THE SOUTHERN LEGAL RESOURCE CENTER eUPDATE
Lower court’s dismissal mostly overruled
Appeals court: ‘malicious prosecution’ claim in Childress case can go forward
CONCORD, NC – The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled that a lower court erred in denying plaintiff Basil Childress’ claim for malicious prosecution against a Concord hotel whose manager had him arrested for refusing to remove a Confederate flag from the window of his room during the 2008 Sons of Confederate Veterans national reunion.
The appellate court’s decision clears the way for pursuit of the malicious prosecution claim, as well as a claim for breach of contract, against Concord Hospitality Associates, owners of the Wingate Inn where the incident occurred.
SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk D. Lyons said the plaintiff’s legal team is prepared to proceed with the discovery phase of the case immediately.
“Back in the Saddle Again …”
Years later, TX plaques case is still alive as TX SCV appoints SLRC to collect atty. fees
AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate veterans has appointed the SLRC’s Kirk Lyons to act as its counsel of record in collecting court-awarded attorneys’ fees assessed against the State of Texas after years of legal wrangling over removal of two Confederate historical plaques from the Texas Supreme Court building.
The court awarded the fee reimbursement to the SCV in March of 2010, capping a decade of legal wrangling which began after the plaques were taken off the walls of the building, literally overnight, during the administration of then-Gov. George W. Bush. First the SLRC filed suit against the state at the behest of then Texas SCV Commander Denne Sweeney. The SLRC was in the midst of an extensive discovery process during which it attempted to subpoena Bush and was preparing a deposition notice for Attorney Gen. Al Gonzalez, when it was abruptly fired by the new Texas SCV Commander, Steve Lucas, and replaced by Texas attorney Bill Kuhn.
Under Kuhn’s direction the case was tried, dismissed, appealed, and then remanded to the original court. It was then retried, dismissed, appealed and remanded again. At that point, the court in effect handed the SCV a victory by confirming that the plaques had been removed without the knowledge or consent of the Texas Historical Commission, which was a violation of state law, and ordered the state to pay the attorney fees. By that time, however, Kuhn had retired from the practice of law and the actual collection of the fees, as well as further pursuit of the case was left in limbo. Enter – or rather re-enter – the SLRC.
So where does the case go from here? The first step, according to SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons, is retracing the steps and picking up the pieces. “My opposite number in the Texas Attorney General’s offices tells me there are four huge box files of documents that are going to have to be gone through and reviewed,” Lyons said. “After that, we’ll need to contact the Historical Commission, who nobody bothered to consult when the plaques were taken down under cover of darkness. One thing is certain: the goal of getting those plaques put back where they belong, once and for all, is very much alive and well.”
It was the removal of the plaques that touched off H. K. Edgerton’s 2000 “March Across Dixie” from Asheville, N.C. to Austin.
Morris Dees, Kirk Lyons had ancestors In same Confederate infantry regiment
It’s a small world. Particularly in the South.
According to genealogical records provided to the SLRC, as well as Confederate Army muster rolls, Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees and SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons share a significant common bond: they both have ancestors who served in the same regiment of Confederate infantry.
The records show that Dees’ maternal great-grandfather, Judge Hilliard Alford, served in Company I of the 17th Alabama Infantry, while Lyons’ great-great grandfather, David Sanders, was a private in Company E. In the South, where such things still tend to be kept track of, it is not at all unusual for mere acquaintances or even total strangers to discover that they have Confederate ancestors who soldiered together. What makes the Dees-Lyons connection ironic is that Dees’ organization has become famous – and immensely wealthy – for its ongoing campaign against all things related to Confederate heritage, as well as against groups and people who champion that heritage. In particular, the SPLC has waged a relentless campaign of innuendo and guilt-by-association (its two principal weapons) against Lyons, his work, his private life and his family. (The SLRC’s Roger McCredie once famously remarked that if Lyons did not exist, it would have been necessary for the SPLC to invent him, which to a large extent it had.)
The 17th Alabama had a distinguished service record. It sustained heavy casualties at Shiloh, fought through the Chattanooga and Atlanta campaigns and suffered greatly under fire at Franklin. It fought its last battle at Bentonville and surrendered at Greensboro in late April, 1865.
Dees’ family connection makes him fully eligible for membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans, founded in 1896, which the SPLC views with alarm as having been hijacked by a faction of “radicals” led, inexplicably, by Lyons.
Nonetheless, the SLRC is on the SPLC’s mailing list and receives frequent fundraising mail from the organization.
In one such mailing, Lyons received a “certificate of appreciation” and an invitation to have his name inscribed on the SPLC’s “Wall of Tolerance.”
SLRC WEBMASTER AL DALTON DIES UNEXPECTEDLY
DANVILLE, VA — Albert Lee (Al) Dalton, 61, longtime webmaster and IP agent for the SLRC, died July 30 at Duke Medical Center in Durham.
According to Kenneth Denson, Dalton’s friend and partner in Dialtrax, Inc., Dalton suffered a heart attack at home on July 23 and was taken to Duke, where he died a week later without regaining consciousness. Graveside services were held on August 2.
Dalton is survived by his mother as well as by a brother, Walter Dalton of Norfolk.
Memorials may be made to the organ fund of First Presbyterian Church, where Dalton was a member.
“We received news of Al’s passing with shock and sadness,” said the SLRC’s Roger McCredie. “He was a true Southern patriot, and he was a friend and comrade long before he became the SLRC’s webmaster. He will be sorely missed on both counts.”
Published by the Southern Legal Resource Center
90 Church Street/P.O. Box 1235
Black Mountain, NC 28711