Another Chapter of WOFFGATE- Memorandum Filed for Hearing 8/3/15 leads the way again by reporting the “Memorandum of Law” filed this past Friday in the Matthew Fenner Case. This document lays out the Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers’ grounds for the motion to disqualify all of the Tomblin, Farmer Morris firm from representing any of the five defendants in the case. His reasoning includes the argument Josh Farmer put forth for the change of venue hearing now rescheduled for September 21, 2015 at 9:30AM. Quoting from that change of venue motion:

“Defendant is a member of Word of Faith Fellowship, a church that for nearly two decades has been the subject of extraordinary persecution, hatred, bigotry, and discrimination in this county, spurred by the Inside Edition tabloid news, local, national, and international new media coverage, as well as continued social media postings”…

Garland’s motion says – “Given that public perception is key to this motion, the State respectfully shows that defense counsel’s own allegations support the State’s position in bringing the motion to disqualify counsel.”

Garland’s memo also includes several other reasons for the disqualification. Time does not permit me to go through every point; however, I will list a few of the focal points in the motion. As a further explanation, we will add understanding of the background nuances which Garland may or may not be aware of in this case. These nuances may or may not come out on Monday.

The motion is extensive and well prepared. The citations are detailed and for this post we expect the reader to read the motion and we will omit the extensive notations.

The motion outlines circumstances in which an attorney could not represent multiple clients (23. a,b)“A case where the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or where the representation of one of more clients may be materially limited by the lawyer’s representation to another client, a former client, or a third person, or by a personal interest of the lawyer.”

Let’s stop right here. The nuances of the pyramidal structure inside the close knit social environment where four defendants live makes the representation of more than one client prohibitive. Brooke is near the top of the authority structure (closer to Jane). She is in authority over Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. He is a “regular member” with very limited to NO control over the direction of his life. On the fateful night in question, he would do as he was told or shown by example what to do. Sarah and Justin live in the same house as Brooke and naturally would incur more favor from her and Jane than Robert. None of the four of Farmer’s clients are equal within the ONLY social structure they know. Now, Adam Bartley has NO standing inside the WOFF structure and his best interests cannot be guarded by the same attorneys who guard the interests either individually or corporately of Jane, Sam, WOFF, Inc (as a corporate entity) and the other four defendants who are still members.

PLUS- Josh and Mark are in leadership authority over Robert within WOFF. This fact pollutes the accepted beneficial, attorney client privileged relationship through the antagonistic prevailing nuances of WOFF. The conflicts are HUGE. How can Robert Lewis Walker expect his personal wishes to be carried out by counsel if they should go contrary to the leader’s WORD for him, when he knows anything he says is subject to the internal control dynamics of WOFF? His desires are secondary to the leader who is also in authority over EVERY ATTORNEY IN THE FIRM OF TOMBLIN, FARMER and MORRIS. This leader is also their lead client WOFF, Inc- ie. Jane and Sam Whaley. The dynamics are strange but they serve her in many ways and she leads all of them in absolute power. (right , Josh?) Robert must do as he is told or he faces severe social, emotional and maybe physical consequences. To deny such is to completely ignore why we are all having this discussion. We are here because Matthew Fenner alleges he suffered the physical and emotional abuse that Robert Lewis Walker is subject to if he decides to deviate from the desires of Jane Whaley expressed through her attorney- Josh Farmer or Mark Morris. Where is there safety for him? What a conundrum.

Yes, Adam Bartley is out of WOFF and has been offered a plea. Cut to the chase- how can Josh and Mark safely advise Bartley if that counsel directly endangers the main interest of WOFF/Jane Whaley? By their standing as her attorney and attempting to represent the defendants, Morris and Farmer are in effect extending to their client, WOFF, Inc harm and injury. Jane and Sam stand to lose a lot of members and money and reputation because Josh and Mark are required at this time to defend the interests of an adversarial person – Adam Bartley. We do not know the course this trial may take and which other defendant will transition into the role of adversary to the main client- WOFF, Inc. Will Robert Lewis Walker see the light and decide to take a plea or at least seek different counsel knowing his interests are not being protected inside or outside the structure of WOFF? Does he even know how the results of being tucked away as a regular member under the authority structure of WOFF could land him in JAIL?

Mark Morris is cited in the Motion as saying each client signed a “waiver of any and all potential conflicts.” Who counseled them to do that? Were the future potential conflicts outlined to them? In the structure of WOFF, the defendants had no standing to object or question the signing of such a waiver! You do as you are told inside that group or you are out. Right, Adam? Several years ago, WOFF required members to sign a waiver saying that each member was not under mind control. That was a raw deal then and this sounds like a similar raw deal. (see my post here -Waiver post.)

24. c In this citation it outlines the circumstances where a lawyer may represent more than one client in the same proceeding if it “does not involve an assertion of a claim by one client against another.” Before this trial is over, one or more of the WOFF defendants could assert a claim against another, someone besides Bartley.

27. “The potential for conflicts of interest in representing multiple defendants in a criminal case is so grave that ordinarily a lawyer decline to represent more than one co-defendant.”

That is one of the main sticking points; the effective leader of the law firm, Jane Whaley does not consider herself bound by anything “ordinary.” She showed this by her ineffective, self-absorbed testimony on May29th in the Jerry Cooper case. Her interests as number one client and supreme spiritual leader overrule and go beyond “ordinary.”

Garland points out the severe difference in what Bartley faces if convicted on any of the charges versus what the other four may receive as a sentence. This is important to note as another differentiation between the four versus Bartley. He has more incentive to cooperate. (11.) He faces 41 to 62 months if convicted of aggregated kidnapping. (12) The other four “have no prior criminal record and possibly could be given probation in the discretion of the court.” Though a quick check of this website lets us know the sentence for a Class E Felony can be 15-63 months. Garland is putting forth the best possible outcome for the four defendants with no prior record. Who knows right now?

In summary, Garland Byers has a lot of evidence to present for his case of disqualification of the Tomblin, Farmer and Morris law firm. Josh Farmer and Mark Morris will be under extreme pressure to win the rights to represent at least four of the remaining WOFF member defendants. Why? Because to her own hurt, Jane says so. The subculture of WOFF is so engulfing and all inclusive. For those that doubt, we will see on Monday just how extensive her control over the attorneys has been and will be in the future. Monday will be no ordinary proceeding as it will involve people who are members of no ordinary church. Nothing ordinary should be expected. I do expect to report on this extra-ordinary affair after it is over, Please, return on Monday.

Follow this blog on Twitter- @religiouscults

Thank you, for taking time to visit and read this blog. Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. The author is not a licensed mental health professional and encourages those that need professional help to seek it. The intent of the material is to inform and be a resource. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. There are readers at WOFF. Jane told me and Josh confirmed it.

Comments are invited from all readers, including present or former members. Polls are not scientific and no private information is gathered.
Look on the right side of any post for the option to subscribe by email for notifications or RSS feeds notifying of new postings. It is a great feature. Also, find more posts by selecting “Categories”.

Guest posts reflect the opinions of the writers. Their opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of John Huddle or any other persons affiliated with this blog.

Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, for posts written by John Huddle, any information about WOFF is from his memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be.

Scripture references are Amplified Version unless otherwise noted. (Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation ) This is post number 526.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *