Sunday, March 17, 2019

Baker Donelson Swings Ax Again at SEC

Baker Donelson reiterated its request that U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves dismiss the SEC's complaint against the white-shoe law firm in the Lamar Adams case.   The SEC is trying to claw back illegal profits earned by Lamar Adams and several promoters of a $164 million Ponzi scheme based on phony timber investments.   Receiver Alysson Mills represents the SEC.

 U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves appointed attorney Alysson Mills to be the receiver in the case.  She will recover assets, distribute them among the victims, and provide progress reports to the court.  Mills sued  to recover over $16 million in commissions from several "promoters". The promoters allegedly helped Adams sell his phony timber investments to unsuspecting investors. Ms. Mills also sued Baker Donelson and Butler Snow to recover damages.

Jon Seawright is a lawyer at Baker Donelson while Brent Alexander is a lobbyist at the firm. Seawright and Alexander created a timber investment fund, Alexander Seawright Timber Fund I, in 2011 that would invest in Madison Timber. They began pitching the investments to Baker Donelson clients.  Ms. Mills claimed victims “reasonably believed” their investments in Madison Timber and Alexander Seawright Timber Fund I, were “backed and promoted by, and had been vetted by, Baker Donelson.” Earlier post with copy of complaint and more information.  Ms. Mills sued BD for conspiracy, aiding & abetting, gross negligence, and negligent retention and supervision.

 BD filed the motion to dismiss on February 21.  Ms. Mills filed her response on March 8.  Baker Donelson filed a response to the response on Thursday.   March 8 post covering these filings.

The response is posted below.  Frankly, it's getting into the legal weeds so JJ won't devote much print to the response itself.  It repeats most of the same arguments made in the motion to dismiss.  BD takes the position that it is not responsible for the Baker Boyz and Ms. Mills stands in the shoes of Lamar Adams, not the victimized investors.   The response is posted so those following the case can stay abreast on its latest developments.

Baker Donelson is represented by the law firms Watkins & Eager and Williams & Connolly (Yes, that Williams & Connolly).  

Related Posts
Baker Donelson tries to clear cut Receiver's lawsuit.  
More lawsuits coming in Lamar Adams case.  
Wife's Tree Falls in Lamar Adams Case
Butler Snow Asks Judge to Dismiss SEC Complaint in Lamar Adams Case.  
Ole Miss Repays Money in Lamar Adams Case 
Receiver sues Butler Snow & Baker Donelson
 Lamar Adams swindled over $164 million from victims in Ponzi scheme.  
Billings Battles Receiver 
Receiver goes after millions in commissions in timber Ponzi scheme.  
Receiver records $2 million.  
Lamar Adams Sentencing Postponed 
 Federal Home Cooking in Lamar Adams Case? 
Tree Falls Against Pinnacle in Lamar Adams Case 
WSJ Blasts Judge Reeves in Lamar Adams Case 
Judge to SEC & SOS: Not so Fast 
McHenry sues Lamar Adams, claims he was duped.  
A look into how the timber scheme worked.
SEC opposes Delbert's opposition.  
 SEC wants receiver in Ponzi scheme case, Delbert opposes.
Victim sues Timber Trolls 
Lamar Adams pleads guilty.  
SEC: Ponzi scheme began in 2004. 
Flashback Friday
Clearcutting the timber. 
Wicker wobbed in Ponzi scheme.
Pinnacle Trust issues statement on Ponzi scheme
Lamar Adams waives indictment.
Feds: Lamar Adams took over $100 million in Ponzi scheme.


Anonymous said...

Pure balls, 100% nuts

Anonymous said...

Would Lamar have been as successful as he was without individuals at BS and BD promoting his fraud?

Did Baker make a dime or gain anything, directly or indirectly, from Lamar’s agents?

Trace every dime and let’s see

Anonymous said...

Read the complaint. It does not allege legal malpractice against BD, and no client has sued BD. Nor does it allege that BD received a penny for anything related to this scam, and BD has said in court filings it did not.

Anonymous said...

Yeh, maybe BD is ok as they didn’t. They still employ two employees that accepted millions and they knew about it. Still have to cover that track

Anonymous said...

6:43 - you might read the complaint again and then pack your desk at BD and find a better firm or hang your own shingle. The deal was described to me and many others as one that BD and BS put together for their clients. It may not be technically true but that is what people believed. Your receptionist directed calls on this matter. Did BD pay rent for the rooms and offices used to promote this scam? Same BD couriers? The forensic accounting will be telling. This just seems like a firm trying to avoid RICo designation and liability. My guess is they will try to pin this on the non -lawyers and Thornton. No matter the legal maneuvers- what kind of firm has a 100 million dollar scandal running through their offices without their great attorneys noticing?

Anonymous said...

6:43 - If a masked gunman attempts to rob the pawn shop and is caught in the act, is it necessary that his accomplice in the car actually receive stolen cash in order to be prosecuted?

"Didn't receive a (traceable) dime" is hardly a defense.

