Case #1: - Dr. Burton advocates for a student victim of Sexual Harassment and receives retaliation for helping the student. She complains about the retaliation and receives retaliation for her complaints.
Dr. Burton’s first case was dismissed in summary judgment by Judge Peterson. Summary Judgment, when granted, takes away the non-moving party’s (Sabina Burton’s) chance to be heard before an impartial jury. We paid attorney Tim Hawks around $200,000 (which happens to be the amount we told him on day one that we could afford to spend) and he didn’t even get this solid case into a courtroom. We believe Tim Hawks sabotaged Sabina’s case and we have evidence to back this up. Was he paid to take a dive? Was he threatened? Is he suffering from medical issues that limit his ability to practice law? Did he do it for political reasons? I think he sabotaged Sabina’s case, in large part, because Sabina asked the Governor for help. I believe Hawks misrepresented Sabina, a union member. I think Tim Hawks should be immediately fired by the AFT union as their legal representative. Why has the union in Wisconsin been losing so much political clout in recent decades? Maybe it’s because Tim Hawks has been representing them since the 1980s. Maybe it is because Tim Hawks has his own hidden agendas.
Sabina appealed Judge Peterson’s decision to dismiss her case on summary judgment adding evidence and arguments that her former attorney, Tim Hawks failed to provide even though Sabina had provided the arguments and evidence to him. The appellate court upheld the dismissal on 3/17/17 and seems to lay blame for the dismissal on the failures of Sabina’s former attorneys. (Audio of oral arguments in appeal), (Appeal-Dkt40-Decision).
The appellate court ruled that they could not consider the evidence that had not already been presented in the documents her attorney, Tim Hawks, submitted. Tim Hawks didn’t even let Sabina see documents before he submitted them to the court in Sabina’s name and he failed to use the arguments and evidence Sabina told him to use. Yes, we have evidence of this. Tim Hawks gave Dr. Burton bad legal advice and refused to help Sabina file a request for reconsideration because it would be “embarrassing” and because he feared “sanctions.” Yes, we have evidence of this. Tim Hawks seems to have sabotaged Dr. Burton’s case #1 quite effectively. The appellate court upheld Judge Peterson’s decision to dismiss the case before it ever got to a jury.
So, I’m asking you, the court of public opinion, to be the jury on Case #1.
If you decide Sabina was right, and deserves resolution and support, please donate to her ongoing struggles and pass this website on to others; if you decide she was wrong then do nothing to help her.
Please read through the files on this website, or go to the court’s official site, pacer.gov. Pay particular attention to court documents (Dkt 98 through 103 – Request for Reconsideration) and (Appeal - Dkt 1 through 41) as these were submitted after Attorney Tim Hawks dropped Sabina like a hot potato on 4/1/16. Sabina approved all these documents before they were submitted. In fact, Sabina and I wrote and filed Dockets 98 through 103 ourselves without an attorney because our former attorney dropped us with only 18 days before the deadline. The appellate court did not even consider these documents as explained in (Appeal-Dkt40-Decision). But you are a member of the court of public opinion. Arguably, the highest court in the land. You are not bound by the court’s decision to ignore these material and pertinent appeals for justice. You can look at the whole truth without the filter of unethical attorneys.
“I can compare the appeal outcome to the frustration that police and DA experience when a criminal goes free because of technicalities. That is how I feel. It is not a win for our students, quite the opposite.” - Sabina Burton – 3-22-17
“It's pretty apparent in retrospect that you got shafted by your trial counsel.” – Kimberly Penix -3-21-17, Attorney specializing in appeals and familiar with Sabina’s case. (AppealDecision-malpractice)
If you determine that Sabina should continue her fight against corruption, please donate. We have a lot of fight left in us but we need support. We can’t continue this battle alone.
Please contact me if you know of any good attorneys who would be willing to help us (preferably on contingency) to sue attorney Hawks for misrepresentation. We would like to get our legal fees from Case #1 reimbursed to help fund our follow on legal battles.
