Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" "WOOF!"

So I'm enjoying a leisurely day at the reloading bench today, cooking up a batch of new .223 rounds, when Lagniappe comes down and tells me that he would like me to consider playing lawyer again on behalf of a unique but deserving client.

Well I despise the practice of law, which is why I gave it up, but as I've never had a referral from a dog before, naturally I'm curious to see what he has in mind.

Well it turns out that an old K-9 pal of his, Liberty, a German Shepherd belonging to the Warren, Michigan police department, has just been personally (dogally?) sued by some nutcase named Inez Starks.
WARREN, Mich. -- An Eastpointe woman who sued a Warren police dog was fined by a judge to pay $500 for frivolously naming the dog as a defendant. She was also fined another $500 for failing to appear in Macomb County Circuit Court for a February hearing.

Inez M. Starks, 55, filed a lawsuit in August against the city of Warren and several police officers for a 2007 incident outside of her daughter's Warren home. During the altercation, Starks claimed she was bitten in the buttocks by the Warren police dog Liberty.

Starks said she was bitten by the German shepherd April 7, 2007, outside of her daughter's home during a confrontation between police, her daughter and others.

Police went to the home after receiving a truancy complaint against Stark's daughter involving her daughter's child. During the visit police found the woman's brother, who had an outstanding warrant. The dog was brought in because the man started to flee.

The Macomb Daily reported that Starks, who was living across the street from her daughter at the time, said she came over to complain when a fight broke out, causing the dog to attack. Starks said she was bitten on her right buttock.

Starks claims the bite caused damage to her sacroiliac nerve, impairing her ability to walk and keeping her in pain.

But according to the police report of the incident, no evidence that Starks was bitten was found.

Judge David Viviano ordered Starks to pay the $1,000 fine by April 13 or her case will be dismissed.

According to the Maccomb Daily, even if Starks does pay the fine to have the case restored, attorney Raechel Badalamenti, representing the city of Warren, said the defendants will still ask the judge to dismiss the case.
OK, so this is at least interesting enough to get me to consider it. And I quickly made the following observations:

1. She claims to have been bitten, but there was no police report. How does a police dog that is always on a leash held by a police officer manage to bite someone without the officer seeing it or that person bringing it to the officer's attention"?

2. Most people bitten by a police dog have injuries that would be well-documented by medical reports. That's what police dogs do. Yet this plaintiff doesn't have those either? So she didn't even seek medical attention for this alleged "dog bite"?

3. Even if the dog did bite her, it would seem that she was only close to the dog because she'd decided to insert herself into a situation where her granddaughter, her daughter, and a man who was either her son or her brother were already in trouble with the police. Even Radden admits that she "got a little angry, got a little loud", which translates into: "began screaming like a hysterical, out-of-control loon" when you run it through the lawyer-speak filter. This is clearly an example of what we used to call "proof that stupidity is hereditary". Bottom line--if the police are dealing with someone who is not you, you need to stay clear. Inez, you may be--and probably are--a certified loser deserving of a trip to jail too, but right then and there it just wasn't your turn.

4. How bad is business to get lawyer Lawrence Radden to take a case like this? Of course the fact that he's stupid enough to file against a dog as a party suggests that he probably didn't graduate anywhere close to the top of his class. Probably a Michigan State University/Geoffrey Fieger School of Law grad, which would explain why he's hustling for crap cases like this.

5. Where did they ever find a process server to drop papers on a dog?

6. This allegedly happened almost two years ago but is apparently only just beginning now. Hello...? Timely filing, anyone?

7. Why isn't her lawyer named as a recipient of sanctions for the frivolous filing? He's the one who should be getting pounded as he's an "officer of the court" and presumed to know better.

Hopefully when/if she pays the fines, the judge still dismisses the case. Just based on what I've read, she probably didn't even get bit, but even if she did, she probably deserved it.

Oh--and I found out a bit more about her shyster, Radden (Michigan Bar # P39839)
Apparently he's a sole practitioner (which means that no firm would take him on and no one was even willing to partner with him to share office costs) and according to his internet ads, "Lawrence N. Radden practices in the following areas of law: Labor and Employment, Criminal Law, Police Misconduct, Police Brutality, Embezzlement, White Collar Crime, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, Slip and Fall, Dog Bites."

In other words, he's the kind of jerk who just goes after anyone presumed to have money. He's not skilled enough to handle contracts, wills, or commercial transactions so he just goes after the low-hanging fruit represented by typically nuisance-grade tort cases with government or businesses as the preferred defendants. Even most real lawyers look down on dirtbags like this guy.

He also doesn't pay his bar dues on time and gets suspended.

Oh--and here's a copy of the actual complaint. What a poorly-written piece of crap. Can you say "cut-and-paste generic form-letter filing"? Sheesh. He didn't even provide a narrative or an offering of relevant facts. But of course Radden is requesting a jury trial, so twelve citizens have to be bothered with this as well.

Frankly it's sleazy lawyers like Radden who give the rest of the legal profession it's bad reputation.

Additional source


  1. Geez....suing a police dog. What will people think of next?!? *shaking my head in disbelief*

  2. Anonymous1:01 AM

    Maybe the dog should get his own lawyer and countersue that lady for defamation or at the least he could maybe pee on the "evidentiary" documents. ;-)
    Yeah, that's what he should do.

  3. Or maybe the dog should bite her on the other ass cheek. Dumb beeyotch would deserve it.

  4. Anonymous1:09 PM

    This woman and attorney are whack jobs...........

    Good news on the law front. My ex hubby who was an attorney is being disbarred because of the antics he pulled (illegally) in our divorce case. Just is MINE and it is SWEET!!!

  5. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Sounds like he went to Acme Law School and got expelled.