Note: There is a history behind this document. I had this material in one of my notebooks. The lawyers in the Westfall case (No. 00-619, 294th District Court) got me to refer to this notebook during a deposition they took of me. Then they insisted on getting a hold of my notebook, because I had referred to it during the deposition. They made it an exhibit to the deposition they took of me.
Going looking for a lawyer
As I make explanation of my search of counsel, I ask this Court to keep in mind that I have just gone through with a bout of paying a recommended lawyer out of Dallas, who is the focal point of this civil RICO suit, $20,000 up front to file a civil RICO suit against some Van Zandt County lawyers and judges, only to find out later that he is a long time scoundrel who solicited me and set out from the beginning to obstruct my case, and then as the ultimate insult sue me for an additional $18,121.10 in fraudulent legal fees, and execute his scheme in the very same "pocket of corruption" as was the "enterprise" in my civil RICO suit.
With this in mind, and in response to this Court's question about conference, and trying not to be too wordy, I present the following:
On February 20, 2001 I inquired of some lawyers in Athens, Texas in adjacent Henderson County, away from Van Zandt County where everything had started. I was trying to find someone who would sue, or tell me who would sue, the Dallas lawyer whom I had paid $20,000 up front and who was now suing me to get an extra $18,000 in fraudulent legal fees.
At the office of Martin Bennett, the lawyer I had retained in 1998 in the underlying Van Zandt matter, the receptionist did not even ask for my name or phone number. So I stopped by several of the small law offices around the courthouse. The receptionist at Scott Williams told me that they do not do malpractice. I asked her if she knew of anybody who would and she named a Mr. Jeffry Weinstein, that he did medical malpractice. I had heard of Mr. Weinstein. He teaches some paralegal type courses at Trinity Valley Junior College which I had previously considered taking.
At the office James R. Kittles, at the end of a long walkway, I saw a quite friendly well-dressed man moving some boxes all by himself, and I asked him if he was the lawyer. He said he was, and I told him my story. When he asked me if I was talking about malpractice, I told him no, more like extortion under RICO. He said he did not know anybody for that, but referred me to an attorney by the name of Fred Head.
At the Office of Fred Head, Mr. Head was likewise shuffling some boxes, and was likewise quite friendly. He likewise asked about malpractice, and I again replied no, more under RICO. He seemed to know what it was and told me "Way over this Head". He said he had some of the books.
I did not get to talk to Mr. Jeffry Weinstein himself but to his paralegal, Shannon Miller. Her questions were direct and to the point. First she asked me the name of the lawyer, and I told her David Westfall. Next she asked why I would believe a lawyer out of a big place like Dallas would solicit me to obstruct my civil RICO case against a bunch of Van Zandt lawyers and officials. I told her that those were not the only defendants, that I had also sued some judges out of Dallas who had come down to participate in Van Zandt County. I told her that David Westfall, after becoming my lawyer, tried unsuccessfully to get me to drop those Dallas judges, telling me that I would have a better case that way. I told her I did not find out until much later that those judges were David Westfall's friends.
Shannon asked me how David Westfall solicited me, and I told her he did not solicit me directly, but got someone to do it for him. She asked me for names, but I would not give them to her.
I was next asked if I had a contract with Mr. Westfall and if he sent me bills. I told her I signed a contract, but that Mr. Westfall never sent me any bills, until he came up with a gigantic balloon summary "bill", which was backdated by at least seven (7) months, was totally fraudulent, with handwritten notes portraying attempts at collection which did not occur.
Shannon asked me what the underlying matter in Van Zandt, upon which Mr. Westfall had become my lawyer, was all about. I told her it had started in 1994 with a neighbor by the name of William B. Jones, who got unhappy with beavers, got a trapper to kill eleven of the things, blew up their dam, and bulldozed the area, and then sued me about flooding caused by the beavers. She asked me how I could be sued for beavers, were they not protected animals.
I told her I was not sued for beavers, but under the Texas Water Code for me, as a person, having built the beaver dam. She asked me how he could do this, and I told her that his attorney, a Richard Ray, had simply written this down on a piece of paper, called it a complaint, and filed it in the 294th District Court. Shannon, in Athens was close enough to Van Zandt to believe me, and far enough away to have asked such a question.
Shannon asked me where the case stood, and I told her there had been a week long trial, with the jury finding I caused no injury, but Richard Ray claiming the jury had awarded him $10,000 in legal fees. She asked me if the jury had awarded $10,000 in legal fees, and I told her no they did not, they simply answered a question about what would be reasonable legal fees, and that legal fees are not available under the Water Code suit. She asked whether there was a judgment, and I told her there was not, that we had at least six hearings on what the jury "meant", and that I finally filed the civil RICO suit on the whole bunch. Then about six month after having filed the civil RICO suit, at which time Westfall was already my lawyer, the judge we had sued had another hearing for "entry of judgment", at which he could not remember whether he had recused himself from the case or not, but that he meant to have recused himself. There have had no hearings since. There is no judgment. There is no judge currently assigned to the case.
