Can A Corrupt Federal Judge Be
Arkansas Federal Judge H. Franklin Waters
Corrupt Servant Of A Corrupt System
By Kurt Saxon ~ PLAINTIFF
In the Middle Ages, if a peasant had been so bold as to sue a noble, theoutcome was obvious. Today, our Constitution guarantees the right of any citizen to get a fair hearing in a trial, regardless of the status of the defendant. Yet, the medieval system can still be imposed on a plaintiff if that plaintiff is without means, and especially if the plaintiff is in disrepute and can be seen as a political offender.
H. Franklin Waters, United States District Judge, Arkansas, accepted a case wherein Plaintiff was suing Lawrence Harper, vice president of The Democrat-Lithograph Printing Company (DP&L) and Bill Blann, owner of Delta Press. The causes of action were breach of contract; fraud; breach of fiduciary duty and copyright infringement.
Judge Waters is a good servant of "the system." He undoubtedly had personal knowledge of Plaintiff as a notorious public figure in Arkansas. So he automatically denied all Plaintiff's evidence against the defendants and arbitrarily gave the decision to the largest printing firm in the state, and Bill Blann, a common crook and swindler.
Judge Waters would not have minded acting as attorney for the corrupt DP&L, with their $20,000,000 in assets, prestige, and political influence. But he may have had misgivings about favoring Blann. Even so, Blann had to be cleared if DP&L was to be exonerated.
Defending the system against such people as Plaintiff was his perceived duty. Every judge with a totalitarian mind set sees the political offender as a far greater threat to the system he serves than the simply crooked. So although Blann is an obvious crook, he must be favored over the political offender, who must not be allowed to prevail.
What led up to the trial was financial reverses suffered by Plaintiff which made him vulnerable to a hostile takeover by Blann.
Plaintiff was out of his best selling book, The Poor Man's James Bond and lacked funds for printing. Blann offered to pay $15,000 if Plaintiff would repay the loan in 90 days, along with $3,000 interest.
Failure to pay the full amount would result in Plaintiff's signing over the commercial rights to The PMJB.
As security against Plaintiff's failure to sign over the rights, 3,000 PMJB's were held by DP&L to be turned over to Blann if Plaintiff did not sign. The trial showed that DP&L had actually turned over the 3,000 books to Blann even before the due date.
When making the agreement, Plaintiff was sure that his biggest dealers, who had routinely paid up to $10,000 yearly for his books would pay off the debt. Plaintiff duly offered the books at $6.50 each, $2.00 off the wholesale price if up to 1,000 where bought at one time.
Although the books were certain to sell, the dealers showed no interest. It was later learned that Blann had approached all the dealers he anticipated would make such a purchase and urged them to boycott Plaintiff, causing him to default. His offer was of perpetually lower prices regardless of the amount of books purchased.
That they complied is shown by Blann's invoices to his dealers, reflecting the uneven pricing for PMJBs between small dealers and the larger ones, as shown below:
Guardian, Doug Blann (Blann's own brother), Jim's Military Relics, Tino International, CRB Research, DWARF, AARC0, Anvil, Enoksen and The Larder; $9.80 each.
Paladin Press, Federal Sporting, Butokukai, Loompanics; $7.00 to $7.50 each. Conant's Landing; under $6.00.
While the larger dealers were waiting for the rights to PMJB to revert to Blann, they bought what books they needed to fill current orders but did not take advantage of Plaintiffs offer, effectively boycotting him. Judge Waters ruled that the unhelpful amount of books purchased showed there was no boycott.
Although Plaintiff might have gotten credit from DP&L, Blann assured him that DP&L did not give credit. The agreement was for a loan. However, the trial showed the printing was done on credit. Blann did not have to come up with any money and so did not risk anything. Blann had told Plaintiff he had borrowed the money to pay for the printing.
Had Plaintiff known the work was to be done on credit, the agreement would have been entirely different.
When he defaulted, having suspicions but no proof, Plaintiff signed over the rights to PMJB. He then requested the return of the books held as security; books with a retail value of $47,460. Blann would not give them up.
Note: PMJB had earned hundreds of thousands since 1972 and was still a consistent best-seller. It was worth several times the amount of the loan and the books were legally Plaintiff's. But Judge Waters ruled that since the agreement didn't specify the return of the books, they belonged to Blann.
One doesn't need to go to law books for this. Anyone sitting behind a desk at a bank would affirm that once a debt is paid, any security against payment is automatically returned to the debtor.
Following Blann's fraudulent acquisition of the rights to PMJB 1, Plaintiff revised and re-copyrighted PMJB 1, renaming it "The New Improved" PMJB. This was his only defense against Blann's acts and was indeed an attempt to make the stolen property worthless. Judge Waters, true to form, accused the Plaintiff of acting with "unclean hands" and ruled the new copyright invalid (Exhibit B-26).
