Greene family attorney Lee Merritt: “We absolutely expect to see Federal charges in this case……State attorneys have seen us as quite a nuisance.”

Louisiana Attorney General (and candidate for Governor in 2023) Jeff Landry, who in his capacity as Attorney General representing Louisiana attorneys defending the Ronald Greene litigation, was characterized by Greene family attorney Lee Merritt as viewing him and other attorneys representing Greene as “quite a nuisance.”

Here’s the latest on the Ronald Greene criminal and civil matters as well as the latest filing on the Carl Cavalier matter:

Eboni K. Williams, host of the Grio YouTube channel, published the following video hours ago in which attorney Lee Merritt, upon whose initial civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the Greene family we based our original September 10, 2020 feature breaking the Ronald Greene matter, updated viewers on the latest developments entailing both the Ronald Greene criminal and civil litigation matters.  Let’s take a look:

December 28, 2022 interview of attorney Lee Merritt by Eboni K. Williams.

The only thing we’re going to comment on regarding the video above is that the “Louisiana attorneys” who have “seen us (the Greene lawyers) as quite a nuisance” would be spearheaded by the following highest-level attorney in the State of Louisiana:

Speaking of Attorney General (and candidate for Louisiana Governor in 2023), Jeff Landry, here’s a look at Cavalier’s attorneys’ response to LSP’s Opposition Memorandum to the Reopening of the Cause Filed by Cavalier.

That response was filed into Federal Court today (December 28, 2022).

We’re about to reproduce the highlights, but we want to stress that Cavalier’s attorneys argue strongly what Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns argued (and published) at the outset of this whole episode upon seeing the utter fiasco that it has become.

What they are arguing, which Burns feels is totally consistent with everything Burns was taught in the two Business Law classes at LSU required for sitting for the CPA exam and based upon all of the questions on the CPA exam, which is 25 percent Business Law, which focus on all the elements of a binding contract, there simply was no “meeting of the minds” here.

Being blunt, Burns doesn’t see how ANY judge can remotely infer that there was a meeting of the minds given the chaotic manner in which this settlement agreement was forced upon Cavalier and the fact that he remained consistent that he did not agree to the terms of the settlement:  #1) before the October 6, 2022 settlement conference, #2) during the settlement conference, and #3) after the settlement conference.

With that opinion on our part fully expressed, here’s highlights from the reply by Cavalier’s attorneys:

I. There Was No Meeting Of The Minds Between The Parties.

In Defendants’ Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Reopen the Cause and Rescind the Proposed Settlement (Rec. Doc. 59), in reciting the “facts” of the case, the Defendants wholly ignored the sworn declaration, in which Mr. Cavalier testified that he and his attorney at the time disagreed on the terms of the settlement.  There is no court record of the settlement, but after the settlement conference, the counsel for the parties exchanged emails attempting to reduce the oral agreement to specific terms.  Mr. Cavalier never agreed to a written agreement. When he was presented with writing of specific terms from the oral agreement, he would not sign the agreement, as he did not agree! His position that he never agreed was confirmed at the Hearing held on October 27, 2022, where Mr. Cavalier explained, “It wasn’t that I just changed my mind.  My position was, was never accurately represented by, by my counsel.”  As pointed out in the Opposition Memorandum, “for a settlement to exist, there must be ‘an offer, acceptance, consideration, essential terms, and a meeting of the minds among the parties.’”  In the case at bar, there was no meeting of the minds of the parties. Further, for there to be an agreement, as referenced in the Opposition Memorandum, the parties must voluntarily agree.  As discussed more fully below, Mr. Cavalier did not “voluntarily agree” to the settlement. The instant matter is just like Alexander, where there was a disagreement between a party and that party’s counsel. Similarly, in the case at bar, there was disagreement between Mr. Cavalier and his counsel. Thus, Mr. Cavalier refused to sign a written agreement because he believed there was no agreement.

