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When a friend asked yesterday afternoon what I thought might happen at Hometown! PAC’s candidate forum yesterday evening in Tropic Cinema, I said I didn’t have a clue, the angels don’t tell me ahead of time what they are up to, they are big on surprises.
During the meet and greet in the Tropic Lobby, Bill Becker
asked if I would like to be on US 1 Radio next Tuesday morning, August 12, at 8:20 a.m.? I said, sure. Little did I then know what the angels had up their sleeves. But I get a bit ahead of myself.
One of the angels’ surprises came out when someone from Islamorda called or emailed during the early part of the forum, before the mayor candidates part, to say there was no sound on the livestream, only video.
When I talked on the phone this morning to Todd German, Hometown’s Chairman,
he said they hoped the video could be put into the video of the event, which they had intended to put on Hometown’s website in the next day or so – www.hometownkeywest.com. I said there was a reason for the sound not being in the video.
Pedaling my bicycle home from Tropic Cinema last night, I had told the angels that I knew they had messed with the sound in the livestreaming, but why? I got nothing during my sleep last night, other than a dream of a very large nice home with lots of rooms crumbling to the ground.
When I got up this morning, not yet knowing why the sound wasn’t in the livestreaming, I headed to Harpoon Harry’s for breakfast and reflection. By the time I was done eating, I understood the angels’ mischief.
(a) Hometown had two cruise ship lovers on their panel, John Dolan-Heitliner and Jennifer Hulse, whom Hometown had staunchly defended having on the panel. Hometown via Todd German and Sheldon Davidson.
(b) None of the Hometown panelists asked a question about the Charles Eimers case, nor about the behavior of the KWPD in various other cases also broken by Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com.
(c) Instead of putting Naja Girard, blue paper co-publisher and president of Last Stand, on last night’s panel, where she could go after the police, cruise ship and other environmental and prickly city issues, Hometown put Naja on a candidate forum panel next week, which is for:
JUDICIAL CANDIDATES, GROUPS 1 AND 4, MONROE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES, DISTRICTS 1, 4, AND 5, AND PRIMARY CANDIDATES FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
Those races and offices have little, if anything, to do with Key West government policies, operations, etc.
Now I would be insane in the psychiatric sense, if I believed one person in Key West believes what you just read. It’s what happened, though.
The other angel mischief showed up in the first question during the mayor part of the forum. Bill Becker led off saying he had called the Alabama State Bar and they had no record of a Sloan Bashinsky ever having practiced law in Alabama.
That opened a large window for me to tell about going to Alabama’s law school, clerking for a U.S. District Judge, taking the Alabama Bar Association, getting sworn in by the Alabama Supreme Court, the law firm where I practiced law in Birmingham, and three books I wrote based on my law practice, the first of which got me on the Today show with Jane Pauley, HOME BUYERS: Lambs to the Slaughter?, and got me really unpopular with real estate brokers all over America. I said, the third book, KILL ALL THE LAWYERS?: A Client’s Guide to Hiring, Firing, Using and Suing Lawyers , got me really unpopular with Birmingham lawyers, and lawyers in Birmingham hated trying cases against me, because I would try cases on principle, which didn’t end up making them a lot, if any, money. All of which recounting brought quite a few laughs and chuckles from the audience.
When Bill said again the Alabama Bar Association said they had no record of Sloan Bashinsky ever practicing law in Alabama, I said again, I cannot speak for the Alabama State Bar, but I took their bar exam and I passed it and then I heard I had done pretty good on it, and then I was sworn in by the Alabama Supreme Court, and later I did practice law in Birmingham. I said is sounds like I was slandered by the Alabama Bar Association (earlier in the forum County Commissioner George Neugent said he had been slandered), but much worse things have been said about me. More laughter in the audience.
So, this morning, first off, I sent a facebook message to a woman I had represented in what I still feel was the biggest case, for me anyway, during my time practicing law.
