Go Ahead and Hate Your Neighbor, Go Ahead and Cheat a Friend

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Said hating and cheating, however, may get you sued.  That’s what we learn from this complaint, filed in 2003 by Willie Anderson against Dennis Sweet and the rest of Langston, Frazier, Sweet & Freese, P.A., in Jefferson County, Mississippi.  Anderson alleged that he had been hired to "procure" clients who would "ultimately become plaintiffs in various tort cases litigated by the defendants."  He said he worked for two-and-a-half years to "procure" these clients for pharmaceutical and insurance cases, but was never paid for his efforts.

Anderson said he had been promised between $1.5 million and $4 million for this procurement work (which was not fully defined in the complaint).  He noted, however, that "his greatest loss by [sic] which no monetary compensation could ever address," was the loss of his friendship with Dennis Sweet and the loss of Mr. Sweet to the "abyss of decadent material gain, avarice, greed and the deceitfulness of riches."  Though no monetary compensation could ever fully address these losses, Anderson thought that something in the neighborhood of $95 million would be a good start.

Although Anderson was represented by counsel, his complaint was still full of the type of allegations that you generally see only from pro se plaintiffs.  For example, he alleged "[t]hat it is a crying shame that the defendants made tens of millions of dollars with regard to the aforementioned [cases] and are too trifling to pay the plaintiff."  (In Mississippi, I guess, the creation of a "crying shame" is a basis for punitive damages.)  He noted that his dedication to defendants "could be characterized as that of a happy black slave singing ‘Dixie’ in the defendants [sic] tort fields, feverishly pick’in [sic] clients with no idea that his masters and whipping boy had no intentions on [sic] giving him that kind of money ‘to buy his freedom.’"  It is hard out here in the tort fields, I can tell you that, but still this is a bit exaggerated.

Finally, Anderson stated that legal action could have been avoided had the defendants "paid heed to the song that warned: ‘Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend, do it in the name of heaven, you’ll be justified in the end.  There won’t be no trumpets blow’in on the judgement day, cause on the bloody morning after, one tin soldier rides away.’ (emphasis added)."  This of course was a (misquoted and uncredited) reference to "One Tin Soldier," a 60s anti-war song that was later re-recorded by the rock group Coven for the soundtrack to the movie "Billy Jack."  Coven was apparently otherwise known for its use of Satanic imagery and lyrics, which makes it particularly odd for Anderson’s attorney to think that a Satanic hippie folk song might provide appropriate legal rules binding in Mississippi.

You can find this complaint in the Legal Document Archive on the right side of this page.