It is clear that the Plaintiff, Mr. Cavalier, never accepted the settlement as proposed without a provision by which he would be reemployed by the Louisiana State Police, even though his former counsel wanted there to be an agreement. At best, as in Hensley, there is ambiguity as to whether there was an agreement.

He (Cavalier) did not want to even go to a settlement conference before his hearing with the Police commission. But his attorney at the time would not listen to him. She browbeat him into going to the settlement conference, with the understanding that the money figure was agreed to, contrary to Mr. Cavalier’s view that it was insufficient.  His attorney said that at the settlement conference, they could argue for more money using the non-economic issues as bargaining chips.   But this was never done. Mr. Cavalier was depending upon his attorney at the time to forcefully argue for him, but instead, she was focused on the money. In spite of her client’s plea to raise the reemployment issue, she kept repeating that $200,000.00 was a great settlement. Finally, Mr. Cavalier caved and agreed to an oral version of the settlement, even though he really never agreed either to the dollar figure or the non-economic issues. His counsel threatened to abandon him if he did not agree to the $200,000.00. Mr. Cavalier knew he could not proceed alone and needed her. He was over a barrel.  Either (1) agree to the $200,000.00, (2) agree to go to a settlement conference before a civil service hearing, or (3) at the settlement conference, agree to settle. Mr. Cavalier was under duress to consent, and thus any agreement was invalid.

Based on the audio recordings we’ve already published between Cavalier and Craft, we find it almost impossible to argue against what Cavalier’s attorneys assert above.

Cavalier told us when this whole episode first blew up, “Mr. Burns, they are telling me they’re going to mail me this big package and that I need to sign it.  If they do mail me a big package, I’m just going to take a marks-a-lot, write ‘return to sender’ on it, and send it right on back to them!”  We joked with Cavalier in saying that he could invoke the following 1962 (long before Cavalier was born and even a year before Burns was born) great hit by  “The King” himself:

The “King’s” 1962 Smash Success Hit:  “Return to Sender.”

All we can say is that, if Judge John deGravelles rules against Attorney General Jeff Landry and LSP, then maybe a lesson can be learned about trying to conduct negotiations in a super-secret, high-pressure atmosphere.  We doubt they’ll learn anything because, being blunt, their arrogance is too strong and they’re playing with “house money” (i.e. our taxpayer dollars).

We’re just glad that Landry and his cramdown approach has been rebuffed by Cavalier in a very convincing and well-documented (much to Craft’s chagrin we’re sure) fashion!

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Attorney Craft files Complaint in Intervention in Cavalier/LSP; Sound Off Louisiana publishes ACTUAL phone calls for people to decide if Cavalier’s claims of “coercion” ring true.

Attorney Jill Craft, who formerly represented fired LSP Trooper Carl Cavalier and who managed to negotiate and obtain a $200,000 gross payment to Cavalier but with the stipulation that he never again serve as an LSP Trooper, filed a Motion to Intervene to protect her interest in the upcoming decision by Judge John deGravelles regarding whether Cavalier can in fact reject LSP’s $200,000 offer with that non-employment stipulation in the agreement.

Well, things are getting very interesting in the Carl Cavalier v. Louisiana State Police (LSP) litigation.  We felt certain that 32-year-veteran attorney Jill Craft, who likely just about everyone would readily concede knows more about employment law, whistleblower actions, and alleged wrongful termination cases than any attorney in Louisiana, was not going to just roll over and accept allegations of “coercion” on her part.  Those allegations have been lodged against her in Court filings by Cavalier’s new attorneys, Clifton Ivey, Jr., and James C. Carver, PhD.

On Friday, December 23, 2022, Craft confirmed our belief on not just rolling over and accepting those allegations when she filed this Consent Motion to File Complaint in Intervention.  We’ll emphasize the word “consent” on the preceding link to convey the fact that there was no opposition either from Cavalier or LSP for her to make such a filing.

