The Ascendancy of Jim Parkman

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– General

– site admin@ 7:19am

Happy 4th of July: Here’s some fireworks for y’all.

“Ranting and raving on a blog site isn’t going to change the verdict.” Ooh, that hurt, although I still believe that discussion is good and there is even something to the rants the raves and the rightness and wrongness of it all.

What happened in Birmingham was a master stroke for Jim Parkman. Besides Mr. Scrushy, if there was one big winner, Parkman would be the one. Preliminary and (perhaps by now) secondary indications appear to say the jury bought whatever the defense told them to buy, they looked at what the defense told them to look at, they ignored what the defense told them to ignore. Parkman knew that jury.

Near the beginning of the trial, I used a sports analogy to discuss the ebb and flow of the trial, and another one might apply here. When a team wins a big game, especially in a blow out, two perspectives can emerge. Either the losing team played very poorly or the winning team played well. The defense did well. There were problems with the prosecution-I pointed out some or most of them along the way. There were problems with the experience of Judge Bowdre-often pointed out by many of the posters, but neither were likely the ultimate factor in the outcome of this trial. Jim Parkman knew the jury. We can debate the rightness or wrongness of how he did it or what he was able to do, but Parkman used the system set forth in the Constitution to defend his client. That is what he was paid to do. That’s what he was supposed to do. Whatever he did worked. Perfectly.

It is hard to discount what Parkman did. Other lawyers, even with the same jury, may not have been so successful. It is also worth noting that the defense strategy I labeled the “bad management” theory which I assume was mostly engineered by Art Leach, was also a perfect backdrop to Parkman’s methodology. At times, when the whole contractual adjustment issues were brought in with all of its murky complexities, it almost seemed like the defense was discussing a different case, and the jury had to have a hard time knowing what the heck they were talking about. The effect was to force them back to things they could easily understand, and Parkman was only too willing to provide plenty jury-friendly details to fill in the gaps. Parkman is on the national stage now. He’s a juror’s lawyer that can win big trials. It is unlikely that he’ll ever defend another drunk driver or small town thug again, unless by choice, for old times sake or something. Parkman and perhaps some of his team may be off to Tennessee to defend Senator John Ford in a corruption case. (Maybe I should blog that one as this may be the strain of this story where the reverberations of what happened in Birmingham are felt most keenly.) The next step would be to see if his ability and technique would play outside the confines and traditions of the south. But the table is set and the national stage looms on the horizon. [Have a good 4th. There’ll be more later.]

19 Comments

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1. Ranting and raving dp indeed help nothing, of course. The prosecution was just outlawyered by these people, and the defense knew how to pick a jury (as an Alabama lawyer, I can tell you that should NOT have been too hard, but apparently beyond the prosecution’s ken). Still, even if ranting and raving do not help, where did my tax dollars go? Why did they have to shell out thousands of dollars to try a case as badly as this one?

Comment by Frank – 7/4/2005 @ 9:30 am

2. Now more than everÖ.I will not step one foot in a healthsouth facility UNTIL the name is changed. I will not contribute one penny to the welfare of anything that bears the founder’s name. This is a sickening time for healthcare. How can Karon Bowdre look in the mirror? To Alice Martin: It is a crying shame that you had your hands tied. To the defense: Not wasting my time to address you. The earth still rotates and it ain’t over yet. For those who still think that this is only about finances, you are sadly mistaken. This did and still does DIRECTLY affect healthcare in this county and abroad. If you don’t believe it, I have some ocean front property in Colorado and next to St.Vincent’s.

Comment by too smart for HRC – 7/4/2005 @ 12:46 pm

3. From what I have readÖthe jury was NOT too smart.

Comment by too smart for HRC – 7/4/2005 @ 1:03 pm

4. What kind of “lowlife” could survive daily, knowing full well that they are free while others go to prison for them? Let’s just PRETEND that the ceo is truly “not guilty” and his former underlings are the masterminds, where is his concern for them? Should he not testify on their behalf? Could he not be a character witness for them? NawÖ.he just slithers over into his corner and pleads the fifth. Where oh where art thou, torment? Why do I toss and turn at night? Where are you, peace? Why can I not find comfort with myself? Those twelve say I am free. Why do I not feel free? Oh wellÖ.I will spend the rest of my life looking for the real mastermind? Where do I begin? I will start with the mirror.

