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Taj's Rage: Phoenix Lawyer Loses It But Not His License

There is an ancient ritual in Japan called hara-kiri, a form of suicide in which disgraced soldiers thrust themselves upon their own sword.

There is no equivalent in the legal profession. Nothing is personal for the so-called "perfect lawyer". There is no personal attachment to the client or their cause, only to the legal issues at play.

But it is too late to tell that to Arizona attorney Tajudeen "Taj" Oladiran.

Prologue

Taj Oladrian, according to the website of Aguilera Lawyers, was born in Nigeria and immigrated to the United States in 1991 after completing his bachelor of science from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Oladiran graduated from the Arizona State University College of Law and was admitted to practice law in Arizona in 2001. According to his online resumé, he was a one-time member of the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors a judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court and treasurer of the Arizona Black Bar Association. Most ironic is his listing a a member of the Arizona State Bar Professionalism Committee.

Oladiran Facebook imageEsquire Oladiran and his wife Charlotte got into serious debt problems and had lost their home. It was being sold by Suntrust Mortgage Inc. Being a motivated attorney, Olidiran dug up the original mortgage papers and thought he had found a loophole. He sued Suntrust in the United States District Court (Arizona) alleging that his mortgagor had been guilty of fraud and racketeering.

Case number 2:09-CV-01471-SRB was assigned to Justice Susan R. Bolton (hence, the "SRB"). Oladiran appeared before her and set up a deposition of the bank officers to occur in Atlanta at the end of September 2009. He scrounged up some money and traveled from Phoenix to Atlanta for the depositions. But the bank officers did not appear. Obidiran thought he could take advantage of the no-show and he returned before Justice Bolton on October 1, 2009 but she did not grant him the relief he sought, and was more impressed with the evidence that the trustee sale had been canceled.

The Hara-Kiri

It would appear that Oladiran left the courtroom not just disappointed. On the same day, he fired up his computer and drafted a nasty motion.

This is a not uncommon tactic among lawyers who receive challenging information from judges or other lawyers: to draft up the nastiest legal document they can think of. But it is an exercise in anger management. It is deleted as soon as it is written.

Somebody forgot to tell Mr. Oladiran about that last step because later that same day, on October 1, 2009, he filed it. Eventually, the motion - presented below verbatim - would cost him to temporarily lose his license to practice law, even though he would later alleged that he was suffering from an undisclosed mental illness (at one point he referred to "lack of sleep (and) extreme fatigue"):

This motion is filed by ... Tajudeen O. Oladiran, Esquire ("Taj") pursuant to the law of what goes around comes around.

Judge Bolton, I just read your Order and am very disappointed in the fact that a brainless coward like you is a federal judge.

I accused Suntrust Bank of racketeering etc, and many good lawyers in town told me the bank’s executives would never be deposed, and that the case would go nowhere. I stupidly stuck to the notion that everyone is equal under the law etc. Boy was I wrong. The bank cancelled depositions set by the court, cancelled a hearing set by the court, and walked away without as much as a scratch.

My thanks go out to Larry Folks and Kathleen Weber (opposing counsel) who both warned me that I would lose (I should have listened to them).

I apologize to all my clients. I know, I’m sorry does not repair the mess I made but, that’s all I’ve got.

To my family, words can’t express my apologies; please remember me kindly.

Finally, to Susan Bolton, we shall meet again you know where.

The happy face icon was in the original.

Justice Bolton took the motion as a threat to her personal security and the local United States Marshals were called in. As a wise precaution, Bolton recused herself from the Suntrust case. A new judge was appointed, Justice Murray Snow.

Snow's first official act was to call Obidiran in to show cause why he should not be disbarred. Obidiran was initially boldened by the attention. He filed a new lawsuit, this time naming Bolton and Snow as defendants, for alleged violation of the civil rights. It was promptly rejected by the court as being frivolous and in any event, precluded by the rules of judicial immunity. He was fined $500. He appealed the decision but his appeal was dismissed.

Oladiran then went quiet but when his motion was made public, he issued a statement in which he called his motion the "whistleblowing pleading", adding that "few resumes are as impressive as mine" that he was a "born-again Christian" and that all he wanted to do was to give the world the benefit of his "God-given abilities".

Arizona Bar disciplinary proceedings dragged on throughout 2010 but they revealed further details about this attorney's practices. In one of his e-mails sent to a mediator he wrote in February of 2010:

"You and Mr. Folks (Suntrust) conspire to destroy me. At the same time you pretend to be my friend. May Allah judge you and punish you with extreme prejudice. I tried to end this case even though I know of the corruption surrounding me. However, you and your co-conspirators will not leave me alone or let me leave or live. I repeat again: I do not fear any of you and your purchased help. I will fight until Allah gives me victory, even if it takes the rest of my life."

He sent this e-mail to opposing counsel:

"Ms. Weber: Thanks for your responses. I do not believe you but since you are all willing to join in the lie, we move on. However, in the name of Allah, I assure that if you continue to play Russian roulette with me, sooner or later, you will all lose, InsaAllah."

In spite of the sparks of nuttiness in the above, his mental illness defense was substantially rejected.

The Kicker

But here's the kicker.

Even though this was a clear case for lifelong disbarment, Justice David Campbell of the United States District Court gave Oladiran a slap on the wrist, a paltry six month suspension from the practice of law, which ran from October 1, 2010 to April 1, 2011 proving, to borrow from Taj Oladiran's motion, that what goes around does not always come around.

As of August 6, 2011, Taj Olidiran's status with the State Bar of Arizona is inactive:

"Summarily Suspended: Dues Related Issue."

REFERENCES:

  • Tajudeen Oladiran, "EXCEPTIONAL COMMERCIAL LITIGATION AND TRANSACTIONS ATTORNEY" [retrieved from the Internet on August 6, 2011 from http://www.linkedin.com/in/taj4agofaz]

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