Town Attorney General Meeting  

The Town Attorney General will enforce the rights of individuals, a workable way to take control of government away from the multinational corporations and return it to the People.

Town Attorney General Seal
Carl E Person

Performance starts at 7.30 PM. --- NOTE: NO MORE PERFORMANCES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Location: Producers' Club Theatre
358 W. 44 St. (8-9th Ave.), New York NY

 

Performance Schedule Buy Tickets [disabled]
Webcast Video of Live Show Submit Review
Sign Up for Website Updates Show Reviews
Point of Purchase
Display for Book
Information about
Carl E. Person

 

Concept and History
By Carl E. Person

Town Attorney General
Meeting
- An Off-Broadway
Performance by
Carl E. Person

Town Attorney General -
Action and Rallying Point
for Americans Who Want to
Take Back Their Country

Saving Main Street
and Its Retailers
Carl E. Person

Last Update
May 18, 2008

History of the Office of Attorney General

Attorneys General were appointed in England as early as 1407, when King Henry IV authorized Thomas Derham to represent the King, as "Kingís Attorney", in all courts of the realm. Prior to that time, an attorney was appointed to represent the King in all courts within a specified geographic region. The Attorney General was the only lawyer authorized to commence litigation on behalf of the crown, including the crownís governmental agencies. The position was and remains today an exceedingly high office, often having constitutional authorization. Thiry-nine states (plus Guam, "GU") require their attorney general to be elected (i.e., all states other than AL, AK, CO, DC, GA, HI, NH, NJ, PR, TN, VI, VA and WY); this minority of states, the United States Government, American Samoa (AS), Northern Mariana Islands (MP), Puerto Rico (PR) and Virgin Islands (VI), authorize or require their attorney general to be appointed. As of today, there are 6 women holding the office of state or territorial Attorney General v. 50 male Attorneys General (including the United States Attorney General). This data was compiled from the website for the states attorneys general, at www.naag.org/ag/ag_bios.php .

The Attorney General of the United States or of a State is the top legal officer. He/she renders legal opinions to the President, Governor or other governmental officers or agencies. The attorney general usually has responsibility under both civil and criminal law.

When elected to office, the attorney general is able to function more independently than when appointed to office, and inevitably there will be conflicts with the Governor. When appointed, the attorney general functions under the President or Governor and can be fired (readily or as a practical matter) and replaced by the President or Governor. Accordingly, appointed Attorneys General can be expected to act according to the wishes of the appointing authority on important matters. As to the Town Attorney General, all positions would be by appointment, and the appointed official would be operating to a considerable extent under the political control of the appointing authority (i.e., mayor, town council or otherwise). It is possible that by referendum or other voter-oriented proceeding a town could establish the Town Attorney General as an elective office.

Article for Publication in Magazine for Mayors; Revised for Small-Town Newspaper

You might be interested in reading an article I wrote for the Mayors of New Jersey, for publication in a magazine sent to all New Jersey mayors, then revised for publication in a New York small-town newspaper. The article, entitled "Untapped Revenue Sources for New York Towns and Villages", describes the Town Attorney General and its revenue-producing potential. See www.lawmall.com/salesmen/mx_art6.doc.

Prosecutorial Positions

The primary prosecutor for the federal government is the United States Attorney for the "District" in which the prosecution takes place. There are detailed regulations by the Attorney General and the Justice Department concerning how criminal prosecutions are to be initiated, and with what prior approvals. At the state level, the Attorney General usually has the power to prosecute criminally, but most prosecutions are carried out by a "District Attorney" and a staff of Assistant District Attorneys, who function as officers of the state even though they are paid by and provided offices and other support services by the County. In some states, individuals are able to commence a criminal prosecution, but in other states commencement requires approval by the District Attorney or an Assistant District Attorney.

Civil Prosecutions (i.e., Lawsuits for Money - or Local Speedtraps for Wrongdoing Multinational Corporations)

Civil lawsuits can be commenced by any "entity" (such as a joint venture, partnership, human being, corporation, governmental agency, state), and civil actions commenced by a state generally have an assistant attorney general representing the state. Also, the state could appoint a special prosecutor or special attorney general to initiate a criminal or civil action on behalf of the state. Counties, cities and other local governments generally use a County Attorney, Town Attorney, City Attorney (or in the case of New York City "Corporation Counsel") to initiate civil litigation. Also, a state, county, city, town, village or other entity could retain a lawyer to commence a civil lawsuit without any questions being raised.

You could compare civil prosecution of corporations with law enforcement activities against motorists: the latter is for money and includes speedtraps and other ways of ensnaring citizens into abusive ticketing and legal procedures for the primary goal of raising money for the town, village or other governmental subdivision; the former is a speedtrap against multinational corporations, which commit far greater crimes but do not drive automobiles while committing these crimes. The Town Attorney General is your local sheriff focusing on invisible corporations rather than all-too-visible motorists.

National Association of Attorneys General; Newsletter Describing Settlements

In its newsletter,www.naag.org/ , the National Association of Attorneys General describes various settlements in which one or more state Attorneys General were involved. Interestingly, the newsletter lists the various legal areas of concern to their members, as follows: antitrust, bankruptcy, civil rights, consumer protection, criminal law, cybercrime, end-of-life health care, environment, legislation, Medicaid fraud, Supreme Court, tobacco, violence against women. These are some of the areas which a Town Attorney General should consider when reviewing prospective enforcement activities.

Town Attorney General

A town can have its own "Town Attorney", who often is a lawyer with clients who also has the town as a client, always having to be sure that he/she has no conflicts because of the different clients being represented in civil lawsuits.

Most town attorneys, I believe, are better versed in zoning issues and in defending the town and its employees from claims and lawsuits than in commencing complicated antitrust or other commercial litigation against major corporations. In fact, the typical "Town Attorney" probably has never been involved in an antitrust suit, but could rapidly learn.

Adverse Consequences of All Towns and Villages without an Attorney General

Imagine the complexity of the U.S. tax code and the army of lawyers and CPAís that provide legal and accounting advice to the multinational corporations enabling them to pay little if any income taxes to the United States in spite of their ever-growing revenues. Add to this the output of 180 some odd American Bar Association-approved law schools training thousands of lawyers each year to go to work for the major corporation s, both as in-house counsel and with the major law firms in each U.S. city that provide outside legal representation to all of the large and most medium-size corporations operating within or engaged in transactions with companies and individuals located in the United States. The legal expertise involved to protect major corporations is so complicated that for the past 20 years or longer there has been a steady merger of law firms into ever-growing law firm giants because of the perceived need to have law firms handle all sorts of legal problems (as a "full service" firm), with the large law firm delegating portions of a problem on occasion to a smaller "boutique" law firm specializing in a narrow field of law.

What Iím driving at is that major corporations have become major corporations because they have used thousands of lawyers each year to protect the corporate interests and assets, as against smaller customers, regulatory agencies, and host communities which lack most of the legal expertise that has enabled the corporations to take assets from others under color of law, winding up as sales and profits, with little fear that anyone is going to recognize how the major corporations are violating the law or do anything about it if they do recognize violations of law.

In this context, we have had an influx of major retailers opening up retail stores throughout the United States and devastating the locally-owned businesses. The host towns and villages have been looking for tax revenue to replace the lost taxes and community income being stolen by the major retailers, and have done very little to investigate and deal with corporate wrongdoing because of the lack of the needed legal skills. The IRS, for example, has insufficient personnel or assets to make a complete review of the tax filings of the multinational corporations, and winds up instead looking (quickly and without much understanding) at perhaps less than 1/10th of 1% of the documents filed and generally letting the corporations determine for themselves that they owe no tax (based upon expensive opinions and planning done by the hordes of lawyers and accountants retained by the multinationals).

