The six-member Grievance Committee Panel is deliberating privately as to whether Attorney Betty Sue Meadowlake violated the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and should be disciplined.

Accused of releasing information to a San Antonio television station about her lawsuit against a corporate complainant in retaliation for the defendant’s refusal to pay her pre-suit settlement demand, the corporate complainant contends the attorney’s conduct constitutes Extortion, a felony under the Texas Penal Code.

Most of the Grievance Committee Panel Members appear to be agreeing with the corporate complainant that Betty Sue Meadowlake should be disbarred.

But Panel Member Tyrone Washington is arguing to excuse the accused lawyer’s conduct because the United States Supreme Court has ruled in a similar case in Arizona that the federal constitutional right of free speech overrides any State’s Lawyer Disciplinary Rules.

Tyrone reveals, “Perhaps some of you didn’t know that as a youngster I was raised as a Black, or rather as a Colored in South Africa during part of the Apartheid years. With that background, I favor the protection of every individual’s rights, especially the right of free speech.”

Tyrone pauses to let that sink in, especially to the two non-lawyers on the Grievance Committee Hearing Panel.

“In my personal experience and my family’s experience under Apartheid in South Africa, any minority group with the legal trappings of power can easily become terribly oppressive. A small group with the awesome power of government can impose its own rule of law as to what’s right and what’s fair on an overwhelming majority of the people. That small group becomes a dictator and can even decide what’s legal and what’s not. It can decide what is true and what is not. It can make people afraid to speak out. It can even control the media.

“Does that remind anyone of the Nazis in Germany under Hitler or the fascists under Mussolini?”

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