Craft supplied quite a bit of detail in her Motion and Complaint, and she indicated more will soon follow in the way of texts, emails, etc. which Craft essentially asserts the absence of causes a distorted scenario to be presently pending before the Court.  In essence, Craft asserts that the lack of those documents in Cavalier’s filings results in the totality to which she alleges Cavalier entered into a binding and fully enforceable agreement not to be adequately revealed to the Court as it should be.  Hence, she has a need to intervene.

There is no substitute for reading Craft’s Motion in its entirety, but we’ll try our best to highlight some of her major points from the Motion now:

In his Motion to Reopen the Cause and Rescind Settlement, Mr. Cavalier argues he was “coerced” or otherwise “pressured” into accepting settlement of all claims by Jill Craft, of the firm, Jill L. Craft, Attorney at Law, LLC. In his recent filing, an Opposition to defendants’ Motion to Enforce Settlement (Rec. Doc. 60), Mr. Cavalier again asserts he was “coerced” and fails to attach significant written communications with Intervenor and which contradict the position he asserts in brief.

The terms of settlement were recited in front of the Magistrate Judge following the Settlement Conference held on October 6, 2022, and reduced to writing by undersigned counsel by emails exchanged on October 6, 2022, at 4:27 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. and communication with and by Mr. Cavalier as to the terms of settlement by email on October 6, 2022, at 5:20 p.m.  This document will also be the subject of a Motion to Deem Privilege Waived upon the Court’s granting of leave to intervene.

Mover seeks to intervene in this lawsuit in order to protect its interests pursuant to a written contingency fee agreement entitled “Attorney-Client Contract”, which is attached as Exhibit A………Mover also seeks to intervene because, as a practical matter, disposition of either the Cavalier Motion or the Defendants’ Motion will impair and impede Mover’s ability to protect its interest and shows that in the event the question regarding informed consent to settle by Mr. Cavalier is adjudicated, mover and counsel employed by mover, have significant evidence relevant to the pending Motions including, as will be the subject of a Motion to Deem Privilege Waived, numerous writings by Mr. Cavalier demonstrating his consent to settle and his agreement to the terms and conditions of settlement. Mover also shows that Mr. Cavalier expressed no remorse or desire to “rescind” the settlement until October 13, 2022 – seven (7) days later. Only a portion of the October 13, 2022, email exchange was filed by Mr. Cavalier in this record, but which did not include the entire email chain of October 13, 2022, starting at 9:57 a.m. Upon receipt of his communication, ensuing telephone communications and correspondence on that date, and consideration of the relative positions, including undersigned’s ethical considerations, mover was placed in a conflict situation resulting in mover having to withdraw from any further representation. Accordingly, Mover, Ms. Craft, and Mr. Conrad withdrew as counsel.

Intervenor has an accounting of the time and expenses incurred by Intervenor in connection with the representation of Mr. Cavalier in the amount of $112,215.00. The accounting will be the subject of a Motion to Deem Privilege Waived upon the Court’s granting of the Motion to Intervene.

As to each term of settlement, Mr. Cavalier consented verbally and in writing and, as requested pursuant to the Motion to Deem Privilege Waived, are borne out by the communications between Mr. Cavalier and his counsel.

After Mr. Cavalier’s offer was made to defendants’ counsel, on September 1, 2022, Mr. Cavalier communicated again with counsel. It is noted Mr. Cavalier attached his email of September 1, 2022, at 3:55 p.m., but does not also attach his email to counsel on September 1, 2022, at 4:11 p.m. On September 2, 2022, (Mr. Cavalier recorded only a portion of his conversation with Ms. Craft and attached a copy of a purported partial transcript to his Motion to Reopen the Cause and Rescind the Proposed Settlement) and September 5, 2022…..These communications are likewise the subject of a Motion to Deem Privilege Waived and include Mr. Cavalier’s email and text messages with Ms. Craft, dated September 6, 2022, September 9, 2022, September 10, 2022, September 23, 2022, and September 26, 2022. These documents represent Mr. Cavalier’s written representations after the September 1, 2022, email and the September 2, 2022, partial recording.

