|Lesson 21Attorney Daryl L. Kidd
“Money, money, money, money”
|Although this Lesson is still in production, the following excerpt is particularly revealing. It’s significance lies in the fact that Mr. Kidd is not truly part of the “inner circle” within the Cobb County Judicial system. At one time, he challenged the election of Judge Dorothy Robinson, and for that he has paid a significant professional price. (And, his un-knowing clients have no doubt also paid.) But, politics can make strange bedfellows. Fraud, racketeering, and collusion require a complete cover-up, regardless of personal politics. Mr. Kidd actually benefited from the illegal actions of the Court, for which he compromised his ethics and participated in the cover-up.
Background: December 13, 1995, Attorney Daryl L. Kidd placed an attorney’s lien on M. Portman’s home, claiming more than $13,500 in unpaid fees.
It should be noted that Mr. Kidd had assured M. Portman that the final bill would not exceed $5,000 more than what she had already paid him. Because his invoices were so obviously padded and even included billings for other clients, M. Portman sought State Bar (Lesson 19, State Bar of Georgia) fee arbitration and Mr. Kidd retaliated with a foreclosure on M. Portman’s home. When she was denied fee arbitration, she sought negotiation through another attorney. (Lesson 20, Attorney Lawrence B. Custer) When negotiations consistently failed, she then hired yet another attorney to defend against the foreclosure. (Lesson 17, Attorney Fred D. Bentley, Jr.)
It became evident that Mr. Kidd did not really want to risk a court ruling on the foreclosure. (Remember, HE was aware that the underlying divorce decree was VOID while M. Portman had no knowledge of VOID orders.) Mr. Kidd dismissed the foreclosure litigation through an ex-parte procedure, but steadfastly refused to release the lien. It appeared that she was stuck with the home and the lien, without option to remove the lien except through payment at time of sale. Again, appearance, but not truth.
Any ethical attorney would have revealed the truth about the VOID 1995 Order. (Attorneys Custer and Bentley no doubt also knew that the order was VOID but chose to keep M. Portman “in the dark.”) Taking a cue from Mr. Custer and Mr. Bentley, Mr. Kidd evidently realized that if he continued to cover-up the VOID status of the order, he could endear himself to the Courts AND be assured protection for his bullying of M. Portman. The Courts had even more to lose than he, if the truth about the VOID order was ever revealed. The Courts would, although grudgingly, actually protect his bullying tactics. Appendix B.01.01.01
What he wasn’t prepared for was that M. Portman would leave the jurisdiction of the Georgia Courts.
Believing that she could not sell her home as long as the lien remained, she continued to live in the house and to reside in Georgia. Although she was needed in another state to assist her parents, she delayed her move, because she was still unable to clear the title on her house.
However, in July of 2001, a window of opportunity appeared. A real estate attorney, citing Georgia case law, assured M. Portman that the lien could not be enforced after four years. Being ever cautious, M. Portman sought to re-finance for the purpose of obtaining new owner’s title insurance. Although she personally identified the lien to the title insurance agent, their title search concluded that NO valid or enforceable liens existed.
M. Portman moved to another state and offered her Georgia home for sale.
Just ONE day before the May 23, 2002 closing, she learned that Mr. Kidd had, on December 11, 2001, re-filed the original lien. He was now claiming that the payoff of the lien, with interest, was $42,831.08. The closing attorney, acting as agent for the lender, intended to pay Mr. Kidd out of the proceeds of the sale.
M. Portman had two choices: to allow this unsubstantiated payment to Mr. Kidd or to file a legal action against Mr. Kidd for abusive litigation. She chose the second. However, before doing so, she notified Mr. Kidd of her intentions. According to Georgia Law, she could raise the stakes to “triple damages” for abusive litigation, but she also had to offer Mr. Kidd a gracious way out of the confrontation. She sent him what is known in Georgia Law as a “demand letter.” Appendix B.02.05.24a Mr. Kidd had the choice to either cancel the liens completely, or face the possibility of TRIPLE damages if and when M. Portman prevailed in an abusive litigation action against him.
M. Portman was confident of her ability to win the abusive litigation in a court of true justice. Was Mr. Kidd as equally confident?
M. Portman received NO correspondence or response from Mr. Kidd. However, she searched the real estate records at the Cobb County courthouse and found that Mr. Kidd had actually chosen to retreat, with a cancellation of the 2001 Lien, filed June 11, 2002, and then a cancellation of the 1995 Lien, filed June 20, 2002.
Should M. Portman consider this a success? Or should she still be suspicious of his motives? Why would any attorney cancel a $43,000 lien after going to such extreme measures to cash in on it’s appearance of validity?
The cardinal rule of law is to never proceed with an action unless you know the resulting response, or at least the truthful answer. A good attorney will not ask a question in court unless he knows what the answer truly is, and can prove it.
As long as Mr. Kidd had the protection of the Georgia Courts, he continued to bully and intimidate M. Portman. But, when the jurisdiction shifted to Federal Court, he realized that truth had a greater chance of prevailing. In all fairness, M. Portman made the Georgia Courts aware of her “demand letter,” through informative letter Appendix B.02.05.24b to Judge Rufe E. McCombs. Is it possible that Mr. Kidd was persuaded by the Georgia Courts to cease and desist, in the hopes that M. Portman would disappear into obscurity?
The bullying now lies dormant. What will it take to awaken it? To be continued….