Gray Area Growth

Continued growth by the nationís largest corporations is relatively easy. They do whatever could be argued is "lawful" and recognize that nobody is going to challenge them, which enables the major corporations to take more than they should, and leave their suppliers and customers relatively impoverished, having transferred their wealth to the major corporations through a variety of business practices which, upon examination, can be proven are illegal.

Comes the Town Attorney General

Towns and villages throughout the United States are feeling the effects of the multinationals by reason of the decline in standard of living of the residents; the reduction in tax revenues received by the town/village; the increase in prices caused by the monopolies; the increased burden thrust on local communities by the federal and state governments that are also trying to cope with loss of income from the multinationals based upon their gray area operations and tax reporting with high-priced legal support.

How a Town and Village Can Change Things for the Better

Obviously, the cure for this loss of income and wealth is to have sophisticated legal assistance to determine the legality of the "gray area" operations that have been depriving the town or village and its residents and local businesses of jobs, higher-paying jobs, tax revenues, income (through higher prices), and decline in property and business values. This is the function of a "Town Attorney General", as I conceive this position to be.

I am an antitrust and civil rights litigator and have many of the skills and experience needed to detect corporate wrongdoing and its effect on a community, and how to obtain recovery for the damages. I am not alone with these skills. There are probably thousands of antitrust lawyers (most of whom work for the major law firms) who have the skill to do what I am advocating.

There is a need for each Town and Village to look at its relationship, and the relationship of its residents and local businesses, with each of the major retailers making sales to residents or taking away business from local businesses. A Town Attorney General can do this in the same way that New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer does this for New York State (without, I might add, sending any of the income he obtains to the towns and villages which suffered some of the loss directly or through its residents and local businesses).

Gray Areas Are a 2-Way Street for Profitability - or - As One Maketh Another Can Taketh Away

Working the gray area is the way the nationís major corporations have been wiping out their competition. The gray area is far more profitable than the wholly legitimate "white area", because law-abiding businesses generally choose not to play around in an area in which they could be violating criminal laws. This limits the amount of competition (and produces higher profitability) for companies deciding that the reward is worth the risk, especially when you have paid off the politicians to look the other way and not commence any law-enforcement activities against your gray-area activities.

But gray-area profitability works two ways, and for the nationís towns and villages it provides a vast area for recovering moneys stolen from the town, its residents and its locally-owned businesses. By being "gray-area" activities in the first place, the town starts off with cases in which there are triable issues of fact, i.e., whether the gray-area activities are illegal under federal or state law.

The approach to be used by the Town Attorney General is to identify the "gray areas" in which the corporations are operating, and how these gray areas, if found to be illegal by a jury, have adversely affected the town, its residents and its local businesses.

Price Discrimination Litigation under the Robinson-Patman Act Is a Good Place to Start

The most fertile area to explore is violations of the Robinson-Patman Act, which prohibits price discrimination by a manufacturer or supplier to competing customers. All major retailers are demanding and obtaining substantially lower prices from their suppliers (i.e., manufacturers) than the suppliers are charging to local competitors of the major retailers. Price discrimination is illegal and entities injured by price discrimination are entitled to recover treble damages from the major retailers and their suppliers if certain things are established.

Major Advantage of Price Discrimination Litigation - The Major Retailers Are Demanding and Getting Lower Prices from The Manufacturers Selling to Them - No Need to Investigate - The Difference in Retail Prices Virtually Proves Your Case

Price discrimination litigation starts off with the town and its Town Attorney General knowing that the major retailer defendant is violating the law, but for one or more claimed "exemptions" from the statute, such as "meeting competition", "cost justification" and "functional discount", among others. These defenses create triable issues of fact which a jury needs to resolve, and in some cases the town will win, and in other cases the town will lose, but in most cases the parties will settle, and the multinationals and major retailers will continue doing what they do, until the volume of litigation gets to the point where it threatens to bankrupt the manufacturers (which are already on shaky financial grounds because of the fact that they have been selling below cost to their largest customers).