Heading into the Settlement Conference, Mr. Cavalier and the underlying Defendants had agreed, in writing to the following terms: 1) payment of $200,000.00 in settlement of all claims; 2) LSP will rescind the termination of Mr. Cavalier who agrees to voluntarily, irrevocably resign from his employment with LSP and no re-employment (sic) with LSP. Confirmation of the
agreement to these terms by Mr. Cavalier and the underlying Defendants was also in writing and, before the position paper submitted by Mr. Cavalier was faxed to the Magistrate-Judge, its terms and conditions were approved by Mr. Cavalier.

Therefore, as agreed by Mr. Cavalier and the underlying Defendants, the only terms which remained in dispute between the parties were: 1) his resignation not be coded as a resignation in lieu of termination for the purposes of the State’s ISIS database and civil service, and 2) his suspension and enforced leave be rescinded, reversed, and withdrawn. Confirmation of this was also in writing and were approved by Mr. Cavalier.

We can confirm that Craft’s allegation about only a partial transcript of the recorded phone call of September 2, 2022 is true.

Prior to us even having knowledge of that being the case (or knowing of Craft’s filing of Friday, December 23, 2022), we asked Cavalier if it would be permissible for us to obtain audio files of ALL of the recordings for which transcripts were filed into the record.  Of course, we asked him to clear that with his attorneys.

Cavalier did so, and when he gave us the recordings, he explained the fact that his phone went dead during the September 2, 2022 phone call and he therefore had to re-establish connection with Craft.

That fact notwithstanding, he was able to provide us with both recordings of September 2, 2022 (the one up to the phone going dead and the one of him reestablishing connection thereafter), and we were easily able to combine the two audio files.  Accordingly, here is the actual recording between Craft and Cavalier on September 2, 2022 to include the 9+ minute segment Craft correctly asserts was missing from the Court filing:

9/2/22 (Friday) recorded phone call between Carl Cavalier and his former attorney, Jill Craft. We note that the phone call transpired a mere 16 days after an August 17, 2022 ruling by Magistrate Judge Richard Bourgeois wherein he granted an Order to Stay Discovery in Cavalier’s case as it pertains to LSP Col. Lamar Davis and LSP itself. Thus, Craft was likely both elated and somewhat (maybe more than somewhat) stunned once Defendants did agree to a $200,000 payout right on the heels of such an authoritative Court victory.

We want to once again reiterate the individual responsible for agreeing to accept the $200,000 offer and subsequently attempt to cram it down Cavalier’s throat notwithstanding Cavalier’s clear desire in the audio above to rescind the offer.  As a reminder, here’s the individual:

Okay.  We are now going to provide the two other audio recordings of the other phone calls between Craft and Cavalier entered into the Court record:

9/27/22 (Tuesday) phone call between Craft and Cavalier.

 10/13/22 (Thursday) phone call between Craft and Cavalier.

Now, we’re not going to comment hardly at all on either the 9/2/22 or the 9/27/22 phone calls other than what we placed beneath the video on the 9/2/22 recording.  Why?  Because we believe there will never be another opportunity for folk to get this incredible graduate-level education on what all transpires in a suit against a state governmental agency.  We further believe that education can be obtained only by investing the time to listen to the recordings.  Further, we believe these audio files rank very near the top of the list in terms of the most informative media we’ve ever published!  Being candid, we don’t think any of us in our lifetimes will ever get another opportunity like this to be educated about situations like this, and we believe it is a HUGE mistake for anyone connected with State government to pass on obtaining this vast knowledge.  We certainly don’t want to either add to or take away from either of those two recordings!  Prospective whistleblowers and employees who feel they have been wronged owe it to themselves to listen to the above two recordings.

The only comment we’re going to make is to once again reiterate that, just as Craft emphasizes at the outset of the 9/27/22 recording, here’s where the buck stops on this whole agreement:

We will, however, make limited comment on the recording of Thursday, October 13, 2022.  At the 5:33 mark of the October 13, 2022 recording, Craft references an email from WBRZ’s (Channel 2 in Baton Rouge) Chris Nakamoto indicating that Cavalier had, “settled my case.”  It’s really incredible how all that came about, so let’s take just a moment to explain.

