Article VIII: The Lawyers: Lying, False Claims, Threats and Insanity: Social Ventures in Africa? by Brian Ray Dinning, JD, LLM and social venture lawyer
Article VIII: The Lawyers: Lying, False Claims, Threats and Insanity
By: Brian Ray Dinning, JD, LLM and Social Venture Lawyer
July 20, 2012
What does a lawyer who was suspended from practicing law for three years for making false claims against me and others and not being truthful with a court and other unprofessional and tortious behavior with a history of insanity have to do with this story? A LOT! He is one of the lawyers for the bad press collaborators (see Articles III through VII at www.socialentrepreneurshipinafrica.com). Jason Christopher Roper and his close friend and former law partner, George Bowles are the lawyers for the aggressive bad press campaign collaborators. These two lawyers not only participated in most, if not all, of the aggressive bad press campaign, they are the two people who have profited substantially by representing this group – earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
George Bowles was the lawyer for Batte and Stiner. Bowles contacted business associates of Pure Africa, Earth Conservancy and me in an effort to damage and discredit the social venture projects in South Africa and me and to support his claims. On at least two occasions, Bowles contacted our business partners (general contractors and builders from Virginia who were overseeing the development work on the Wild Coast of South Africa) to discredit me and to engage in a fishing expedition to solicit them as clients in a possible legal action against me. Interfering with and damaging existing business relationships, providing false and inflammatory information and then seeking to represent these people is wrong – it is illegal and actionable (tortious interference) but it is also against a lawyer’s code of ethics.
These actions by Bowles are not only unprofessional and unethical but they cost the projects hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost investment and the loss of two or more business relationships. Our business relationships with general contractors a year or more to develop since the projects are in Africa and generally included one or more due diligence trips to South Africa. Each time one of these relationships was destroyed by Bowles, it cost the social venture projects in time, money and valuable resources. Bowles and his clients also sent confidential and privileged information to Bossie Bosman, which was used to discredit us in South Africa with the government, our professional team, our local community partners and our business partners. He also admittedly shared confidential and privileged information with his good friend and former partner Roper. It is unclear whether Bowles’ law firm, Williams Mullen is aware of the tortious, interfering and damaging conduct.
Jason Christopher Roper was actively involved in the aggressive negative press campaign in an illegal and actionable way as well. He openly advertised for new clients on the blog of Jeff Brown and he admitted to contacting the South African government and others in an effort to damage and discredit the projects and me. He also admitted to working in concert with and sharing confidential and protected information with his good friend, Bowles. Together, these two worked hard to damage and discredit the projects and me and they profited handsomely from their efforts through the payment of legal fees by Batte, Stiner and the other bad press campaign collaborators.
The contact by Roper and Bowles to the government of South Africa, to Sotheby’s International Realty, to Pam Golding Properties and others stopped our projects on at least three specific instances directly: at Mdumbi Bay with Fresh Properties, at Hole in the Wall with Sotheby’s International Realty,and with Pam Golding Properties. Each time this occurred, it stopped the marketing campaign and cost the social venture projects millions of dollars in revenue. This revenue would have been used to repay our financial partners and to provide for a financial return to the local community and the social venture partners. It is unclear how many indirect opportunities were lost to the bad press campaign but I know of several instances where business relationships ended due to the blog of Jeff Brown and others.
Many times, we tried to stop them from interfering by sending letters of support and seeking endorsements from all of our professional team members. We also sought and received endorsement letters and support from the Government of South Africa including South African President Jacob Zuma, National Cabinet Members and National and local government.
Roper and Bowles coordinated the legal attack on me and the social venture projects to line their pockets with legal fees. Instead of simply asking the social venture projects for a return of their money, they sued first using a generic fraud complaint. Since the only way to get to an individual personally instead of the business is by alleging fraud, they started off by using a general allegation of fraud to file a lawsuit against me personally as well as against the social venture companies. In the first three cases, the social venture partners and myself settled three lawsuits by paying back the investors in full with interest and attorneys’ fees. The next legal battle was with the Stiners. The social venture companies would have eventually paid them back as well when funding was available to settle the lawsuit but the damage that they did to the social venture projects through the aggressive bad press campaign plus the death threats against me led us to agree that settling the lawsuit was not appropriate and a countersuit was filed. It was then that the Stiners dismissed their lawsuit forever. The final lawsuit (other than the $30 million lawsuit pending against the bad press campaign club filed by me) was a lawsuit filed by Roper. This suit cost Jason Christopher Roper his job because my legal counsel and I were present when the senior partners of his firm at McKenry Dancigars said to him that “there is no case.” Roper continued with the lawsuit contrary to his firm’s advice and was fired. Strangely, he then reportedly attempted to commit suicide, was hospitalized and then continued to practice law until his recent suspension.
