Thursday, June 30, 2016

D.A. tells DJP former employee can't testify in civil suit.

Downtown Jackson Partners filed a motion to compel Linda Brune's deposition yesterday in the County Court of Madison County.  DJP sued Ms. Brune for the recovery of $40,439 she allegedly embezzled while working as a secretary.  District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith told DJP that Ms. Brune could not testify because she was a "victim" in the criminal case his office is prosecuting against Ben Allen.

Downtown Jackson Partners sued Linda Brune on December 10, 2014 in Madison County Court for allegedly embezzling $40,439.  The lawsuit also states she was "terminated on July 25, 2014 for sharing confidential corporate information with a reporter from the Clarion-Ledger."   Ms. Brune is a resident of Madison County.

The complaint states that Ms. Brune worked as DJP's administrative assistant for several years prior to her termination.  She was allowed to "fill out" checks but did not have signature authority.  DJP alleges that she "embezzled 38 check instruments representing a total sum of $40,439" by making checks payable to herself and "forging Mr. Allen's signature on each of the checks." She would then allegedly alter the payee's name on the bank statements by "whiting out" (no racism intended)  her name and replacing it with the name of a vendor. She would then allegedly copy the altered statement so evidence of the whiteout would not appear.  The complaint charges her with several counts of fraud, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment.  DJP asked for damages and attorney's fees.  Attorney Sam Begley represents DJP.

Ms. Brune filed her answer on January 12, 2015.   It contains the standard denials one usually sees in an answer to a complaint.  She accused DJP of filing the lawsuit in Madison County due to unfavorable publicity in Hinds County.   She argues that any funds withdrawn from DJP accounts were delivered directly to Mr. Allen.  She claims she was "loyal to a fault" and doesn't have the money to "reimburse his slush fund." Earlier post.

The District Attorney sent this letter to DJP attorney Sam Begley on May 23, 2016:

The State of Mississippi represents Ms. Linda Brune as a victim In the criminal case of State of Mississippi versus Benjamin Wade Allen. She will not be available for depositions or any other matter related to the civil dispute in the above-referenced until she has retained counsel to respond to numerous requests by DJP. Further, she has advised that she will request the Court to hold any civil matter in abeyance until the disposition of the criminal matter. Further, she has received correspondence requesting that she waive her right to a trial by jury. She vehemently opposes to waiving her rightto a trial by jury, or any other rights.

If you have anything further regarding this matter, please direct your correspondence to our office. Her new counsel with be in touch with you in the very near future. Thank you.

DJP attached that letter as an exhibit to the motion filed yesterday.  DJP accuses the District Attorney of acting as Ms. Brune's private attorney in a civil matter in a county outside of his jurisdiction.  The motion very succinctly states:

The Plaintiffs are seeking to take the deposition of the Defendant Linda Brune, and to have her produce documents at her deposition. Recently, counsel for the Plaintiffs received a letter, a copy of which is attached as an exhibit, from Robert Shuler Smith, Esq., in which he claims to be acting as Ms. Brune’s attorney. Mr. Smith is the District Attorney for the Seventh Circuit Court District (Hinds County). Mr. Smith’s letter states that Ms. Brune “will not be available for depositions or any other matter related to the civil dispute in the above referenced [ Downtown Jackson Partners v. Linda Brune] until she has retained counsel to respond to numerous requests by DJP.” Mr. Smith further states that Ms.Brune “ will request the Court to hold any civil matter in abeyance until the disposition of the criminal matter.”Notably, the Court Administrator has scheduled a jury trial in this case to begin on December 5, 2016. No attorney has entered an appearance as Ms. Brune’s counsel.

The motion asks the court to order Ms. Brune to submit to a deposition.  The case is assigned to Judge Will Longwitz.  Ms. Brune is currently not represented by an attorney in this case.

Kingfish note: It should be pointed out that Jerry Mitchell has never reported this lawsuit on the pages of the Clarion-Ledger even though the newspaper published his story about Ms. Brune's charges against Ben Allen on the front page of the Sunday edition in 2014 and several follow-up stories. 


Anonymous said...

This is a head scratcher. RSS representing Brune? Ordering a lawsuit in another county to "cease and desist"? Obstruction of justice??