Shannon asked me where the civil RICO suit stood, and I told her that what the Dallas Federal Court had done was truly bizarre. I told her that upon motions to dismiss the Court entered a "judgment", and that the "judgment" did nothing more than grant my motion to amend my Complaint, and to stay discovery. Bizarre indeed, as were all the other documents coming out of the Court. And the Fifth Circuit "found" a judgment in the Jones v. Birnbaum case in the 294th District Court, which of course does not exist, and found such "judgment" to be so "inextricably intertwined" with the civil RICO case in which Westfall had been my lawyer so that the Dallas Court never had subject matter jurisdiction over my civil RICO cause, and affirmed the Dallas Court's "judgment". The Fifth Circuit affirmed the "judgment" of a court it had just found lacked jurisdiction. Truly bizarre, I told Shannon.
This civil RICO complaint against Westfall and Company is, among other matters, upon the obstruction in the administration of justice shown when one compares the matter in his "bill" with the strange things coming out of the Dallas Federal Court and the Fifth Circuit.
Shannon said she was going to prepare what I had told her and present it to Mr. Weinstein, and that he might call me back. I do not expect a call from Mr. Weinstein, unless it is a call through Shannon Miller telling me that Mr. Weinstein is not interested.
My second discussion was with a lawyer I have never previously talked to. I had stopped by this lawyer's office and talked to his receptionist and told her that I wanted to sue a lawyer, and been asked for my name and phone number. The lawyer called me later in the day, and did not have any prior facts, only those that were developed in our telephone conversation.
The lawyer said that filing a fraudulent suit is not extortion. He said extortion is more like using physical force to get something. It is noteworthy that David Westfall, who supposedly did $38,121.10 worth of work for me, never told me such, i.e. that the extortion, upon which he based his civil RICO suit, is not really extortion. I intend to get Westfall to explain why he believed it was "extortion" when somebody brought a fraudulent suit against me, and why it is not "extortion" when he does the same thing to me.
The lawyer also said it is not certain we can win, not even against Westfall's suit to collect on an account. He told me that if I were willing to invest money, he might be able to do something. But he said it would take a "mining expedition" just to go back over Westfall's bill, and that would take at least $3000 to $5000 just to find out what the bill "meant". He told me it might not be worth to spend this kind of money to defend a bill of only $18000, and that a compromise with Westfall might be the more appropriate course of action. He also told me there was no way to defend myself as a Pro Se. He told me I was "offending the system", particularly when it involves a collection suit for "legal fees".
The lawyer told me what I needed to do was hire a lawyer like Richard Ray or Richard Davis out of Canton, who can go to the judge and get a favor from the judge, that I needed to get a lawyer who gets along with judge Tommy Wallace (294th District judge in Van Zandt County), and that judges stick with lawyers.
Then I told him that in my civil RICO suit Westfall had sued the whole bunch, including Richard Ray, Richard Davis, and Tommy Wallace for doing just that kind of sticking together, he suggest that the best thing might be for me to file for bankruptcy. I told him I could not do that because I had assets, and that is why everybody was suing me. He told me that he had also tangled with Judge Wallace, and that he certainly was not the one to handle the Van Zandt matter for me.
Then the lawyer asked me if Wallace had recused himself from the suit Westfall had filed upon me, and I told him that I had found out on the internet that some judge named Paul Banner out of Dallas had been assigned on January 26, 2001, but that I had not received any notice out of the 294th District Court. Thereupon he told me that I needed a lawyer familiar with that judge in Dallas, that it is possible to ask someone to ask to contact and find someone that has that judge's respect and is well regarded by that judge. He told me "that is a noble thing to work and find somebody". He said to get some biographical information as to what law firm he was with, and who his friends were.
Then coming back to earth again, the lawyer told me "It is a difficult problem". He told me I could spend a bunch of money, and again told me to "retain someone to deal and compromise with this scoundrel", that otherwise I would be required to commit a lot of money before I ever knew where we stood.
I asked the lawyer if he had ever sued on a sworn account, which he took as a question as to whether he personally had ever sued anybody for legal fees. He said he had not, and that doing so is the most often way for a lawyer to get sued, and that the first thing an insurance company asks him is if he has ever sued a client, which he said he had not.
He said "Every lawyer knows it is not a cool thing for a lawyer to sue a client." He said for a lawyer to sue a client he must either not know he is wrong, or else he is taking a "terrible risk".
I thanked the lawyer for the insight he had given me and told him the next time I needed a lawyer I would surely consider him.
As for this civil RICO suit I ask for the opportunity to tell a jury exactly why David Westfall was willing to take the "terrible risk" of bringing, in what he knew was a pocket of corruption, a totally fraudulent collection suit.