When the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) agenda for Thursday, October 13, 2022 was published on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, we noted that, contrary to what we thought would be on it, it contained no reference whatsoever to Cavalier.  Early on the morning of Thursday, October 13, 2022 (literally about 45 minutes before the LSPC meeting was to commence), we figured maybe it wasn’t on the LSPC agenda because the matter had been settled.

Sure enough, we logged onto PACER, and we observed this Order indicating the matter had been settled.  At that point, that was all that we knew.  Also, folk familiar with this blog know that we don’t produce features fast (but try to offset that with thoroughness).  We knew this would be a matter that needed coverage fast, however, and so we did as we’ve often done in the past, and we sent an email to Nakamoto with the filing attached.  Nakamoto, in turn, called Cavalier, and Cavalier referenced that call in the email he sent to Craft which she references at that 5:33 mark of the 10/13/22 audio above.  It truly is amazing just how fast things can progress with modern technology.

If anyone has forgotten what Nakamoto did in the aftermath of making contact with Cavalier about the settlement, well, let us provide this little reminder.  Ah, heck, let’s take it a step further!  Here’s Nakamoto’s usual-excellent production (Note:  Nakamoto completely lost his voice days before airing this feature, so Brittany Weiss had to read Nakamoto’s feature on his behalf, and she did an excellent job)!:

 10/13/22 WBRZ news feature entailing Cavalier’s rejection of $200,000 to settle his suit against LSP.

As we indicated in our prior feature, we’ll stay on top of the developments in this saga and report upon Judge John deGravelles’ ruling irrespective of whether he summarily rules upon it (which we certainly hope he doesn’t and, given Craft’s intervention, we believe it’s even more compelling that all this be aired out in an open-court hearing) or sets a hearing for oral arguments of Cavalier’s and LSP’s competing Motions.

We hope everyone enjoyed a Merry Christmas and, as evidenced by the preceding feature, ours was anything but boring!

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Cavalier’s Opposition Memorandum to AG Landry’s cramdown efforts paint attorney Jill Craft in a horrendously bad light.

Jill Craft, fired LSP Trooper Carl Cavalier’s former attorney, who withdrew as his counsel (both for his Federal civil rights lawsuit and for his pending appeal before the Louisiana State Police Commission) has been accused of coercion by Cavalier’s new attorneys, Clifton Ivey, Jr., and James C. Carver, PhD.

When we first began reporting upon the fact that fired LSP Trooper Carl Cavalier was unwilling to accept LSP’s efforts to cram a $200,000 settlement offer right down his throat, we included the fact that Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, in representing Louisiana State Police (LSP), made it known that LSP opposed Cavalier’s former attorney, Jill Craft, entailing her Motion to Withdraw as Cavalier’s Counsel of Record.  LSP (and Landry’s)  opposition notwithstanding, Craft’s Motion was granted.

Why was LSP so adamant that Craft not be permitted to withdraw?  That is now so obvious that even the late Ray Charles could have seen why LSP feared a withdrawal by Craft.  LSP wanted Craft to be forced to remain on the case, as illogical as that is, because they knew they could count on her to continue portraying to Cavalier that his case was hopeless as she communicated that he’d “lose all your leverage” if things “go south” before the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC), for which she volunteered that, “I sure as shit don’t like those people!”

If Cavalier procured new counsel, which he did in the persons of Clifton J. Ivey, Jr., and James C. Carver, PhD, LSP feared that would torpedo its efforts to solidify the $200,000 cramdown offer.  That torpedoing, in turn, would mean that all of Craft’s alleged “coercion” efforts on Cavalier would be down the drain.  That would also mean that this whole episode could become both LSP and Attorney General Jeff Landry’s worst nightmare, particularly given Landry’s quest to become Louisiana’s next Governor.

Well, the nightmare took on a whole new meaning, particularly as it relates to attorney Jill Craft, as Cavalier’s new team filed this Motion in Opposition to LSP’s Efforts to Enforce a Settlement upon Cavalier on Thursday, December 22, 2022, and the filing is complete with emails from Cavalier to Craft which, in our opinion, particularly an email of October 13, 2022, are extremely damning to Craft.  From the memo:

Plaintiff indicated to his counsel that he would not settle the case unless certain nonmonetary aspects of his employment were included in any settlement.  During the settlement conference Mr. Cavalier had attempted to re-direct his counsel’s attention to a certain non-monetary aspect of the settlement, namely his re-employment with state police. On or about September 27, 2022, during a telephone conversation between Mr. Cavalier and his attorney, Ms. Craft outlined the settlement proposed by the Defendant, including holding a settlement conference before a magistrate judge.  During the settlement conference Mr. Cavalier had attempted to re-direct his counsel’s attention to a certain non-monetary aspect of the settlement, namely his re-employment with state police which she refused to do.  That Cavalier’s re-employment was essential and material term, rather than a mere issue of how the settlement would be implemented had to be known. He repeatedly communicated this, and his desire to go forward with his administrative appeal to the Louisiana State Police Commission to his counsel.  Certainly by this time the defendants had to know this was a material issue to Cavalier as they were well aware of the State Police Commission appeal.

Cavalier has shown through communications to his attorney that he did not want to settle, nor did he give his counsel authority to settle, for the amount that had apparently been offered at least a month prior to the settlement conference. What was vitally important to him was reemployment, and in lieu of that, to have his hearing before the State Police Commission. Whatever affirmations he made at the conclusion of the settlement conference were due to the pressure and coercion by his counsel.

Although Cavalier participated in the settlement conference with the benefit of counsel, his instructions were ignored. Through numerous citations herein, he had long since informed his counsel that he disagreed with the settlement amount and explained his rationale why. He was clear that he wanted to proceed with his hearing before the State Police Commission if favorable
settlement on his reemployment could not be reached. As Cavalier has raised the claim that he was unduly pressured and coerced to agree, which goes to the validity of the settlement agreement itself, this Court should not rule summarily on these motions, but rather afford him a hearing.

Furthermore, on October 13, 2022, Cavalier wrote
” ………. As for the proposed settlement, I am not comfortable with it and have never been comfortable with it. I have expressed that to you verbally and in writing.  While in the conference with the magistrate judge, I asked you to ask for my job back. You refused to even present it to the judge or opposing counsel. I expressed to you prior to settlement talks that I wanted to proceed with my case through LSP commission hearings and other necessary avenues with hopes of getting my job back.

Mr. Cavalier also sought relief regarding at least one non-pecuniary aspect of the case, namely to get his job back at Louisiana State Police. He repeatedly asked his counsel to seek this relief both before and during the settlement conference, which was repeatedly refused.  It is beyond belief that Mr. Cavalier consistently maintained his position regarding acceptable settlement terms in every communication with his attorney, yet not on the date of the settlement conference.

We’ve previously posted Cavalier’s recorded phone calls and one discussion with Craft (see pages 40-68 of the preceding link).  Here’s one final parting statement by Craft to Cavalier in the waning moments of her representing him (see page 64 on the preceding link and, more specifically, the bottom of page 12 of that recorded conversation between Cavalier and Craft):


Carl, I told you, I need to get counsel myself.  And that’s what I’m going to do.

We’d say that was a pretty good idea on Craft’s part!

As for Landry, as the old saying goes, “You’ve made your bed, so now you can sleep in it!”

Cavalier’s attorneys repeatedly stressed (and cited case law) that should prompt Judge deGravelles to convene an open-court hearing for both LSP’s Motion and Cavalier’s Motion to be argued to him for a ruling.  If he does, we commit to attend that court hearing and report thereafter on its outcome.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas on Sunday!

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