It is an advantage in litigation knowing from the outset that the defendant is violating the law, or at least that you know you can develop a triable issue as to whether the defendant manufacturer or major retailer is entitled to avail itself of one of the possible defenses under the Robinson-Patman Act. As Town Attorney General you donít have to spend a lot of time trying to uncover evidence of lower prices.

Even the defendants themselves do not know the per-unit prices at which they are buying goods from the manufacturers or the per-unit prices at which the manufacturers are selling goods to the major retailers. The per-unit cost is very complicated to unravel, similar to a DNA Code. See my article on this at www.lawmall.com/bookcase . The article is entitled "Now Revealed for First Time - the Secret DNA Code by Which All Major Retail Chains Are Obtaining Secret Rebates from Invoice Prices to Reduce Their Cost of Goods to about 50% to 60% of What Their Independent Competitors Are Paying for the Same Goods".

Wolf-Pack Justice Is Needed

A group of Town Attorney Generals, operating as a "wolfpack" in fashion similar to the statesí attorneys general, can decide to eliminate price discrimination in a specific industry, such as beverages or appliances or auto parts, and commence lawsuits throughout the United States against errant manufacturers until the effect of such lawsuits reaches the level of impact that the Federal Trade Commission had, before the Nixon Administration, in their rigid enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act.

In effect, a group of Town Attorneys General can exercise for their respective communities the abandoned powers of the federal government to enforce the nationís antitrust laws. "Wolfpack" combat was used too successfully during the Second World War by the German submarine commanders who would operate as a "wolfpack" and gang up on individual convoys of ships from the United States (or elsewhere) attempting to resupply England. The United States was able to stop this by breaking the German Enigma Code.

Until the manufacturers stop their price discrimination, by switching back to a published price list from the current system of secret negotiations and secret pricing and below-cost selling, the towns and villages will make a substantial amount of money in their lawsuits to protect the interests of the town and its residents and local businesses. When the manufacturers stop violating the law, the town, and its residents and locally-owned businesses, will be able to make money the old fashioned way, through the financially-successful residents and local businesses that will result when the destructive price discrimination practices of the major retailers and their suppliers are brought to an end.

Other Revenue-Producing Areas of Law for the Town Attorney General to Consider

There are various other laws for profitable enforcement by the Town Attorney General, including:

  1. State antitrust laws
  2. State laws prohibiting deceptive or misleading advertising
  3. Fraud, misrepresentation, and fraudulent omission
  4. Allocation of sales tax revenues
  5. Imposing employee healthcare costs on the community
  6. Illegal hiring of immigrants
  7. Illegal outsourcing which steals jobs from the community
  8. Breach of representations and warranties made when obtaining zoning variations
  9. Purchasing of jobs by one community, which unfairly deprives another community of its existing jobs, and provides huge sums of unearned money to corporations trafficking in local jobs

There are many more areas for profitable litigation, and each community needs to have a review of its relationship with major businesses operating in the area to determine what claims to bring in the lawsuits designed to take back what the multinationals are taking illegally from the town and its residents and local businesses.

Saving Main Street and Its Retailers Is Must Reading for Anyone Wanting to Understand How Multinationals Are Stealing the Wealth and Opportunity from Towns and Villages and Their Residents and Local Businesses

My book, Saving Main Street and Its Retailers, explains all of this in greater detail, and is must reading for anyone wanting to stop destruction of the middle class. The book explains how globalization (or so it does seem to me) to be no more than the result of a federal policy of non-enforcement of the nationís antitrust laws, enabling major retailers and others to operate in the gray area without the government coming in to challenge any of the gray-area practices.

The Town Attorney General Will Provided Needed Competition in Many Areas

As I see it, a Town Attorney General will create healthy competition in fighting gray-area corporate practices for the profit of the town, and its residents and local businesses, which have lost much of their assets and opportunities to these gray area practices.

