Wednesday, 3 June 2009

In NOLA*, a loopy lawyer laments -- UPDATED

* New Orleans, Louisiana.
(Rodney thinks the Brit readers will think ? and vaguely picture some Irish sisters.)

Though today it's taking quite a lot to pull my eyes away from what's happening to Gordon Brown and his government, someone has managed to do it . . .

When I put on hiatus in early March, I left the blog up on the Web so folks could browse it as an archive, and occasionally I look in on the stats page to see what's still drawing eyeballs. To my surprise, the last few days have seen considerable interest in a post from last February about a New Orleans lawyer named Ashton R. O'Dwyer, Jr.

When I wrote that, O'Dwyer himself had just turned up in folo's comment threads, hollering about terrible wrongs done him in post-Katrina litigation. His florid rhetoric reminded me of someone I'd seen in TV interviews from New Orleans during the storm's aftermath -- a half-naked, more-than-half-crazed denizen of the Garden District, waving his arms and promising a faceful of hot lead to any National Guard trooper who might try to evacuate him.

As a quick Googling of his name and image confirmed this hazy memory, "AROD" latched onto both my blog and my email address with such ranty racist relish that I soon banned him from both.

And now this week, here he was back. As the New Orleans Times-Picayune explains:
Nestled just over the Mississippi River levee sits a row of cabins on stilts with tin roofs and sun-bleached boardwalks. Chickens roam one of the camps. A goat looks out from another.

This spot on the east bank of Jefferson Parish at the Orleans Parish line is a final remnant of a once-prevalent riparian lifestyle, where the residents bask in a serene view of the river and relish a private domain guarded by the levee.

The tranquillity in this settlement of a dozen camps, however, is cracking, as their secluded home ground has become the scene of a mounting legal battle.

New Orleans lawyer Ashton O'Dwyer Jr., whose family a half-century ago operated well-known but illegal gambling halls, including one on nearby property, claims he owns the inhabited batture land. He is suing to have the river dwellers -- possibly including a few who have lived there for decades -- evicted.

"There is no such thing as squatters' rights," O'Dwyer said. "This is America, and I'm asserting my rights to my property."

The batture residents, among other defenses, are questioning whether O'Dwyer has even legally established his claim to the land. ...
I invite you to read the whole account, imagining, as you do, what an easy afternoon's work Tennessee Williams could have made of a Pullet's Surprise-winning play on Ashton O'Dwyer. Lawd lawd lawd.

UPDATE: Ah. Here's today's addition to the story. Now disbarred suspended from practice and, he says, down to his house and $45, AROD has been held in contempt of court for concluding a telephone status-conference by telling the judge "Screw you!" and hanging upon him.

-- lotus


  1. If you tried the "image" link above and got something that doesn't seem to have to do with AROD, try it again -- or just click here.

  2. Gently Bentley3 June 2009 at 20:16

    When does a man with a possibly real grievance become an embittered, abusive racist? About three and a half years ago, in AROD's case. From folo:

  3. Do you have another URL for that, GB? This one doesn't work.

  4. Afraid of Reds under the bed and Blacks in it, these right wing Americans want to show everybody theyre not Yellow.

  5. There is so many AROD'S in this world and to have contempt is not in my heart but pity for so many wasted years of brilliant minds.

    Great read Lotus and I've been over to Folo this morning to get my week-end fix before I tend to my flowers and grand-younguns.