state residences. Furthermore, examination of Secretary of States’ records later disclosed that CCGSS was actually not wholly owned and operated in the State of Georgia. In fact, the law office was not registered in Georgia at all under that name. Neither was it listed as a company “doing business as.” CCGSS was registered by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office using the same address as the Memphis Cochran Firm office, which CCGSS disclaimed being affiliated with before the court. That was a fraud on the courts in Georgia.

X.  Legal Abuse Syndrome has very negative effects on one’s physical health and emotional state. It was so surprising and disappointing when Judge Wendy Shoob dismissed the Neals’ righteous lawsuit based on CCGSS’s perjury that I became physically ill. Every morning I used MARTA to ride to work where I helped other people get justice, and I was forced to watch commercials for The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office on the MARTA train en route. The commercials began with a huge photo of Johnnie Cochran smiling. It was superimposed over a video of The Atlanta Cochran Firm’s lawyers and staff sitting around a conference table. Johnnie Cochran’s photo would slowly fade and leave those frauds at the table issuing promises that although Cochran had died, his vision and dedication to deliver superb legal services to “the common man” remained the objective of The Cochran Firm. Millions of commuters were subjected to those lies every six to ten minutes on MARTA, and my blood pressure rose to 200 over 110. I had to quit working for a period of time.

XI.  The MARTA train passed billboards as big as houses advertising The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office operating at the same address where the court had ruled my lawsuit was “wrongly served.” The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office’s advertising sponsored college games on television and ran commercials on other TV shows. It had full-page ads in phone books, and Atlanta was listed first on The Cochran Firm’s alphabetical list of its offices on its website. The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office advertises heavily in legal journals and periodicals, which were abundant in the law offices where I worked, and was given awards for “outstanding legal services.” That is why I stopped working, stopped taking newspapers, and stopped watching television. After MARTA removed the ads, which CCGSS itself had labeled false in Georgia Superior Court, I was able to resume working, although my Legal Abuse Syndrome remains.

XII.  After my mother and I sued The Cochran Firm frauds in United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia in 2007 (Judge Timothy Batten presiding) (“GA USDC”), we experienced surveillance: being followed in-person and online, telephone takeovers, police harassment, and computer hacking. None of these offenses were investigated by law enforcement although I have ample proof of all allegations and filed police reports, complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice, and notified GA USDC about the violations of U.S. Code 242.  Judge Batten also dismissed our righteous lawsuit, saying that The Cochran Firm’s fraud against the Neals was “immaterial.” It was ruled immaterial that The Cochran Firm contracted with the Neals without revealing that its managing partner in the Memphis office, where the Neals signed contract, was himself a Shelby County commissioner. The Shelby County Commission owns and operates the jail where Larry Neal died. Judge Batten ruled immaterial that The Cochran Firm lied in its status report to the Neals about civil action cases which were secretly nonexistent while the statute of limitations passed. Judge Batten ruled it immaterial that a family had been defrauded of the opportunity to file wrongful death and negligence lawsuits timely due to fraud, breach of contract and deliberate legal malpractice by The Cochran Firm.

XIII.  I was surprised that GA USDC accepted the case filed under the diversity rule with The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office clearly visible from the courthouse’s upper level windows and its lawyers representing other clients in GA USDC. I began to believe courts were under orders by Washington to allow frauds by The Cochran Firm against African American legal consumers after deaths and catastrophic injuries caused by police officers and big businesses. I believe media companies are under orders not to report that The Cochran Firm disclaims being “a single law firm” when it gets sued by former clients who the firm defrauded and to censor negative news about The Cochran Firm, such as the fact that CA USDC ruled that it is “not a law firm.” It is interesting that in Tennessee’s 2007 records, “The Cochran Firm” was also registered at the Secretary of State’s office as being a pseudo name. These facts and the gross negligence of courts and state bars to hold The Cochran Firm responsible to the Rules of Professional Conduct led me to believe that The Cochran Firm is a modern CoIntelPro operation against African Americans. The U.S. Government refuses to release documents about the 18 days of secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal, which is the case that The Cochran Firm kept out of court by its fraud and subterfuge. The United States Department of Justice answered a Freedom of Information Act request I filed about Neal’s death by saying records were not released because his arrest and death are “matters of national security.”

