PDA

View Full Version : News Phelps in legal trouble again - This time Air Force generals are taking them on


Lzen
03-01-2011, 10:34 AM
http://cjonline.com/news/2011-02-28/generals-complaint-targets-phelps-lawyersGenerals' complaint targets Phelps lawyers


Posted: February 28, 2011 - 1:14pm

By Tim Carpenter (http://cjonline.com/taxonomy/term/47)
THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL

Nine retired U.S. Air Force generals have filed a complaint with state regulators to seek disbarment of 10 lawyers who are members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka.

The military group, led by Maj. Gen. Larry Twitchell, of Ann Arbor, Mich., submitted a massive file to the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys in an attempt to prove four broad violations by lawyers in the congregation that attracted attention by picketing funerals of soldiers and celebrities.

The objective of the complaint is to compel an inquiry into allegations lawyers tied to the church failed to maintain standards of professional conduct required to hold a law license in Kansas. The preferred outcome is disbarment of each individual, they said.


Action is necessary, the group said in a statement, given the lawyers’ “decades-long pattern of uncivil and unprofessional conduct.”


Shirley Phelps-Roper, among individuals named in the complaint, said in an interview Monday the ethics filing was ludicrous.


"That's entertaining," said Phelps-Roper, who wasn't aware the generals had taken an interests in the church's protests. "It's so pathetic."


Nearly 900 documents associated with the complaint were sent to Stanton Hazlett, administrator for the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys. His office reviews complaints against lawyers, conducts investigations, convenes hearings and recommends discipline to the Kansas Supreme Court.


Disciplinary office staff can’t comment on allegations submitted to the board before an investigation and, if appropriate, a finding of probable cause that violations occurred and an official case was moving forward.
Ron Keefover, spokesman for the Kansas Supreme Court, said about 1,000 letters alleging misconduct are received annually by the disciplinary office. Each year, he said, around 300 are investigated and approximately 30 advance to a formal hearing.


The coalition of retired officers — there are three lieutenant generals (three stars), five major generals (two stars) and one brigadier general (one star) — takes offense at the independent church’s practice since 2005 of picketing funerals for U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Church members decided to stage protests at military funerals to condemn the nation's purported tolerance of homosexuality. Members have been involved in anti-gay protests for about 20 years. In recent years, dozens of states adopted laws limiting funeral picketing in response to the Phelps' crusade.


Phelps-Roper said the First Amendment afforded church members the freedom of religion and speech they rely upon to carry their message to outsiders. The ethics complaint will be another failed attempt to silence the church's message, she said.


"Marginalize, demonize and vilify," she said. "They're going to take away the righteousness of the righteous?"


In the statement from Twitchell and other generals, the group claims the "grievance has nothing whatsoever to do with the WBC lawyer members' so-called religious beliefs or First Amendment rights."


"The conduct of the lawyer members of the Westboro Baptist Church named in this grievance certainly dishonors and disgraces all members of the Kansas Bar and the American Bar," they said.


A summary of the grievance:
— Failure to maintain integrity of the profession by engaging in dishonest, deceit or misrepresentation, "regardless of whether it is directly connected to a legal proceeding."
— Violation of a rule forbidding lawyers from abusing legal procedure by not making good-faith arguments and engaging in activities to harass or maliciously injure a person.
— Neglect of a provision mandating lawyers observe standards of conduct, "professionally and personally," whether or not the acts or omissions occurred in the course of an attorney-client relationship.
— Failure to report instances of professional misconduct of peers in Westboro Baptist Church.


Targets of the ethics complaint are Topeka residents Phelps-Roper, Rachel Hockenbarger, Betty Phelps, Elizabeth Phelps, Fred Phelps Jr., Jonathan Phelps, Margie Phelps, Tim Phelps, Rebekah Phelps-Davis and Brent Roper. The majority of the group are children of Fred Phelps Sr.


The retired Air Force officers filing the complaint dated Feb. 4 are Lt. Gens. Brett Dula, Arlen Jameson and Thad Wolfe; Maj. Gens. Twitchell, Christopher Adams, William Davitte, Hugh Forsythe and John McBroom; and Brig. Gen. Joseph Shaefer.


The Westboro Baptist Church is subject of a pending case before the U.S. Supreme Court that centers on balancing the Topeka church members' right to demonstrate on important public issues and the expectation of privacy for families attending a funeral. That case stems from a picketing trip in 2006 for U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder's funeral.


Tim Carpenter can be reached at (785) 296-3005 or timothy.carpenter@cjonline.com.

gblowfish
03-01-2011, 10:36 AM
Well, obviously those Generals are a bunch of homos...

Lzen
03-01-2011, 10:43 AM
Well, obviously those Generals are a bunch of homos...

ROFL

chiefsnorth
03-01-2011, 10:45 AM
If people would quit giving them the publicity they are after, they'd fade into obscurity.

kepp
03-01-2011, 11:06 AM
Well, obviously those Generals are a bunch of homos...

ROFL /thread

teedubya
03-01-2011, 11:18 AM
"They're going to take away the righteousness of the righteous?"

No, bitch. They are going take away the license to do law from people who don't respect anyone. Fuck you.

Halfcan
03-01-2011, 12:11 PM
Well, obviously those Generals are a bunch of homos...

:thumb:

Ebolapox
03-01-2011, 12:34 PM
wait, nine generals are part of ANON?

FUKYEA!