Also, there will be competition among lawyers wanting to become the Town Attorney General, as well as competition among individuals wanting to become mayor, who now have the appealing argument that "If elected, I will appoint and supervise a Town Attorney General to go after the monopolists and produce enough revenue from the lawsuits to provide FREE healthcare, FREE dental care, FREE prescription drugs, and REDUCED real estate taxes for residents of the town."

The greater the number of candidates, the longer the list of benefits to be promised by the candidate, with the result that the Town Attorney General is going to become a valuable, busy profit center for the Town, and a creator of highly skilled individuals in the community (including lawyers, law-office managers, paralegals, litigation assistants, legal secretaries, litigation support personnel, economists, accountants, other experts, and persons dreaming up new ways to spend the new revenues pouring into the town).

An interesting sidelight is that when a community focuses on collecting the money owed to it, and its residents and locally-owned businesses, there will be far less emphasis upon using criminal prosecutions. Criminal prosecutions are costly for the community and provide no net revenue, and wind up putting innocent people in jail and depriving many persons of the right to vote. By concentrating on the benefits available through the Office of the Town Attorney General, including the political contests to see who can do the most for the town, there will be a natural reduction of criminal prosecutions, which to a great extent are wholly unfair and designed to turn prosecutors into politicians, at the expense of justice. See my four websites on prosecutorial abuse, at
www.lawmall.com/abuse;
www.lawmall.com/criminal;
www.lawmall.com/forfeit; and
www.lawmall.com/pleabarg.
Did you know that in the Southern District of New York 98% of the persons indicted for an alleged crime plead guilty, and that perhaps 3/4ths or more of the remaining 2% (including Martha Stewart and various chieftains of organized crime) are found guilty at trial? We no longer need judges. The mere indictment put almost everyone away! The Town Attorney General should help to change this wholly unfair criminal justice system by providing a more meaningful type of action to pursue for personal political reasons.

Speed Traps for Invisible, Incorporeal Corporations - Can Be Expected to Produce about $5,000 to $10,000 in New Revenue Per Family Per Year for the Town or Village

Towns and villages know how to obtain revenue by setting up and working speed traps for motorists, but this is penny ante stuff. The towns and villages should be setting up "speed traps" for large corporations (being invisibleo r "incorporeal", or without body), to detect wrongdoing and commence appropriate litigation to recover money for the town. Community fines against individuals (for parking, speeding and smoking) will probably not amount to more than $200 per family per year (and this is just a guess), but going after errant multinational corporations can easily result in new income to the town amounting to about $5,000 to $10,000 per family per year, and probably with little or no outlay of money by the town. In fact, the town should be able to use a positive cash flow to increase these outlined civil enforcement activities.

How to Obtain Appointment of a Town Attorney General in Your Town or Village

The best way for you to obtain appointment of a Town Attorney General in your town or village should include the following things for you to do:

  1. Talk with me, Carl Person, for ideas and assistance;
  2. Distribute Saving Main Street and Its Retailers through locally-owned retail stores;
  3. Give copies of the book to the mayor, town manager, town council and town attorney;
  4. Speak with these town officials to get them to listen to a presentation by Carl E. Person town (or someone else) to be appointed as Town Attorney General for the town;
  5. Get the owners, publishers and mangers of the local newspaper and radio station to back the project;
  6. Have one or more public hearings or town hall meetings at which Carl E. Person will discuss his Town Attorney General concept and how it can be implemented by the town;
  7. Publicize your meetings and urge appointment of a Town Attorney General through locally-owned media; and
  8. Request that I supply without charge a PDF copy of the book for emailing to all residents having a known email address (a request that I probably will grant, but I want to consider each proposal on its own merits) or for an appropriate (low) charge a hard copy of the book for delivery to most residents and businesses as an "insert" in the townís local, independently-owned newspaper.


© Copyright 2005 by Carl E. Person