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Open Letter: 3/19/21

From: Ray Rogers, Director
Corporate Campaign, Inc. (NYC)
Campaign to Stop Legal Malpractice
718-852-2808
Visit:
www.TheClientKiller.org

Open Letter to Amazon Studios, Actor/Producer Jamie Foxx & Director Maggie Betts:

Please Pull the Plug on "The Burial"


You Wouldn't Make a Film Immortalizing Disgraced Attorney Thomas Girardi, and You Shouldn't Make a Film Immortalizing Attorney Willie E. Gary.


On the surface, "The Burial" appears to be a story about attorney Willie E. Gary, the son of a Florida sharecropper who went on to become a flamboyant lawyer and a champion of the underdog. In reality, he is nothing of the sort. Attorney Gary has been accused numerous times of colluding with defendants and stealing untold millions from unsuspecting clients — in other words, Mr. Gary is a serial predator who preys on the most vulnerable — his very own clients!

While attorney Gary described himself as a "Giant Killer" in a CBS 60 Minutes interview with Morley Safer, in truth attorney Gary is a client killer because he kills the very hopes and dreams he promises his unsuspecting clients before intentionally steering their highly lucrative legal cases into dismissal by either (1) failing to file proper paperwork, (2) failing to submit compelling evidence he has in his possession, (3) failing to file the complaint within the statute of limitations, or (4) settling and stealing settlement monies behind the client's back.

In any of these aforementioned scenarios, Willie Gary's goal is simple: negotiate an undisclosed settlement with defendants, which will then put the case to rest and thus protect the reputation of defendants while simultaneously keeping any knowledge of the settlement away from his clients. It's all confidential, and thus any cross-referencing of information between the actual plaintiffs and defendants is strictly barred. All information has to channel through attorney Gary so he can tell his clients anything he wants without fear of repercussion. It's the ultimate shell game — only this game is played with millions of dollars rather than peanuts.

Throwing the Client's Case by Failing to Submit Critical Evidence

One can only ask, why would any competent attorney — let alone one who claims to be a "Giant Killer" — intentionally fail to file compelling evidence as he did in a potential landmark racial discrimination case, Rowe Entertainment vs. William Morris Agency/Creative Artist Agency, or fail to file a complaint on time as he did in Ernestine Elliot vs. Nissan Corporation and Schneider National Carrier when he himself claimed that these cases were worth billions in damages? Better yet, why would any competent attorney throw billions or even millions down the drain with such rudimentary mistakes? Or has he figured sophisticated ways to enrich himself by making backroom deals, stealing from his clients and protecting the very ones he is suing.

Stealing Settlement Monies From Clients

In 2005 Gary and his firm got caught stealing $51.5 million of a $67.5 million settlement from 42 victims of gender discrimination won against Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation. A Michigan court determined that the Gary Firm may regularly engage in fraud against its clients. Yale Law Professor Lawrence Fox, one of the country's leading experts in legal ethics, explains: "This is the saddest example of lawyer misconduct I have directly encountered in years of practice. The defendants here, masquerading as champions of their clients and others they categorize as down-trodden or oppressed, in fact used their representation of their clients and these others they purported to represent, to advance their own financial interests, literally taking money out of the hands of their clients and systematically violating multiple duties these lawyers owed them. Their conduct not only injured their clients but also brought opprobrium on the entire profession."

Included in the Judge's Order against Gary is this shocking statement:

Neither Defendants nor Plaintiffs settlement agreements advised Plaintiffs of the $51.5 million payment to Defendants. Moreover, upon inadvertently discovering the spreadsheet, Plaintiff Harsen immediately informed Curt Rundell, who stated that, if Company A, Company B, or Willie Gary knew that Harsen had "their case[-]closed files, with all that information, ...[Harsen] could find [her]self in a body bag." After Harsen's husband asked Rundell what the $51.5 million was for upon handing Rundell the spreadsheet the following day, Rundell replied that "the $51.5 million was money Willie [Gary] was to receive from ...[Company B] for programs." When questions whether this was legal, Rundell stated that Willie [Gary] is doing things that no other attorney has thought of doing and[,] believe me, he has himself covered." (page 26-27 of the Order)

Willie Gary's Unconscionable Behavior Extends Back to at Least 1985

Long before the Ford/Visteon case, it seems that Willie Gary, the narcissistic predator, was fleecing many of his most vulnerable clients. In 1985, James Troy Fulks, an illiterate farm worker became an easy mark to swindle after seven members of his family were electrocuted due to the negligence of Florida Power and Light Company. Willie Gary quickly won a $50 million settlement over which he nefariously gained control. My investigation to date, with the help of Mr. Fulks' stepson Willie Lewis who reached out to me, shows that $30 million of the money that belongs to Mr. Fulks is unaccounted for and Gary continues to this day to ignore the impoverished family's pleas asking "Where is our money?"

Steering Clients Away From Other Law Firms and Then Throwing the Client's Case

In a March 18, 2001 segment on CBS 60 Minutes Morley Safer said, "Companies like Coca-Cola wish they never heard the name Willie Gary." Little did anyone know at the time, that the only racial discrimination victims of Coke who would never receive a penny of settlement money were the seventeen Coke employees, including Jacci Everson, Marietta Goodman and Sharron Mangum, who unfortunately opted out of the class action lawsuit to be represented by Gary. Coke settled the class action, in which Gary played no part, for $192.5 million.

Failing to File a Complaint on Time and Throwing the Client's Case

One day after the death of Ernestine Elliott's daughter on March 10, 2014, Gary called Mrs. Elliott to aggressively solicit her to hire him to file wrongful death lawsuits against automaker Nissan and Schneider National Carrier whose truck rear ended her daughter's car which burst into flames. Gary insisted that he immediately fly to Georgia to meet. There, with contract in hand, Gary falsely and cruelly promised the grieving parents that he would be with them every step of the way.

Gary claimed that he was the number one lawyer in the nation, and falsely boasted that he was going to win billion dollar verdicts like he did against Coca-Cola because the trucking company was one lawsuit and the auto company was a separate lawsuit. With him representing them, he emphasized that the family would never have to worry about anything from paying funeral costs to continuing her daughter's legacy of philanthropy.

Shortly after being retained by Mrs. Elliott, he learned that she was to receive a $100,000 death benefit from her daughter's GEICO auto insurance policy that had absolutely nothing to do with her wrongful death cases. Gary pressured Mrs. Elliott to have GEICO send the check to him so he could protect all her interests during this difficult period. Then he developed a scheme to steal most of it, which he did.

Gary and others in his law firm repeatedly lied to the heartbroken Mrs. Elliott for nearly five years claiming that the lawsuits were progressing and big victories were near. Yet Gary never filed the "billion dollar lawsuits" he boasted about. The big promised settlements would never happen and there would be no money to support her daughter's philanthropy and social welfare work. Gary is now in federal court in Atlanta facing a $100 million lawsuit charging him, his colleagues LeRonnie Mason, and Chanthina Abney and his law firm with legal malpractice, fraud, felony theft, conversion and bad faith.

Tobacco Kills People, Gary Kills Tobacco Plaintiffs' Cases

The Gary Firm has also repeatedly lost meritorious cases due to gross negligence in missing deadlines and failing to comply with basic court rules and procedures.

In 2014, Ms. Zella Darleen Teague retained Gary to bring a wrongful death case against the tobacco industry when her husband, a life-long smoker, died of lung cancer. Gary waited until June 24, 2016 — three days after the statute of limitations expired — before filing the complaint. Although the case proceeded because Gary had filed a "civil cover sheet" shortly before the statute expired, it was ultimately dismissed because Gary and his firm repeatedly missed court deadlines, failed to disclose mandatory experts, and failed to offer any coherent explanation for their misconduct.

During Gary's disastrous prosecution of the Teague case, Gary also represented Ms. Geneva Cook-Gervais in a similar wrongful death case against the tobacco industry. The pre-trial deadlines in the Cook-Gervais case were approximately two months after the deadlines in Teague. Thus, even though the Gary lawyers knew they had failed to comply with the Teague deadlines and were warned by the court, they did nothing to attempt to comply with the Cook-Gervais deadline.

When the tobacco defendants moved for summary judgment based on the failure to disclose mandatory experts, the Gary lawyers told Ms. Cook-Gervais that she had no choice but to accept a "nuisance value" settlement of $50,000 to avoid outright dismissal of her case. Like Mrs. Elliott and Ms. Teague, Ms. Cook-Gervais had been solicited by Gary's promises that her claim would result in a "billion-dollar recovery."

In 2015, before losing the Teague and Cook-Gervais cases, the Gary Firm lost other meritorious cases due to its repeated failure to comply with court orders and deadlines. On August 25, 2015, for example, a Florida state court dismissed three cases based on a finding that the Gary Firm had failed to comply with multiple court-imposed deadlines and engaged in a "contumacious disregard of the Court's authority." At a hearing on that date, Judge Roby of Florida's 19th Judicial Circuit found that the firm had repeatedly failed to comply with his orders.

Gary continues to boast about his $23 billion tobacco victory which was reduced to $0 in a retrial because Willie Gary "crossed the boundaries of proper closing argument repeatedly, flagrantly and often in defiance of the trial court's admonishments."

Conclusion

As the director of the Campaign to Stop Legal Malpractice, I implore Amazon Studios to reconsider production of "The Burial," or at least put further development on hold until the slew of allegations brought against attorney Gary and his law firm are resolved in federal court. I can't imagine that Amazon Studios or those retained to produce and direct the film, Jamie Foxx and Maggie Betts, would knowingly agree to make a film glorifying the career of someone who later turns out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. That would be disastrous for all involved, including the multitude of former clients attorney Gary has defrauded.

A far more accurate "Burial" story portraying Mr. Gary would be about the fall of a self-serving, flamboyant lawyer who falsely built a reputation as a humanitarian and knight in shining armor. He ended up buried by his own greed, lack of ethics and unconscionable crimes against clients whose dreams and quest for justice he knowingly and cruelly shattered.

Following are comments from former Gary Law Firm clients and a link to a website dedicated to highlighting attorney Gary's gross unethical and criminal conduct. Many have asked why attorney Gary hasn't filed a defamation suit against me and the Campaign to Stop Legal Malpractice. The answer is that truth is a strong defense and he would open up himself and present and former partners to depositions, which would ultimately incriminate him and many of his present and former partners and closest colleagues.

For more information, please visit: www.TheClientKiller.org

Comments from Past Clients of Willie Gary

Ernestine Elliott (defrauded by Gary involving wrongful death lawsuits): "I pray that justice is served and attorney Gary is disbarred and sent to prison, "wrote Mrs. Eliott to The Florida Bar. "I believe he and his law firm are the scums of the earth. I have communicated with several past clients that he has defrauded and have further researched his deceitful, criminal behavior. I do not understand why Mr. Gary has not been imprisoned years ago, but time is running out for him."

Marietta Goodman (Coca-Cola racial discrimination victim)
wrote to The Florida Bar on March 25, 2014: "Willie Gary is nothing less than a predator that preys on those who have already been victimized and harmed. They place their faith and trust in him for justice. He then abuses that trust to enrich himself. Mr. Gary is nothing short of a criminal."

Sharron Mangum (Coca-Cola racial discrimination victim): "I wanted justice for the racial abuses I experienced at Coca-Cola's headquarters and Beverage Based Plant. Instead, I found myself fighting for my life. My attorney, Willie Gary, grabbed my breast, grabbed between my legs, forcibly placed my hand on his crouch and tried to force his tongue into my mouth. I fought back and reached for the door handle of the fast moving limo preparing to jump to safety. Willie Gary not only stole millions from me and others, he also threatened my life and sexually violated me."

Jacci Everson (Coca-Cola racial discrimination victim): "My attorneys were Willie and Sekou Gary and CK Hoffler. It never entered my mind that our black lawyers would sell us out. Willie said, 'Trust me, I plan to win big.'"

Leonard Rowe (racial discrimination, Black Promoters vs. William Morris Agency & Creative Artists): "Attorney Gary has a pattern and practice of defrauding his own clients out of their settlements to enrich himself. The question that keeps coming to my mind is why attorney Willie Gary is still allowed to practice law. He should have been disbarred and imprisoned years ago for the destruction of lives he has caused. Attorney Gary, in my opinion, is detrimental to the American public and a disgrace to the legal profession."

Luisa Esposito (sexual assault victim): In Count VI of her lawsuit, Ms. Esposito charges that Willie Gary and Co-Counsel Christopher Chestnut, who has since been permanently disbarred by The Florida Bar, committed grand larceny conspiracy to defraud her out of millions of dollars.

Willie Lewis, Troy Fulks' stepson (death of seven family members due to FL Power & Light negligence): "What Willie Gary has done to my invalid stepfather and our family should place him in the center of the rogues' gallery. He's as despicable, dishonest and as corrupt as they come. Tens of millions of dollars of my stepfather's settlement remained in Gary's hands and is still unaccounted for thirty-five years later!."

Anonymous (Ford/Visteon plaintiff defrauded by Willie Gary): "Our lawsuit describes how Mr. Gary operated illegally the whole time he was ostensibly representing us. After he worked out a multi-million dollar deal with the companies for himself and his firm of which we had no knowledge, each of us were sent papers to immediately sign and send back to him that he was representing us.Three of his partners, son Sekou Gary, Robert Parenti and Tricia 'CK' Hoffler [now president of the National Bar Association] were defendants in our lawsuit. Mr. Gary had to settle otherwise they all would have faced disbarment and probably prison time. Mr.Gary is the perfect definition of a racketeer."

Clark Collins (victim of Callaway Golf's trade secret theft):
"Willie Gary's huff, puff and bluff of a law firm sold us and our $225 million treble damages lawsuit down the river. What made matters worse, Callaway then rewarded Gary with hundreds of thousands of dollars of free golf equipment and sponsored the Willie Gary Celebrity Golf Classic!"

Willie Gary's fraudulent activities and widespread legal malpractice are highlighted in a new book, The Great Callaway Putter Heist: A True Story of Corporate Greed and Corruption in the World of Golf authored by former Gary law firm client, inventor and Golf Professional Clark Collins. "This book is both an indictment of Callaway Golf and also of Willie Gary's corrupt law firm," noted publisher Ray Rogers. BookAuthority ranks the book #1 of the 5 Best New Professional Golf Books To Read In 2021."

About Ray Rogers

The Man, Who with Chrystal Lee Sutton, the Real "Norma Rae," Defeated Textile Giant J.P. Stevens & Co.

Ray Rogers has been described as a "legendary union activist" in Business Week and The Coca-Cola Company's "fiercest foe" in the Financial Times. Rogers and his company, Corporate Campaign (CCI), have been featured many times in major publications such as Time, Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe and Atlanta Journal Constitution as well as many books, television and radio programs and newscasts worldwide.

He is featured in Barbara Kopple's academy award-winning film American Dream and the National Film Board of Canada's award-winning documentary, The Coca-Cola Case.

His work as a VISTA Volunteer involving students in the lower Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee to fight poverty won national acclaim and was chosen to represent VISTA on a segment of NBC Huntlley Brinkley National News Report.

The Boston Herald described Rogers as labor's most innovative strategist and "one of the most successful union organizers since the CIO sit-down strikes of the 1930s. Time magazine said Rogers has "brought some of the most powerful corporations to their knees, and his ideas are spreading."

He is the only person since the 1920's imprisoned for criminal syndicalism and went on a 5-day hunger strike until his release, after which the law was struck down as unconstitutional..

His work as a labor strategist has led to many colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad, including Harvard Business School, to conduct case studies on his campaigns, strategies, and tactics.

US Chamber of Commerce and other big business interests launched unsuccessful efforts to outlaw "corporate campaigns," the term Rogers coined to describe strategies and tactics that help achieve victories for labor and other victims of abusive corporations and government agencies.

He is one of 94 portraits of "individuals who have stood up for their constitutional and human rights in the face of repression by the American government" in the book "We Will Be Heard: Voices in the Struggle for Constitutional Rights Past and Present" by Bud and Ruth Schultz.

Never afraid to take corporate giants or corrupt lawyers head on, CCI recently published, despite threats of legal action by Callaway, author Clark Collins' The Great Callaway Putter Heist, A True Story of Corporate Greed and Corruption in the World of Golf described by BookAuthority as #1 of the "5 Best New Professional Golf Books To Read In 2021." It exposes the corrupt worlds of Callaway Golf and Willie Gary.

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