XIV.  Because it seemed likely that The Cochran Firm had defrauded other African Americans, and I set out to find them despite continuous destruction of my computer equipment, intimidation by police, and telephone takeovers. The number of lawsuits and complaints I found over the years levied by similarly defrauded former clients and former lawyers of The Cochran Firm was staggering, and I doubt if my list is complete. Continuous attacks against my free speech and freedom of press impede communication with persons who try to contact me by phone or email or during my radio broadcasts. See plenty of examples in “Justice Gagged,” a Blogger blog, and conduct a Google search for “Mary Neal Cochran Firm Fraud.”

XV.  Both of my lawsuits against The Cochran Firm were pro se. It is challenging to find lawyers who will represent clients in lawsuits against The Cochran Firm. I interviewed with many lawyers, some of whom could not take the case because to do so would constitute conflicts of interest. Johnnie Cochran’s name is/was such a draw for black legal consumers that The Cochran Firm subcontracts some of its cases to other law firms. One lawyer was completely exasperated when he investigated The Cochran Firm’s fraud against my family, but he declined the case, also. He said that The Cochran Firm was obviously “too well-connected to fall” if it could get judges to disclaim its existence while lawyers from that firm presents other cases before those very courts, and if state bar associations and consumer protection agencies refused to stop the fraud, and if media companies refused to report lawsuits against the firm. He told me that when he discussed the prospect of representing me with his partners, they declined, believing that exposing the apparent collusion to deny the Neals’ due process of law rights would harm the lawyers’ chances of ever running for political offices or securing judgeships.

XVI.  Most the allegations and lawsuits against The Cochran Firm that I found did not address The Cochran Firm’s identity confusion, but some had that element. See summaries below for two more such cases: “Judy Nashville vs. St. Louis” and “Christopher Tucker vs. The Cochran Firm.” The information about these cases was relayed to me by the former clients who complained. Their oral testimony is also below under “Nine Links to Verifying Online Testimony and Documentation.”

XVII.  JUDY NASHVILLE’S ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE COCHRAN FIRM  Judy Nashville was the mother of Stanley Parker, 17, a St. Louis youth who walking home with his brother and friends when they were accosted and shot at by a police officer. Stanley was killed. The police officer was not driving a police vehicle and never identified himself as being with law enforcement. The car drove toward the boys so fast that they feared it was driven by gang members and ran into an alley. The policeman exited his car and hid behind a dumpster until the boys emerged, then opened fire. He fired nine bullets, and fatally shot Stanley in his back.

XVIII.  Nashville initially hired another lawyer to handle her son’s wrongful death case, but that attorney started experiencing intimidation after filing Nashville’s lawsuit. When the attorney’s office was burglarized, Nashville's initial attorney lost his nerve and withdrew from representing Stanley Parker’s wrongful death case. Next, Nashville hired The Cochran Firm, and Rodney Holmes, Esq. represented her. Holmes never took depositions or subpoenaed witnesses to prepare for trial in this death-by-police case. On the trial date, Holmes was a no-show. He later told Nashville that he had inadequate money to continue her representation. Holmes said that his was just a small law office and that he had mortgaged his home to keep it operational, which caused tension with his wife. He indicated that being a Cochran Firm office was purely for advertising purposes. Nashville had Legal Abuse Syndrome by that time, and she did nothing about having been defrauded by The Cochran Firm and Holmes; however, she plans to join other former clients in a RICO Act Racketeering lawsuit.

XIX.  Nashville and the Neals believed The Cochran Firm was one law firm with different offices throughout the country just as the firm presents, but Holmes said that perception was purely for advertising purposes. Each office of The Cochran Firm actually operates separately except for using the name “The Cochran Firm,” and Holmes’ claimed his small law office was undergoing too much financial distress to continue representing Nashville. Ironically, Holmes did not reveal any of this until he failed to appear on Nashville's court date in Stanley Parker’s wrongful death case, which benefited police.