Comment by too smart for HRC – 7/4/2005 @ 4:49 pm

5. I agree with you concerning Parkman. I wish that you would blog the Ford case if Parkman defends him. It would be interesting to see the techniques he uses in another state. Thanks for the wonderful updates. I look forward to see the next cases that Schrusy will face updated here.

Comment by Interested party – 7/5/2005 @ 8:06 am

6. Parkman was the perfect addition to the team, but you should acknowledge the clear fact that Donald Watkins was the brain behind the defense. He also knows a thing or two about whipping the Birmingham Justice Department. They are still “shocked, shocked,” like some of the posters here – and the entire Birmingham press corps – crying in their milk (with chocolate, of course, Judge Bowdre’s favorite, remember?). Everything I’ve seen clearly from this case since I moved back to B’ham, Ala-bam, is what I remember about this town when I left for the first time 25 years ago. Light weights all around. I find it amazing that there are even a few people here who could find their way to this blog at all. You should feel proud to be the online elite around these parts, although I’m afraid that ain’t saying much. Meanwhile, I ran into my old friend Al O’Brien the artist yesterday down by the Five Points fountan about the time the fireworks started going off over Vulcan. He was fairly livid about the Scrushy acquittal, mainly I take it because he lost money on HealthSouth stock. He’s become quite the stock watcher in his waning years. A fine newspaper reporter in his day, a fine tennis player and coach too, although he’s turned to art and stocks in his later years.

If I worked for the Birmingham Post-Herald, I would have already interviewed him for a special profile in this case. I thought about doing it for the Locust Fork Journal – and I might yet, although I normally don’t go to that much trouble for free. The Birmingham press and local TV media have no idea what is about to hit them online. They are as clueless as the Klueless Klux Klan.

Comment by GW – 7/5/2005 @ 11:13 pm

7. One more thought for the night, just for enlightenment purposes. No one on this blog, in the local press, or even the national papers of record, have thought to ask a very important question. How could the Bush administration, with it’s ties to Enron, oil and big money, really care about prosecuting big money business scammers such as you know who?

Are they really serious about this? Did it not even occur to anyone here to ask themselves that? Or are you just stuck in the devil details of the day in and day out? Seems to me y’all can’t see the forest for the trees.

Comment by GW – 7/5/2005 @ 11:53 pm

8. The SEC plans to file its case tomorrow against Scrushy, seeking$785 million in fines, restitution, and interest payments to shareholders and to bar him permanently from being an officer or director of a publicly-traded company.

Comment by jc – 7/6/2005 @ 7:56 am

9. I have read several comments pertaining to the King’s attorney costs that suggested that HealthSouth was responsible for paying for the criminal as well as the civil actions facing Scrushy. Can this be accurate? I cannot impagine that HS would be responsible for his attorney fees, especially for criminal defense costs. Does anyone know for sure the facts related to who is responsible for paying for Scrushy’s shyster fees? I am almost certain that Scrushy paid for the criminal defense because this is why his attorneys told judge Johnson that Scrushy must have access to his millions in order to organise a defense.

Comment by Former Employee – 7/6/2005 @ 9:21 am

10. Get over it too smart, the jury heard the evidence and decided that the gov’t didn’t prove their case, Alice Martin didn’t have her hands tied, she was in over her head. Fortunately for the defense Weides and Smith were not much better. There was plenty of reasonable doubt and thank god that is the burden of proof because you never know when it’s your ass on the line.