Anonymous said...

Did I read that this lady was No Billed by a Hinds County Grand Jury? Didn't Trustmark Bank and JPD decline to pursue any type of prosecution against her? RSS stated that the former employee is represented by him "as a victim." Not as her attorney. Does DJP think they can redirect the focus of the real wrongdoing from the perp? I'm scratching my head too. Sounds like they are harassing the lady.

Anonymous said...

That Fax Cover Sheet needs to be updated. And quickly.

Kingfish said...

That is the curious part. She was no-billed yet the D.A. did not include her name on the public lists that are filed at the Circuit Clerk's office.

I'm also sure you thought the civil lawsuit against O.J. was "harassment".

Anonymous said...

DJP sure is spending a heap of dinero chasing this allegedly small potatoes embezzler. Hmmmm ... wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Haven't thought about O.J. in years. I'm just puzzled as to why DJP continues to file charges against her when they have been dismissed. Are they trying to find a county that will validate their b.s.? You can twist and turn this any way you want but the results will be the same. As for your reference to O.J.'s civil suit, are they going to file murder charges against her too in hopes it will help them?

Anonymous said...

RSS is an IDIOT. He does NOT represent the victim. He represents the State of Mississippi. He needs to step down immediately as he is completely unfit.

Kingfish said...

Twist? You're the one twisting. This is a civil case, not "charges" as you put it. She lives in Madison County. She is the defendant. That is where the suit is.

Criminal complaints and civil suits against the same defendant are filed all the time and can progress without the other.

Anonymous said...

If she were a criminal DEFENDANT and not an alleged victim (and she's not even the victim; to the extent there is a victim in the case against Ben Allen it would be DJP), she could ask for a stay of the civil case until the criminal case was concluded which might or might not be granted. But RSS has completely lost it at this point. Someone needs to get his ass in rehab.

Anonymous said...

Linda Brune is clearly posting to herself again. 8:22, 8:40 and 8:48. Back to back to back. Expect more.

Anonymous said...

8:58 Nothing indicates that RSS is representing her. In one sentence, she has no attorney and next RSS is representing her. Last I heard, he represents Hinds County. Still scratching my head.....

Anonymous said...

Wish I were an attorney so I could figure this out, but from my viewpoint, it looks like:

1. RSS is trying to shield his main witness in the BA indictment from going under oath.
2. RSS has stepped WAY out of his lane and if he is wrong, malicious prosecution should be in line.
3. It appears he DOES act as her attorney in a civil case in another county, that should have nothing to do with his indictment.

Anonymous said...

Judge Longwitz will have to rule on the issue of her testimony.

Since he is new to being a Judge I imagine he will be deferential and allow her not to testify until the criminal matters are resolved.

Alternatively, he may order her to testify and all she is going to do is plead the fifth to every question. That, in effect, is an admission of guilt on her look for her to never testify....even in the face of a court order.

Anonymous said...

Downtown Jackson Partners sued Linda Brune on December 10, 2014 in Madison County Court for allegedly embezzling $40,439. The lawsuit also states she was "terminated on July 25, 2014 for sharing confidential corporate information with a reporter from the Clarion-Ledger."

Fired for talking to a reporter but not for stealing. Something wrong here. Sounds like someone wants to cover up something.

Anonymous said...

I agree 9:39. It does sound like Brune and RSS are trying to cover something up.

Anonymous said...

A lot of you non-attorneys commenting obviously do not understand the distinction between a civil and criminal matter, or the nature of the elected position of district attorney. RSS supposedly represents the people, not the victim. The funny part is he is an attorney, yet apparently does not understand this either.

Longwitz will do the right thing. Which is why this isn't in Hinds County.

Anonymous said...

Rehab won't fix stupid.

Anonymous said...

RSS has one job to do: prosecute criminals. He completely refuses to do that job and spends what little time he does devote to "work" representing criminal defendants and witnesses in civil cases. He needs to step down as D.A. right now.

Anonymous said...

Wait, what??? I thought DJP was the "victim" of Ban's malfeasance. I also thought that if the same person was both a criminal and civil defendant, they could seek a stay of one action while the other works its way through. Never knew that applied to third parties.