XX.  CHRISTOPHER TUCKER vs. THE COCHRAN FIRM – Christopher Tucker’s vehicle was stopped by Oklahoma City Police officers one night, and he brutally beaten and Tasered repeatedly by police officers. As often happens in police brutality incidents, Tucker was charged with resisting arrest and incarcerated. Tucker said that although he had no warrants and no reason to be arrested, he fully complied with police instructions and lay on the ground but was continually punched, kicked, and Tasered. Tucker works as an armed security agent and had a clean criminal background before his arrest.

XXI.  Tucker contracted with The Cochran Firm to represent him against the resisting arrest charge. Tucker believed police had charged him to excuse their own misconduct. Tucker paid The Cochran Firm over $12,000 to represent him, believing he was contracting with a highly effective law firm. Tucker realized that exoneration regarding his criminal charge was important to winning his personal injury lawsuit against Oklahoma City Police Department regarding his complaint about police brutality.

XXII.  The intake interview, contract signing, etc., between Tucker and The Cochran Firm resulted through telephone calls, emails, and facsimile transmissions. Tucker’s Cochran Firm attorney flew into Oklahoma City on Tucker’s day in court and seemed inebriated to Tucker and his sister. The lawyer carried no briefcase or folder and had none of the documents about Tucker’s case which Tucker had submitted to The Cochran Firm. Tucker and the lawyer were met in court by a local attorney who The Cochran Firm had paid $500. The local lawyer was then informed by The Cochran Firm lawyer that he would represent Tucker. This switch happened because The Cochran Firm lawyer was not actually licensed to practice law in Oklahoma. The local lawyer had zero time to prepare for court. Tucker was found guilty and feels he had ineffectual counsel.

XXIII.  Tucker’s reputation and physical health were compromised in his violent police encounter. He now has a criminal record, which negatively impacts his potential for advancement on his job. He had operations after the police incident, and doctors plan another operation on his shoulder. His back is in continuous pain, and it sometimes has muscular spasms. Yet Tucker lost his case against police because The Cochran Firm seemed determined to cause him to lose his criminal case and benefit police.

XXIV.  Tucker sued The Cochran Firm for malpractice, and the case is in litigation now.  The Cochran Firm tried to have the case moved to California, but jurisdiction is proper in Oklahoma. Tucker discovered that although The Cochran Firm is advertised in Oklahoma City, there was apparently no law office for the firm within Oklahoma and The Cochran Firm had no lawyers registered with the court where Tucker’s case was tried. This is another example of The Cochran Firm harming legal consumers by falsely advertising itself as a “national law firm.”

XXV.  SUMMARY – CA USDC rightly issued an order on May 12, 2015, affirming that neither The Cochran Firm nor any of its district offices does meet the criterion to be called “a law firm.” As demonstrated in the “Neals v. The Cochran Firm” in Georgia Superior Court and “Neals v. Cochran Cherry Givens Smith” in federal court, The Cochran firm itself denies being a single law firm when challenged or sued by defrauded clients. CCGSS denied sharing the same insurance company, computer system, or anything else with other Cochran Firm offices. The Memphis office of The Cochran Firm also disclaimed being a Cochran Firm office. Yet, when Judge Timothy Batten determined that The Cochran Firm’s Memphis office owed the Neals reimbursement for the service of process fee, the check was drawn on a Memphis bank account belonging to The Cochran Firm. The Cochran Firm is so comfortable committing perjury in Georgia courts that Hezekiah Sistrunk, Esq. also advised his client, Sarah Dozier, to lie to Fulton County Probate Court, which caused her to be sued.