Hi, Carolyn – Hope all good with you and yours. You might find interesting that one of the panelists at last night Hometown PAC candidate forum led off the mayor candidates part with telling me, and the live audience and other panelists and the other two mayor candidates, that he had contacted the Alabama Bar Association and they said they had no record of my having practiced law in Alabama. I’m going to call the Bar Association later this morning, to see what that’s all about on their end, must be something cosmic. Meanwhile, would you mind writing back to me a bit on the case I tried in US District Court in Birmingham for you as Executrix, I think, of your husband’s estate. I’d like to share it with the panelist, who is a big-time radio personality down here, has a huge listening audience (for the Keys). Thanks. Sloan
After I figured they were open for the day, I called the Alabama State Bar – 324-269-1515 – and after first speaking with two other ladies, I spoke with a Kathy Sue McCurry and told her that I took the Bar Exam in April 1968, I think, and was admitted to the Bar by the Alabama Supreme Court in June or July, I thought. Kathy Sue checked their data base and they had no record of me. She told me to call the Clerk of the Alabama Supreme Court, to see if they had any record of me, and gave me this phone number: 334-229-0700.
I called that number and reached Nancy Leigh, who said she works for Julia Weller, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Alabama. Nancy said their records go back farther in time than the Alabama Bar Association’s; they have the old hand-written records. She said in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court of Alabama, they have:
Sloan Y. Bashinsky, II
Nancy said April 22, 1968 was the date of my admittance to the Alabama Supreme Court. She said that had nothing to do with whether or not I actually practiced law in Alabama. I said I knew that, but it proved I was admitted to the Alabama Supreme Court. I said I practiced from 1973 to 1985 in Birmingham, did Continuing Legal Education. She said CLE should have a record of that. I said the Alabama State Bar Association told me CLE and Alabama Bar’s electronic records were merged and they have no record of me.
Right after Hometown’s forum ended last night, Todd German told me that he had talked with Onnie Dickerson about me having practiced law in Birmingham, where Onnie had practiced law, and Onnie had told Todd that he remembered me, or of me, practicing law there. Onnie operates a Title company in Key West. A couple of years ago, he did a quick real estate search for me, as a favor for someone I was trying to help with something smacking of bubba justice. Help pro bono. I give legal advice nearly every day at no charge.
Todd said he’d heard that someone had tipped Bill Becker off to call the Alabama State Bar Association. I said I wondered if it was Gwen Filosa, who writes for the Key West Citizen. Of late, Gwen has written of me in articles, that I claim I once practiced law in Birmingham, Alabama. I kept wondering why she wrote it that way, instead of just writing that I had practiced law in Birmingham. She also writes that I claim to be a mystic. If she spent 5 minutes in my skin, she would know for a fact that I am a mystic and I don’t make up angels running me ragged.
I rode my bicycle a bit ago to Centennial Bank on the corner Simonton and United Streets, and told Dan Blagriff what Bill Becker had said Hometown’s forum last night, and told Dan that I needed to borrow his copies of two of the books I had written based on my practicing law: HOME BUYERS: Lambs to the Slaughter? and KILL ALL THE LAWYERS?: A Client’s Guide to Hiring, Firing, Using and Suing Lawyers, as part of proving that I actually did practice law in Birmingham. Dan laughed. The first book had gotten me on Today with Jane Pauley. My appearance on Today was rebroadcast that same day on Birmingham and Alabama television news programs.
Dan showed me what I had inscribed in his copy of home buyers book,
1 May 09
To Dan –
Thanks, I think,
for taking me through
a past-life regression.
Warm personal regards,
what’s left of him …
Back in 2009, Dan told me that he found those two out-of-print books on line and ordered them and really liked them.
Returning from seeing Dan and picking up the two pieces of hard evidence (hardback books) that I did practice law in Birmingham, I called the Birmingham Bar Association, 205-251-8006, and spoke with Julie Smith and told her why I was calling and asked if she could check their records to see if I ever was a member of the Birmingham Bar Association. I said I thought I was a member from 1973-1985. She said she would check and call me back.