Oh, WAIT! Nobody has sued the accomplice in the car either, so he can't be complicit.

IF (and a mighty damned big if) BD received no (traceable) cash, they certainly received the 'in kind' favor and continued allegiance (and cash) of that part of their client base who invested. Or that was the plan.

Anonymous said...

How many BD employees invested in this scam? This answer will tell volumes about their involvement? That may be the litmus test. If anyone out in Jax. Jambalaya land knows, please share.

Anonymous said...

Has Baker Donaldson fired Alexander and Seawright yet?

Anonymous said...

If they will print the names of the victims, this will answer a lot of questions. Don't hand me that "privacy" BS, the list of investors with the Stanford scheme was placed on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Alysson Mills is a hottie!
She can depose me at any time.

Smart, Hard working, Driven, & Sweet & Sour!

Anonymous said...

BS and BD didn’t see nothing, didn’t hear nothing, don’t know nuthing and they ain’t lying cause they lawyers.

Anonymous said...

a little history. in the early 2000s the media and the insurance industry cooked up the ' legal crisis" and coined a catchy little term for the humanoids,called 'jackpot justice". in response in 2002-03 the legislature enacted alot os sweeping changes in the civil justice system. good ole tort reform. remember that? the insurance companies all swore that rates would fall like a rock if tort reform was had. tell me, have your insurance rates gone down?
but thats another story for another day. prior to tort reform the biggest recipients of "jackpot justice" were the big ivory-tower law firms that got hired and made millions defending plaintiffs cases. after tort reform the big firms lost all that business and had to come up with new ways of ginning up revenue. the first thing the big firms did was get into lobbying and apparently also selling investments to their clients. thats presicley how all this big mess came to be. BD and BS need to make up their minds as to whether they want to be lawyers, lobbyists, or investment brokers. seems its little too late for that now. these firms may take some heat in this receivership lawsuit, but make no mistake about it ,the mississippi state bar will not do one damn thing to any of them. in contrast , if the lawyers selling those timber investments were small time , south -of- capitol street solo practitioners , they would have already be crucified by the bar association.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:50, apparently not, because I see Seawright walking the halls up here in The District office building all the time.

Anonymous said...

BD didn't make a dime on this deal. What's to claw back? Zero.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. said...

9:36 AM Great Post

You have your finger on the pulse of the judicial system.

I'll tell you buddy that Trump spends a ton of money on his legal expenses.

Or, maybe us taxpayers are ffoting the bill.....

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Anonymous said...

in the early 2000s the media and the insurance industry cooked up the ' legal crisis" ...


Anonymous said...

Here are three links that give the broad strokes on tort reform and what it means for damage caps in Mississippi:

(effective from and after September 1, 2004)

(effective from and after September 1, 2004)

Anonymous said...

Yeh I agree. They did however knowingly allow two partners to accept millions in referral fees by putting their clients in this.

I don’t know what that means

Anonymous said...

to need a link to confirm the "legal crisis"? you must one of those guy 's who has never even heard of walmart or donald trump.

Anonymous said...

Patience ladies and gentlemen.....this is a slow motion train wreck and will be forthcoming. Lots of attempted "maneuvering" is always expected, but this could go on for years.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your insight, 4:41. But, can you tell us something we don't already know?

Yoda said...

And nowhere, Jim Hood to be found is, yes? Strong is the farce in this one, yes. These hometown pick pockets ransack the state's residents, break state laws and still they ride around town in their Mercedes and strut around the state capitol like peacocks.

Oh yeah, I forgot, the in-state corporations that steal millions are immune from state prosecution because they have donated big bucks to the state's "top cop".

Or maybe it was the "they were just employees of the firm, and we did not know they were stealing in our name" defense worked. That did not work for out-of-state corporations who were subject of a state RICO action filed by the A.G. against folks in the Epps case.

"This say I to Jedi Hood. Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try. Shame it will be on you if you fail to use the force to protect the people because the dark side has you in their thrall", Master Yoda.

Anonymous said...

"And nowhere, Jim Hood to be found is, yes?"

This is neither support nor denigration of Hood, but what would people expect of him at this point? The feds already told Hosemann that when they needed any shit out of him, they'd come squeeze his ears together. Moreover, what would you have Hood (or any other official from any other state) do? Any state official attempting to jump the line in front of the feds would get cut off at the knees. Once the feds are through with that portion of the case, then the states, the "investors," etc. can have their respective shots - see the Paul Manafort situation for clues to what may happen after the feds have their fun.

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:36,

Want some whine to go with that cheese? When is Hood going to prosecute them for fraud, after the election? He better get moving. Only has ten months until he is gone. There will be no prosecution by the current AG.

Anonymous said...

to 9;12am ,,,,relax cheeseball... the feds are looking at this deal. they dont get in line with anybody and they take their sweet time about everything. 99% of the time they are ready to go to trial the same day the defendants are served with their indictments and arraigned. BTW we all know the election schedule.

Delmer Covington said...

Meant to say “your stole money is getting away”. But now I have to say “oh Baker Boyz, not the notaries!”

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