XXVI.  Misrepresentations by The Cochran Firm About Identity and Scope of Services
(a)    In Georgia Superior Court, CCGSS claimed to be wholly owned and operated in the State of Georgia, but the Secretary of State’s office in Georgia had no such firm registered; Tennessee did. Other law offices that are held out to the public as being The Cochran Firm are also likely to omit proper registration with Secretaries of States’ offices. It is interesting that courts do not check.
(b)    Some of the attorneys working out of law offices that are advertised to the public as being The Cochran Firm may not be registered to appear before courts where they contract with clients to present legal cases. A Cochran Firm lawyer had no standing to represent his client, Christopher Tucker, before the court where the case was tried.
(c)    Many clients, like Judy Nashville, believe they are being represented by a big law firm when they contract with The Cochran Firm and learn too late that they are represented by small operations that are barely solvent.

XXVII.  As a defrauded client, Mary Neal is very pleased that CA USDC has ended The Cochran Firm’s frauds against legal consumers. This could save many people, unless the Ninth Circuit Court revives this beast. These unethical lawyers regularly work behind their clients’ backs. The Cochran Firm offices then hide behind fake and/or confusing identities to avoid accountability. I request the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reject resurrecting this monster. Furthermore, I request for this Honorable Court to order The Cochran Firm to dispense with all of its advertising under Johnnie Cochran's name (which tricks minorities) and cease presenting itself as a “nationwide law firm.” This Court should also order that state bars must stop recommending The Cochran Firm to legal consumers who call to inquire about lawyers to handle their cases. The Ninth Circuit Court should investigate the law licenses of every attorney practicing at Cochran Firm offices to determine if they are in good standing. Some of The Cochran Firm lawyers might not be licensed attorneys. Several lawyers in cases that came to my attention have been disbarred.

XXVIII.  It is particularly alarming that The Cochran Firm even advertises itself as criminal lawyers and death penalty attorneys. The Cochran Firm’s defrauded clients continue to lose money in corrupt civil action cases, and that unfortunate. However, incompetent, unethical lawyers like those at The Cochran Firm can cause criminal defendants to be imprisoned for years or killed by execution, which would be an irreversible tragedy.

1) Cochran Cherry Givens Smith & Sistrunk, PC’s Responses to Plaintiffs’ First Continuing Interrogatories (denying any affiliation with other Cochran Firm offices)
2) Georgia Secretary of State’s Search Results
4)  Wrongful Death of Larry (Please look under the “documents” tab
5)  Cochran Firm Fraud vs. Justice for Stanley Parker, Killed by St. Louis PD 2002
This is an audio file from a radio broadcast that was attacked by hackers, especially in the beginning part of the interview. Judy Nashville was my guest, discussing lawyer fraud.
6)  Media report about Stanley Parker, son of Judy Nashville: “Shot in the Back”
 Cochran Firm Fraud vs. Justice for Christopher Tucker re Oklahoma City Police
This is an audio file which recorded one of my interviews with Christopher Tucker.
8) Christopher Tucker vs. The Cochran Firm Frauds
This online article lists most of The Cochran Firm frauds that I know about currently.

XXX.  When my book, “The Cochran Firm Fraud,” is published, more frauds will come to light. For example, Judy Nashville indicated that according to her defendants’ attorney, Holmes regularly abandoned clients on their court dates. One Cochran Firm client in Georgia alleged being sexually compromised (seduced) by her Cochran Firm lawyer, M. Pete, Esq., and McMurray, a former partner, alleges that female employees in Los Angeles were also sexually exploited by the firm. More former clients who were sexually compromised and/or deprived of due process of law by The Cochran Firm are expected to also come forward. Lawyers at The Cochran Firm act as though the Dred Scott Decision is law and bring embarrassment their profession. The CA USDC Order which stated The Cochran Firm is not “a law firm” is well founded. Such racketeering as clients of The Cochran Firm undergo, targeting African Americans with particularity, must be exposed and opposed.

XXXI.  Thank you for your kind attention to this amicus letter. If this Honorable Court should have questions, please try to contact me by using the contact information in the letter’s header. There is much more information available, but the scope of this letter was purposely shortened to make it possible to read it in a single sitting. My phone calls and emails are compromised, because the 18 days of secret arrest and murder of Larry Neal - a mentally, physically disabled black man and U.S. citizen - are still national secrets. Perhaps U.S. Mail might reach me, although I cannot guarantee that.

Sincerely yours,
Mary Lane Neal


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