Don’t Do Business With Lawyers

The Wall Street Journal links to this AJC article about the Georgia Supreme Court disbarring Moreton Rolleston, Jr.

The justices Tuesday said Moreton Rolleston Jr. had been stubbornly litigious in a series of related cases that have been going on for 22 years. Rolleston’s repeated lawsuits and appeals over the property constitute abuse of the legal system and he has shown no remorse, the justices said.

It’s so rare these day for lawyers to be disbarred for being stubbornly litigious. Of course, there are underlying facts that compound the stubborn litigiousness.

The underlying case involves a real estate dispute between a client of Rolleston’s and a New Jersey development company. When the deal fell apart, the developers won a $3.8 million judgment against Rolleston’s client. She later died, but her estate sued Rolleston for legal malpractice and won a $5.4 million ruling.

Rolleston evaded the judgment by transferring his assets into a legal trust under his name. That touched off another round of lawsuits by the estate to collect. A 1998 ruling slapped Rolleston with another $4.1 million judgment.

Eventually, the estate seized Rolleston’s 17-acre Buckhead estate in 2003 and sold it to Perry two years later for $9 million to help satisfy the judgments.

Along the way, Rolleston filed repeated appeals, arguing the same issues. Lawyers won rulings in Cobb and Fulton barring Rolleston from continuing the case, but he did so anyway. He was charged with contempt, jailed briefly, fined and threatened with disbarment.

4 comments

  1. The Comma Guy says:

    While you may have a fool for a client when you represent yourself, at least there’s no problem with getting your fees paid.

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