When Julie called back, I was on the phone telling one of my old law partners, Robert “Squire” Gwin, what had happened last night and what the Alabama State Bar had confirmed when I called them this morning. Between chuckles and exclamations of amazement that the Alabama State Bar had no record of me, Squire said he would send an email saying he had practiced law with me. I deleted part of his email address to save him receiving SPAM, etc.
Subject: Affidavit by Robert W. Gwin, Jr.
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2014 11:03:05 -0500
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Robert W. Gwin, Jr. and I am a member of the Alabama State Bar Association having been admitted to the Alabama Bar Association in September of 1968. I am writing this E-Mail at the request of a former law partner of mine, Sloan Y. Bashinsky, II, who I was in law partnership with in Birmingham, Alabama from 1975 through 1979. The name of the law firm during the period of time that Mr. Bashinsky and I were partners was “Kracke Caddis Gwin Bashinsky & Woodward, attorneys at law and our firm address during most of this period of time was 2220 Highland Avenue, South; Birmingham, AL. 35205.
I have personal knowledge that Sloan Y. Bashinsky, II was an active and full fledged member of the Alabama Bar Association from 1975 and 1979 and that we were law partners during this period of time. Mr. Bashinsky practiced law specializing in the field of real estate transactions during this period of time and to my knowledge Mr. Bashinsky was a member in good standing of the Alabama Bar Association.
The above statement is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and this statement can be considered to be an affidavit. To this very date, I am an active member, in good standing, of the Alabama Bar Association.
This the 5th day of August, 2014.
Robert W. Gwin, Jr.
Attorney at Law
2102 Cahaba Road; Suite D
Birmingham, AL. 35223
Besides being one of my law partners, Squire once was one of my clients, when, at his and his first wife’s request, I drew up and got signed and filed their divorce papers. He told me this morning that he remarried over twenty years ago, is happily married, she is a stockbroker and works for Sterne, Agee & Leach in Birmingham. I said, small world, one of my best childhood friends, Mat Johnson, is a senior partner in that firm. I once handled a case for his mother, at his request.
I called Mat about this very serious matter with the Alabama State Bar Association. and, after chuckles, he emailed:
Subject: How’s this?
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2014 11:33:32 -0500
I was staggered this morning to learn that certain illustrious chapters in the life of my childhood friend, Sloan Bashinsky, have been called to question. During the adult (no longer the case) years of his life in Birmingham he was a distinguished member of the bar and was well know for his successes on behalf of major affluent clients as well as the little man, whose cause he championed with great zeal and fervor. Perhaps that is why he chose to become one himself. Anyway, as his friend for almost 60 years I can assuredly attest to his intellect and integrity. The General
“The General” handle came about as the result of a dream some years ago, in which Mat was described to me as “The General”. On waking, I took that to mean I’d darn well better pay attention to what Mat was trying to tell me in that dream. Thereafter, Mat continued to view and address himself as “The General” in what he perceived to be matters of importance concerning me.
I told Todd German this morning, and other people last night after the forum, that I have two ex-wives who sure would like to know what I was doing after I told them I was leaving home to go to the law office, if that was not where I was going. I said it’s all a big cosmic joke, the Alabama Bar Association having no record of my ever having practiced law in Alabama, and I wonder if the angels ever will deign, or stoop so low, as to elucidate my ignorance about that?
Meanwhile, right after the forum, Todd told me it was my best candidate performance, ever. In the Tropic lobby after the forum, Monroe County Mayor Emeritus Shirley Freeman
smiled, said to me, “You’re the best.”
The audience burst into laughter maybe twenty times during my responses to different questions. A number of people thanked me afterward. I hope the sound can be put into Hometown’s video. Otherwise, the only people who know what really went down last night are the people who were there. There is not way I can do it justice in an article. At least not today. Right now, I’m kinda bushed after such a hard night and day’s work trying to get myself back into the Alabama State Bar Association’s jail, from which I had tried so very hard to escape.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West