Docket – Case #1 - Court files for Case #1 (District court - Judge Peterson)
The appellate court ruled that they could not consider any of the evidence that had not already been presented in the documents Tim Hawks submitted. Hawks didn’t even let Sabina see documents before he submitted them to the court in Sabina’s name. Tim Hawks seems to have sabotaged the case quite effectively. The appellate court upheld Judge Peterson’s decision to dismiss the case before it gets to a jury.
Here is one of the arguments we plan to use to demonstrate misrepresentation. In a three-person phone call on 3-28-16 between Tim Hawks, Sabina Burton and Roger Burton, Attorney Hawks said “I want make something crystal clear. You cannot bring a motion for reconsideration on anything other than a new fact. A fact that was not discoverable at the time the motion for summary judgment was filed.” (A33a - Hawksphcall-3-28-16-NewFactsOnly)
However, the Wisconsin Western division court’s “Guide for litigants without a lawyer” (archived), on pg 169, says “A motion for reconsideration is proper when: (2) The judge clearly failed to consider essential facts or key legal arguments you made to the court before the judge issued an order.”
So, Attorney Hawks seems to have missed the mark on two separate points; first, he said that only “a new fact” can allows us to file a request for reconsideration neglecting to inform us that it would be proper to file the request for reconsideration based on the the judge’s falure to consider essential facts or key legal arguments; and second the deadline for consideration of these facts and arguments seems to be the time the judge issued an order and not the time motion for summary judgment was filed.
Did Hawks lie? Was he unfamiliar with the proper reasons for reconsideration? Had he purposely sabotaged the case and therefore wanted us to drop the case so he would not be “embarrassed?” Note also that Attorney Hawks told us in December 2015 that “there was nothing he could do” (or words to that effect) about the mistakes in the record. We wanted to correct mistakes and omissions and misstatements but Hawks told us it was “too late” (or words to that effect) to file anything else. But it seems we could have filed something right up until the moment the judge issued the order. How would we know that? Attorney Hawks made us think, by saying it flat out, that there was nothing more he could do, even months before the judge issued his order. Why would he do that if he was representing Sabina? Would he do that if he had an ulterior motive?
Did Sabina’s email to Governor Walker have anything to do with the level of commitment she received from Attorney Hawks? Probably. Why did Lattis send this letter to Hawks? Was it because Lattis knew Hawks would not agree with Burton’s move politically? Was Lattis attempting to drive a wedge between the attorney and his client? Why was Lattis involved in so many communications with Hawks? Lattis was not the attorney who handled the representation of the defendants in this legal case. Lattis is a UW System attorney who apparently acted on her own behalf, and not in the name of the assistant attorney general handling the case. Was her mission to sabotage the case? Is that the reason that she contacted Hawks with the news of Dr. Burton’s corresponse with the Governor? We are sure Lattis was fully aware that this news would trigger a negative response from Hawks (as it did). Why didn’t Lattis just forward the letter to the Governor to AAG Bensky and let her take it from there? Why wasn’t Hawks communicating with Bensky, who had been assigned to the case? Why Lattis? Why does Lattis’ name come up so often in this story?
If Hawks felt he could no longer represent Dr. Burton then Hawks should have recused himself. Sabotaging a client’s case is not ethical as far as I can tell. We think attorney Hawks misrepresented Sabina on purpose and sabotaged her case, on purpose. The reasons may be many and varied but they seem to include: 1) pressure from the defense. 2) pressure from Jennifer Sloan Lattis 3) Hawks’ political alignment against Governor Walker coupled with Sabina’s request to Walker for help. There may be other reasons why Hawks did what he did that we don’t even know of. But we feel we can prove in a court of law that Sabina would have won the case if Hawks had done even a half-way decent job of representing her.
We hope the court of public opinion will consider ALL the material facts and deliver a decision on Case #1 in favor of Dr. Burton by donating to her fight against corruption and crooked attorneys.