By Paul Gable
S.C. Judge Doyet A. Early ended last week’s hearing on the alleged Southern Holdings settlement and remaining litigation funds promising a decision this week.
The case before Judge Early is an interpleader asking the court to rule on who has claim to the remaining Southern Holdings litigation and settlement funds and how much should go to each claimant.
No settlement agreement with informed consent by signature from each Southern Holdings plaintiff was presented during the hearing. None has ever been presented either as court record for the Southern Holdings case, this interpleader case or any other legal proceeding.
The informed consent settlement agreement would seem necessary for a final disbursement of funds as it would demonstrate the percentage disbursement to each of the plaintiffs agreed upon as demonstrated by their signature and required by state and federal law.
No informed consent settlement agreement for the Southern Holdings case has ever been constructed, that’s why it has never been produced.
But, in addition to the lack of a settlement agreement demonstrating the Southern Holdings case was settled according to the requirements of state and federal law, the interpleader case has conflicting amounts of Southern Holdings litigation money on record.
The Southern Holdings plaintiffs’ attorney John Rakowsky, who filed the interpleader case, and his attorney Desa Ballard have presented the court with an accounting of litigation funds beginning at a total of $67,500. That amount was drawn down over the years of the case to a remaining total of $7,691.78.
Ballard sent a check, dated August 7, 2014, to Southern Holdings plaintiff James Spencer for the $7,691.78 amount in an apparent attempt to settle the interpleader case. Spencer has not cashed the check.
Why? Because all of the money has never been accounted for. Linked below are the first and last pages of a contract between LawMax, the Southern Holdings plaintiffs and Rakowsky. The amount being provided by Law Max can be clearly seen to be $35,000.
On the last page, Rakowsky was required to certify outstanding liens from similar funding agencies for the Southern Holdings case.
It can be clearly seen that Litfunding provided $50,000 and Resolution Settlement Corporation (RSC) provided $25,000. When those two amounts are added to the $35,000 provided by LawMax, it is clear that at least $110,000 in litigation funds found their way to Rakowsky.
Yet, Rakowsky began his accounting for all of those funds at $67,500. The obvious question is what happened to the other $42,500 and why is it not included in the accounting Judge Early is being asked to settle?
No one has answered that question although it has been asked during the interpleader proceedings.
No one has produced an informed consent settlement agreement to prove the Southern Holdings case was truly settled.
However, Judge Early has told both sides that he will issue his decision on the interpleader case this week.
It will be extremely interesting to read that decision.
Link to LawMax contract: LawMaxContract