Smearing the Courts, Dismantling Justice

Stephanie Weissenstein, Desa Ballard, John Rakowsky

Stephanie Weissenstein and Desa Ballard

A S.C. Hotline, Grand Strand Daily Exclusive

By Paul Gable

It came to my attention recently that Stephanie Weissenstein, attorney for John Rakowsky, sent to the Court copies of two articles from Grand Strand Daily along with a letter dated January 9, 2012. While I appreciate Ms. Weissenstein making the court aware of the articles, I do question the logic stated in her letter.

Complaint about News Media Coverage

In the letter, Weissenstein refers to the articles as “this slanderous campaign in effort to intimidate and harass my client and me, while also smearing the Courts.”

First of all, surely Weissenstein understands that the articles would fall under laws of libel, not slander, if she could ignore or negate the first amendment and prove malice aforethought. Second, her claims of intimidation, harassment and smearing fall apart when the facts included in the articles are considered.

Rakowsky represented the plaintiffs in a civil action titled Southern Holdings et al v. Horry County et al, case number 4:2004cv22135. He is now engaged in an interpleader action, represented by Weissenstein and Desa Ballard regarding the funds remaining from deposits that were made for litigation expenses in the case.

Attached to a letter sent by Weissenstein to James Spencer, one of the plaintiffs in the Southern Holdings case, is an accounting of the funds submitted by Weissenstein on behalf of her client Rakowsky.

Letter from Weissenstein to former clients with accounting attached

The initial deposit shows $67,500. Reduced from this are unsubstantiated expenses totaling $57,644,15, leaving a balance of $9885.85 due to Spencer.

However, the agreement with LawMax, clearly shows Rakowsky received $35,000 from LawMax and that he acknowledged prior funds received from Lit Funding in the amount of $50,000 and Resolutions Settlement Corporation (RSC) in the amount of $25,000. Those three fund amounts total $110,000 received by Rakowsky to help in moving the case forward.


The obvious question is where is the missing $42,500 (difference between $110,000 obtained by Rakowsky and $67,500 admitted to by Rakowsky and his attorney in the accounting)?

In addition, why did Weissenstein state, on the court record of a September 15, 2011 court hearing on the interpleader, that an accounting has been provided to Spencer (Exhibits N) and Rakowsky state to the judge he included all funding organizations (Exhibits O)? Obviously the accounting provided to the Court and Spencer is, at best, flawed and, at worst, false!

It has also recently come to my attention that the issue of Rakowsky’s misuse of funds was included in a complaint Ron Serota submitted without knowledge of the clients to the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) of the South Carolina Supreme Court in September 2007. Serota is an attorney from Las Vegas who also worked on the Southern Holdings case with Rakowsky. Serota said he became suspicious of personal misuse of funds by Rakowsky.

(Serota letter to ODC)

In a recent telephone conversation, Serota said he received a letter from the ODC stating an investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of Rakowsky. According to sources, it is believed that Serota’s letter and the ODC finding were wrongfully submitted in secret (ex-parte) to the Court in the interpleader case. The questions are how, why and who submitted these secret Supreme Court documents considered important enough to be submitted ex parte to the presiding judge and who made the decision?

The documents linked with this article clearly demonstrate that the accounting of litigation funds provided to the court is, indeed, flawed. Further, they demonstrate that the ODC of the South Carolina Supreme Court either did not investigate Serota’s complaint at all, or ignored the obvious discrepancies and misuse of funds.

It certainly seems there is sufficient evidence to question where the missing $42,500 went, why it has been ignored to this point and why the Courts will not allow his former clients to know what happened to the missing funds!

Paul Gable is a veteran investigative reporter residing in Horry County, South Carolina and is the current editor of the Grand Strand Daily an online magazine featuring all things local and political.


  1. Let me use my ape brain and figure out how this works. Desa Ballard who use to work for the ODC is being helped by the ODC to cover-up Rakowsky’s legal malpractice, why would that be? Are there ties between the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court and John Rakowsky? Does Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal allow ex parte communications to judges with confidential Supreme Court Documents. Are there two sets of laws?

  2. Since the legal system and judicial system in South Carolina is so corrupt, I need to introduce myself onto the blog scene to shed light and insight to key articles.

    Most of you know of my expertise at public corruption so I am an expert on the subject.

    This is a key article.

    Consider me the voice of the silent majority in South Carolina since nobody seems to want to get off their ass and do anything about the crooks that run the system!!

  3. Let me blow away some cigar smoke and point out some key issues. First of all, the cigar smoke I am blowing away is not mine, but that of the SC Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Jean Toal. Justice Toal seems to not mind the use of these “Confidential” Supreme Court documents or did she introduce them into the case herself. Of course they could not allow the documents be seen by Rakowsky’s former clients or they would find out the ODC hearing occurred by Serota’s complaint and was kept from them. It seems to me the ODC would have contacted the victims if they truly wanted to investigate Serota’s complaint in 2007 and ask them if it happened.

    The questions are why would Justice Toal cover for Rakowsky or why would Justice Toal help out Desa Ballard who use to work in her at the ODC and why would the Courts deny access to the former clients of finding out what happened to the money that disappeared?

  4. One last thing that comes to mind. Doris Holt died due to the retaliation by South Carolina for the filing of the Tort Claims Lawsuit in Federal District Court. Princess Hodges handled the litigation that led to Doris Holt’s horrible death. Princess Hodges worked for the ODC just like Desa Ballard. According to Federal Court records Princess Hodges allegedly put Doris Holt in the grave because the lawsuits moved forward against South Carolina and against Rakowsky. Damn, I wish I had this kind of corrupt network back in Hazzard. Toal, Ballard, Hodges ex parte filings and Rakowsky and they are all tied together.