Comment by Mike – 7/6/2005 @ 9:51 am

11. Here is the proof that whatever comes out of Donald Watkins mouth is a lie. In the June 30th Birmingham News he said he was through “lawyering.” Now he is going to defend former Tennessee State Senator John Ford. That sounds to me like he is still lawyering, but wait I have common sense. Donald is relying on ADD America to quickly forget his words. Hopefully the jury in Tennessee will be more intelligent than the one in Alabama.

Comment by The Unifaxer – 7/7/2005 @ 10:59 am

12. I read on the channel 13 discusion site that Scrushy bought all of the legal team a new corvette. Does anyone know if this is true? and If so what a way to gloat!!! I hope he has to give up all his rides and beds in the civil cases .. Has everybody forgot this site?? Wake Up America!!!!!JE

Comment by je – 7/7/2005 @ 1:59 pm

13.We had a good 4th, now waiting for your future comments!

Comment by Khultsman – 7/7/2005 @ 6:00 pm

14. Reasonable doubt, my ass. Does Richard pay you weekly, or twice a month? The psychopath can spin it anyway he wants with paid spinmeisters like yourself, but he is as guilty as anyone ever charged with a crime and everyone who knows him knows this to be true. Have fun defending the lawsuits. Live a long, tormented life, then may you burn in hell!

Comment by Anonymous – 7/8/2005 @ 8:30 pm

15. Hey Anon, everyone but the jury and that, my friend is who counts. If you would take your pissed off blinds off and look at it as a trial and not as a lynch mob, you could see that there is plenty of reasonable doubt. The people who participated in the fraud pled guilty. The one that they tried to pin it on pled not guilty. And no the defense didn’t get corvettes, they got Escalades.

Comment by Mike – 7/9/2005 @ 8:06 pm

16. Two articles in yesterday’s Birmingham News support the view that Scrushy did not win, but rather, the prosecutors lost this trial. These articles are devestating to our already embarassed (and embarassing) U.S. Attorney, Alice Martin. According to the first of these articles, Scrushy’s team (in an effort to avoid prosecution by showing the government the weaknesses in its case), gave their game book to Justice lawyers many moons ago. The 80 page document provided by Scrushy’s lawyers described what the Scrushy team’s trial approach would be. In other words, the government had the other team’s playbook before the game began, and still got their butts kicked. How pathetic is that?

The other article described how the Assistant U. S. Attorney who would have prosecuted the case, Mike Rasmussen, “retired” before the trial commenced. Rasmussen was the guy who the Scrushy lawyers feared, for one simple reason: he was a really good prosecutor. This confirms my prior position that the Government sent in a buncha scrubs to do battle against seasoned defense lawyers. It was no contest.

Alice, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Comment by Scipio Sphinx – 7/11/2005 @ 8:06 am

17. What color is yours, Mike?

Comment by anonymous – 7/11/2005 @ 1:44 pm

18. Mike, You might want to invest in a remedial English course before you post again. The correct term is blinders, not blinds. Blinds are for windows; blinders are for horses. Note, too, that a person pleaded guilty, not “pled” guilty. Also, your punctuation could stand a little revision. However, your skills are probably comparable to those of the persons serving on the jury. Escalades sound appropriate. Corvettes are for rednecks; Escalades are for pimps.

Comment by Anonymous – 7/11/2005 @ 6:21 pm

19. Anonymous or scared, same thing. First off I don’t have a corvette. Second someone can plead guilty or they have already pled guilty, either can be used but maybe not in your circles, off course most of the clients I know plead “not guilty” and that is how they are found after the trial. Please forgive me for forgetting to put the er on the end of blinds, here I’ll do it now blinders. Thus meaning going into the trial you and everyone else thought he was guilty. You didn’t look at the evidence, you dismissed it. You took the word of drunkards, drug users, felons and liars. The same as with my postings, you look at the things that are not relivant, my puncuation and spelling, I guess in the trial you looked at what color the tie was that Bill Owens had the recorder in or what type of alcohol that Beam drank when he would come to work drunk. Either way “NOT GUILTY”