Meanwhile, Plaintiff had struck up a pleasant association with Harper by phone after having printed and paid for several thousand brochures. To Plaintiff's amazement and delight, Harper offered him credit for the printing of 5,000 each of six books, including The New Improved PMJB. That was a total credit of $98,000 for 30,000 books!
The books were printed and during a phone conversation with Harper, Plaintiff said he was not going to sell Blann any more books. Without hesitation, Harper then said, "Billy says all your books are in his catlog and if you won't sell him any more he won't pay me the $80,000 he owes me for 135,000 catlogs."
This shows that Blann had anticipated Plaintiff's refusal to do further business with him and so he had threatened Harper.
Plaintiff, out of gratitude to Harper for the credit, told him he could transfer 1,000 books of any selection to Blann and Blann was to send Harper $7,500 to be applied to Plaintiff's account with DP&L. The 1,000 books would help with Blann's present customer orders, after which, Blann's later catlogs would not feature Plaintiff's books.
In the following weeks, Plaintiff noticed many full page ads in weapons-oriented publications featuring his books. The ads were by other dealers than Blann and the books advertised had not been ordered from Plaintiff. The books were also in the catlogs of other dealers who had not bought them from Plaintiff. All the full-page ads in national magazines and large circulation catlogs had to represent a guaranteed source of many thousands of books.
Plaintiff then told Harper that Blann was marketing thousands of books through other dealers. Having utmost faith in Harper's integrity, Plaintiff naively asked him if someone else at DP&L could be transferring the stored books to Blann. Harper said that was impossible and suggested Blann might be getting the books printed somewhere else.
Plaintiff had promised Harper large and prompt payments to pay off the debt. But with Blann and his dealers saturating the market with Plaintiff's books, Plaintiff was increasingly unable to live up to his promise.
In short, with most of Plaintiff's former dealers buying Plaintiff's books from Blann because of Blann's undercutting Plaintiff's prices, nearly everyone interested in the material was getting it through Blann and Plaintiff was being forced out of business.
Meanwhile, Harper was becoming impatient and was demanding payment. Finally after Plaintiff's many complaints about Blann, Harper said that if he believed Blann was stealing his books, Plaintiff ought to sue Blann.
Plaintiff could not believe; did not want to believe, that his benefactor had betrayed his trust. Even after he had gone to an attorney, Plaintiff resisted an outright accusation of Harper. Nonetheless, Plaintiff could see no way for Blann to act without Harper's compliance. Plaintiff had to confront Harper with the accusation in order to get at the truth.
The Little Rock attorney, Steven Carver, contacted Harper and verified that Harper had, indeed, been secretly selling Plaintiff's books to Blann from the outset. In compliance with Harper, Carver drew up an agreement that if Plaintiff should drop the suit Harper and DP&L would sell no more of Plaintiff's books to Blann. Plaintiff refused to sign.
Plaintiff had lost too much by Harper's crookedness. Besides, he knew that neither Harper nor DP&L could be trusted, as subsequent events have proven. Had Harper admitted his guilt early on and cut Blann off from access to Plaintiff's books, Plaintiff would simply have sold the books, paid off Harper and taken his business elsewhere. But Plaintiff had been hurt too much, both financially and emotionally, by Harper's callous betrayal. Especially since he realized that Harper's generous credit was not on his behalf, but on Blann's.
Exhibit A proves that Harper printed 30,000 books for Plaintiff. Exhibits A-6, 7 and 8 show that out of those 30,000 books, Plaintiff was shipped only 11,836. Blann got 18,164. Less the authorized 1,000, that left 17,164 with a retail value of $291,788. It doesn't matter what Blann got for them, since he wasn't supposed to have them. Had Blann not been sold the books by Harper, Plaintiff could have sold them to those who bought them from Blann and thus satisfied his obligation to Harper.
Blann wanted those books to sell. Owing Harper $80,000 at the outset and threatening not to pay, was enough leverage to maneuver Harper into the position of a willing tool.
So Harper printed 30,000 books on credit, further trapping himself into such an indebtedness to his company that he had to proceed, regardless of the consequences.
So the case came to court on October 2, 1990. Neither Harper nor Blann had any defense, but needed none. Plaintiff was on trial and was judged and found guilty before it began.
There was no jury. Plaintiff's attorney, a California corporate lawyer, had reasoned that a judge would give a larger award than would a jury. The idea that his client was considered by the court as unworthy of justice never occurred to him. In effect, Judge Waters acted as attorney for the defense.
In his Memorandum Opinion Judge Waters starts off with, "This is an action for copyright infringement." In actuality, the copyright issue was incidental. The main issues were breach of contract, fraud, conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty.
But Judge Waters placed the emphasis on copyrights in order to exonerate DP&L. The idea being, if the copyrights were invalid, DP&L and Harper did no wrong in selling the books to Blann. But this is not so. Had the merchandise been baseball caps or bookends, unprotected, it would still have been breach of contract, fraud, and conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty.
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