Robert Shuler Smith pratices a form of law which is foreign to me. Does he have a single ADA willing to say, "Boss, stop."

Anonymous said...

This is the bunch of crazy folks all sides.DJP should be shut down right now.

Anonymous said...

10:07...HI LINDA!

Anonymous said...

IF RSS doesn't have enough problem with his recent indictment by the AG, this will finally seal his fate. Representing this defendant - and yes, he is clearly representing her by his statements in his letter ("The State of Mississippi represents Ms. Linda Brune as a victim".....She will not be available for depositions or any other matter.....until she has retained counsel.....Further, she has advised that she will request the Court....She vehemently opposes to waiving her right to a trial by jury, or any other rights.") in a civil matter in Madison County while he is a full-time attorney in Hinds violates any number of statutes and ethical matters.

She is not a victim - if, (big if) there is a victim in the Ben Allen matter in Hinds County it is DJP, not Brune.

The State of MS does not represent victims anyway, and RSS doesn't speak for the State of MS in this civil matter.

He letter makes attorney representations for Brune that she will not waive her right to trial, will not attend depositions, and does so in the position as her attorney until she 'retains her own'.

Don't know exactly what stuff RSS is using, but he ought to quit because he obviously has lost all recollections of what he should have learned in law school. I hope Begley has turned all this over to the bar and to MS Ethics Commission. Maybe we can be rid of RSS even quicker than we thought and get someone that will prosecute some of our Hinds County criminals rather than play these games.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, 10:18. The law-abiding citizens of Hinds County need a real district attorney, not this fool.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Are there still law abiding citizens in Hinds county?
They better get out of there while thy can.

Anonymous said...

Certainly this obvious idiocy rises to the level of a bar complaint?

Anonymous said...

Damn. You can't make this stuff up.....

Anonymous said...

Man oh man, how many ways can you spell stupid. I ain't an attorney, but this looks crazy to my "legal, ingnunt arse".

Surely this is not within the realm of a district attorney. I wish Michael Guest would chime in.

I Took Notes.. said...

9:38 has issued clarification as to how this shit will work.

He says, '...the judge is new to being a judge'. And, he 'imagines' the judge will allow her to not testify.

But, on the other hand, the learned opinion of 9:38 is that the judge may order her to testify.

So, here we have it. Either the judge will order her to testify or he will not. Who did not already know that?

But the most educational part of his post is the revelation that pleading the fifth is an admission of guilt.

People waste their time and money on law school when they could come here for this type of education.

Anonymous said...

I have been a lawyer for over 30 years and I worked as a prosecutor in the past. I can see no reason why RSS would object to Brune being deposed. If the roles were reversed I would understand because certainly Ben Allen would have a 5th amendment right against self-incrimination but I can see no reason for a victim not to be deposed unless you are trying to hide something. Perhaps RSS is afraid that during the deposition Brune would incriminate herself regarding the embezzlement accusation. As a prosecutor I would always tell my victims to "just tell the truth", I cannot see why that advice would not work for Brune during a deposition.

Anonymous said...

Right, 8:44. Every lawyer, at some time during the conversation alludes to 'just telling the truth'. But you guys also cleverly insert a few "You might want to says" and a couple of "It will help our case if you recall it this way, but tell the truth". Deny that at your own peril Mr. Prosecutor with thirty years of practice.

Anonymous said...

8:44, one thing for sure, you are not a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

4:42 PM this is 9:38 AM

I guess your ex-wife took you back to court and made you pay more money.

Sorry it causes you to be an asshole.

The point of the post is the end...she may never testify because procedurally, in terms of evidence, her pleading the fifth works as a presumption against her position so a jury can be charged accordingly.

I said that at the end....the beginning was an attempt at explaining why a judge may not interfere and avoid the politics.....because he's new and he's a politician.....who has to run again....better to remain fair....maybe.

So sorry you were offended.

Hire a better lawyer to help you next time you get dragged on for a modification....and take a stripper home from Danny' need to get laid.

Anonymous said...

Longwitz will do whatever he thinks is politically advantageous to his career. He's never done anything else, ever.

Marc Goldbach said...

It will be good to Ms. Brune to always accompany by legal attorney every time she is appearing in the court. Sooner or later she will blame herself by not seeking legal assistance.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS