Louisiana Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

Monroe lawyer named in judge's suit alleging her constitutional rights were violated

By Deana Carpenter | Aug 1, 2016

| Contributed photo

MONROE -- Monroe attorney Brian Crawford of the firm Crawford and Ogg is among a group of several lawyers and officials who have been named in a suit by Judge Sharon Marchman, who alleges the defendants violated her First and 14th Amendment rights by allegedly conspiring on payroll fraud and hiding the destruction of documents.

Crawford’s attorney, James Gibson, has argued that Marchman and her attorneys, Joe Ward and Cedric Banks, presented a time line that was out of order to justify a case against Crawford.

Crawford has argued that Marchman, a judge in Louisiana’s Fourth Judicial District Court, as well as her lawyers should be sanctioned for bringing the suit against him.

The suit also names Fourth Judicial Court Judges Carl Sharp, Federic Amman, J. Wilson Rambo and Benjamin Jones, as well as law clerk Allyson Campbell and lawyers John Guice and Lawrecne Pettitte Jr., and former Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell.

“As counsel for Ms. Campbell in the pending case, I cannot comment on the pending litigation,” Crawford told the Louisiana Record.

Accusations in this case first came about in the 2013 case Palowsky v Cork. In that case, Stanley Palowsky III looked for Rambo to recuse himself, as well as Sharp and the whole bench.

Court documents indicate Palowsky III said Rambo did not have a fair and impartial stance on the case and said he caused delays in the case on purpose, showed bias against his attorneys and also showed favoritism to opposing counsel in the case. Palowsky also alleged that the court’s law clerk was not properly supervised.

Palowsky later went on to file a suit against Campbell and eventually named Cork’s attorney, Thomas Hayes III, in a different suit.

“An appeal by Mr. Palowsky of his state-court dismissal is pending in the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal,” Campbell said.

In the Marchman suit, the plaintiff criticizes Crawford for taking most of his argument in court to address other pleadings or activities and criminal acts to which, based on recent reports, Gibson said are an inaccurate exaggeration.

The plaintiff’s attorneys also argued that Ward and Banks pointed out Marchman as the source of confidential information that had been included in previous court filings and that Marchman, Ward and Banks should be sanctioned. They also want the suit to be dropped and for Marchman, Ward and Banks to pay all legal fees and court costs associated with the case.

“Sharon Marchman’s federal suit is pending in the Western District, with the court considering motions to dismiss by all defendants,” Campbell said.

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