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June 12, 2017 · OPINION

Lawsuit defendant takes issue with judge and story

By P. Jay Fetner
The Plains

With respect to your story published June 7, I hasten to add a few comments and some needed color:
• Readers should withhold judgments until the appeals process has run it course. Fortunately, we have the full right of appeal in Virginia when judges acting as trial courts without a jury go this wrong.

There are at least 15 questions of material factual error, and almost all the legal rulings – some quite novel and many simply upside-down – will go up on appeal.

• The reference to 20-year-old “protracted litigation” and “philanthropist Rose Marie Bogley” is quite gratuitous and worthy only of journalistic participation in the current wave of “fake news.”

• Anyone who knew Steve Roszel and me in the early decades of this century knows we were tight as ticks until his family frustrated a business deal and converted it into this fiasco. “No good deed goes unpunished,” they say, and I am paying a huge price for allowing myself to get drawn into what was an attempt to help Roszel’s daughter and straighten out some sordid family matters.

The Roszel children and their attorney certainly have a lot of bad things to say about me. I could return the favor and make your toes curl, believe me, but to what purpose?

• The “Roszel” contribution to my polo, an emphasis in the story, was about 1 percent.

• The story features several comments by Judge Parker at the June 6 hearing. Some of the more challenging remarks were not reported.

• Although the court had previously ruled that Steve Roszel was fully competent, the judge noted that Roszel had obviously “lost a step” and that the court was exercising “judicial notice” that Steve was somehow “vulnerable” to me.

Roszel never appeared before the judge in this matter. Only God could know the things Judge Parker confidently asserted. When I pointed to a case completely miscited by Parker for an imaginary Virginia “inference of fraud,” the judge remarkably suggested that because the case citation appeared in a footnote in his opinion it could just be ignored! As to a huge mathematical error, the judge simply explained that the figures were produced by (plaintiffs’ lawyer) Robin Gulick. Presumably, the disinterested oracle of Warrenton?
• After eight months of effort together (Steve and I) and all the money spent and allocated – everything fully known to and approved by Roszel, who indeed initially thought the whole business plan up – on Aug. 27, 2009, Steve Roszel on his own changed his advance medical directive removing his son and giving me as his agent sole power of life-and-death in the event of his disability. 

Not a close trusted partner? Then Gulick and the kids took over — Steve Roszel’s greatest fear all along. You tell me. He just wanted to live his life his way. There’s an old Sinatra song about that.
• This is not the place to retry this case, but for those really interested, I urge them to read my 35-page Motion to Reconsider (facts and law) and Gulick’s five-page “reply” – links to both provided in the story.

Not everyone will understand all the legal nuances, but the difference between reasoned argument, on the one hand, and innuendo and hysteria, on the other, are pretty clear for all to see.
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KathyWithAK · August 9, 2017 at 11:09 am
Kudos to the party that commented on the alternative legal universe that is "Judge and Jury Jeffrey Parker" of Fauquier. It has happened to my child at ripe old age of 19. Historical legal practice is speaking very lightly. Prayers.
WatchingWarrenton · June 14, 2017 at 10:21 am
Welcome to the alternative legal universe that is "Judge Jeffrey Parker" of Fauquier. We missed you at the December 2016 Joint General Assembly when we opposed Judge Parker's re-appointment to a 3rd 8 year term. We warned folks. But until it happens to you, there is little will to remove this tremendously callous, unethical, psyho-pseudo judge. Fauquier is known for this historical "legal" practice. Remember the article about illicit weddings taking place in Fauquier ? That was not an historical anomaly.
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