I was finally able to achieve a small victory with Roper through the Virginia State Bar. Judge Karen Burrell documented Roper’s negative, unprofessional and attacking behavior against me in both correspondence and court order. On February 17, 2012, Jason Christopher Roper was suspended from practicing law for three years by the Virginia State Bar. The announcement from the Virginia State Bar reads:
“Jason Christopher Roper, 702 Lakeview Court, Mars, PA 16046
VSB Docket Nos. 09-021-080040, 10-021-080199, 10-021-080602
On February 17, 2012, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended Jason Christopher Roper’s license to practice law for three years for violating rules governing candor toward the tribunal; fairness to opposing party or counsel; respect for rights of third persons; confidentiality of information; conflict of interest: general rule; conflict of interest: former client; declining or terminating representation; meritorious claims and contentions; ; communication with persons represented by counsel; bar admission and disciplinary matters; and misconduct.”
This, in turn, gave me the necessary evidence to prepare and file the current $30 million lawsuit including claims for federal civil RICO against Jason Christopher Roper, George Bowles and the bad press campaign collaborators. My goal with the lawsuit is to fight for the rights of the social venture partners, the investors and donors, the local poor communities in Africa and me against this negative and actionable conduct by a small group of people. These people cost us millions of dollars in potential profit, millions of dollars of costs and expenses and years of hard work and effort for the people of Africa.
Just to highlight the attacking, unprofessional and unbalanced thinking of this group, Roper sent this scary and threatening email to me:
Good morning and congratulations on your indictment! May you enjoy the next twenty to thirty years in a nice federal peneteniary without the comforts of your bimbo wife, your kids, or the finer things in life . . . Don’t worry about your wife. If she appears at your trial, I will make sure to inform her that if she needs a good serving, she can always give me a call.
Jason C. Roper”
My legal counsel responded with:
“Mr. Roper –
I was just forwarded your communication with Mr. Dinning. Note that your communication itself, as well as the content, are not only violative of PA ethical rules, but are unlawful in and of themselves. Besides being disgusting and offensive.
Given your history of unstable and violent behavior, I must take your statements, especially as to threatened sexual assault on Mrs. Dinning, as real threats to her well being and report the same as well as insist that you never, in any manner, communicate with my client again. If you do so, appropriate legal action will be taken in Pennsylvania.
I’m not saying this to argue with you, and I will not respond to any response or argument that you make in return. You either comply or don’t. If you don’t, I will take appropriate action.”
After sending this to my lawyer, misconduct bar complaints were filed by my legal counsel and me in both Virginia and Pennsylvania for this shocking and threatening behavior.
This is not the conduct of rational people. What I have shared with you is the actual, documented conduct of some of our financial partners and their legal counsel in social ventures in Africa. It is also the conduct of the principle instigators behind the current charges pending against me in the United States as a final blow in their aggressive bad press campaign.
While I am happy to face them in court, I wanted to tell my side of the story and to share with you my heart for the people of Africa. While no one is perfect, all of my consulting fees, expenses, personal expenses and draw compensation was documented in consulting agreements and authorized by the social venture companies. You do not have to take my word for it though, as I have attached a letter from one of our social venture partners, Dr. William Brown, Ph.D Professor and Fulbright Scholar to Assistant US Attorney Steve Haynie in February, 2012. In this letter, Dr. Brown (which can be supported and corroborated by “dozens of people” according to Dr. Brown) openly discusses the aggressive bad press campaign and the fact that my consulting fees and expenses were all authorized and approved by the Board of Directors and by my consulting agreements.
While I am happy to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in court, I can tell you that my reputation, family and over 16 years of work on social ventures has been irreparably damaged by this unjust process. The truly sad thing is that the real impact of this will be against the local people in Africa, who were and are counting on us for help not to mention the wildlife that is counting on us for safety and protection. I can only hope that others will take up the cause of social ventures in Africa (despite the risks I have described) and help the local people of Africa to help preserve and conserve their land and natural resources for future generations to enjoy.
 My background is at http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/23321-va-brian-dinning-629141.html
 George Bowles, for his part in the aggressive bad press campaign, is listed as one of the defendants in the pending $30 million lawsuit by me and Pure Africa to reclaim some of the damage caused by their reckless and intentional actions in damaging me and the social venture projects. Our goal is to ensure that the projects move forward for the benefit of the local communities in Africa.
 Jason Christopher Roper has already been suspended for three years from practicing law for his unprofessional and attacking conduct against me by the Virginia State Bar as documented by Judge Karen Burrell in both correspondence and court order. Jason Roper, for his part in the aggressive bad press campaign, is listed as one of the defendants in the pending $30 million lawsuit by me and Pure Africa to reclaim some of the damage caused by their reckless and intentional actions in damaging me and the social venture projects. For his background, see http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/15219-pa-jason-roper-537025/reviews.html
 Sotheby’s emails.
 See letters from the South African Government. Article 8 FN Letter from President Jacob Zuma and see also Article 8 FN National Minister Letter Ningta or Tambo ltr.
 It should also be noted that Jason Christopher Roper was fired from his last two law firms (Blumling & Gusky and McKenry Dancigars) and it is reported to me by other attorneys that he was fired from two previous law firms for similarly bizarre and unprofessional behavior.
 See Letter of Dr. William Brown to Steve Haynie, Asst. US Attorney Article 1 FN 1 Letter from William Brown to Mr. Haynie