    They all are from the same office that seems to make its own rules. The office now run by Justice Toal at the SC Supreme Court.

  5. Nicholas Williamson

    Paul Gable’s story provides just another piece of evidence that Gable is one of the top investigative reporters in the United States. I have been following Gable for upwards of a decade, and I have never known of him to be materially incorrect on any allegation. He ALWAYS validates his statements before presenting them to the public. Unlike Weissenstein, Rakowsky, et al., who know that they will not suffer legal consequences that stem from their rendering prevarications to the Court, based upon quasi-immunity that they enjoy stemming from their reliance on the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) in the legal community in South Carolina, Gable has no such immunity. His immunity stems from the fact that articles that he issues to the public are typically based upon certified court documents.

    So, I recommend to Weissenstein, Rakowsky, et al., that they challenge Gable to an open contest to see, factually, whose contentions are correct. But I would admonish the former to not count on the corrupt brotherhood in the legal system in South Carolina to protect them indefinitely. You see, in this wonderful country, perhaps the main thing that we have going for us concerns our ability, once a problem is identified, to address and rectify the problem, even if it takes decades to do so. I am confident that the corruption-intensive “Dark Ages” in the legal system of the State of South Carolina will ultimately come to an end.

    In closing, if Weissenstein, Rakowsky, et al., take me up on the challenge, I would recommend that they take their court certified documents with them to make their case. They know what the outcome will be, just as I do: PAUL GABLE WILL PREVAIL…EACH…AND…EVERY…TIME.

  6. Dr. David Klapmeier

    What a pathetic mess. There is absolutely no question that blatant crimes have been committed against the folks of South Carolina and the consequences of these actions is “nothing”. Covering up tragedies seems to be the norm for Toal, Ballard, Rakowsky and the Weissensteiner. In most jurisdictions, the courts try to at least render some justice. In South Carolina it appears the function of the court system to cover for the good ole boys network. I have been following this legal fiasco for a couple years and am still utterly amazed how the guilty folks have no fear of prosecution and even publicly state the same. The corrupt judges and courts make crime pay in South Carolina. The question of the day remains: Why would anybody what to go into any other profession where they have to be held accountable to a standard of performance when you can go into law in South Carolina and get away with atrocious against humanity and the lawyers and courts will protect you?

  7. Dr. Dave Klapmeier

    This is just great. After following the South Carolina corruption for the last 2 years and thinking I have heard everything, there is a new term that now surfaces. That term is the office of “ODC”. Boss Hog says it all. Nicholas Williamson is absolutely “spot on” and the challenge he has laid out is unquestionably the best of the best! I am in Minnesota and we can not believe that the tag team of Toal, Ballard, Hodges, Rakowsky and of not to be left out the Weissenstiener, can get away with the crimes against humanity and still sleep at night. In the health care business if we commit these kinds of unbelievable actions against our fellow human beings, we would have to answer to the courts quit quickly. In Minnesota there is a complete different code of conduct in the court system. In Minnesota, the courts at least try to administer some justice. It appears that is a foreign concept that the South Carolina courts do not subscribe to. The rest of the cast of corrupted scumbags have to be acknowledged and recognized and they of course are the Judges that are turning their backs on the justice system and the oath they took before being granted the responsibility and honor to over see the law of the land. Keep up the fine work Paul Gable. Thank-You Jeffrey Sewell for publishing this legal atrocity. In the health care business, when a medical malpractice is committed, it takes about 20 minutes and the investigation is starting. In South Carolina, when a blatant legal malpractice is committed, the good ole boys gather around and the courts protect the guilty. To the students out there, the simple question of the day is: Why go into a profession where you have to be accountable to your fellow humans when you can go into law in South Carolina and get away with murder and nobody seems to care?

  8. My calendar says it is 2012. At this time in history, it is no longer permissible to tie chains around somebodies legs and throw them in the middle of a lake in the middle of the night to see if they can swim. So why is it permissible to allow the gang of Justice Toal, Princess Hodges, Desa Ballard, the Rakowsky character and Weissenstein to commit legal atrocities and simply laugh at the average folks of South Carolina? It was previously stated that guilty scumbags in South Carolina did not have worry because the courts and Judges would protect them. It is really hard to believe that his can happen today, but the fact of the matter, these people are pulling it off. I am ashamed of the character of the guilty. Today these lowlife despicable villains can live life with out worry because of their positions and not by their actions. Even if they continue to live their life by the motto: “Screw the next person because I can because I have connections”. They obviously are forgetting one thing; there will be a day when they will be judged and eternity is a long time to pay for living at the expense of others today. Keep laughing all the way to the bank guilty people, the final chapter is not yet played out.

  9. Madam Ballard and her girl Miss. Weissentsein look natural behind bars and also work professional for the bar. However with their ethics they best seem to fit the best in the historical bars of Paris for professionals with where money is king on Rue Saint-Denis.

  10. This is my first public note or observation I have ever made since I appeared on behalf of all Plaintiffs as their attorney in 2005 in the Southern Holdings case. I read this article by Paul Gable. I am so deeply impressed that I thought it was a fine time to put pen to paper so to speak. It is remarkable how well Paul gathers the facts from so many sources and incorporates those as he to determine what might have happened. I know Paul has done his homework because he cites facts that only one or two other people know about on our legal team. So his underlying source documents are in fact the documents that were submitted in as evidence in the case. These source documents constitute over three thousand pages plus dozens of videos and audios. It is time for me to tell my side of the saga as the truth needs another voice who was there.
    Ron Serota