Are Lawyers All Raging Psychopaths?(Dear ABA President Hilarie Bass)

Are Lawyers All Raging Psychopaths?(Dear ABA President Hilarie Bass)

November 12, 2017

President Hilarie Bass,
American Bar Association
Office of the President
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654-7598

Re: Shreveport, LA attorney James Albert Burnett and his sociopath/psychopathy personality disorder

Dear ABA President Bass,

I’m writing to you, as President of the ABA, after reading the following article, “Are Lawyers All Raging Psychopaths?” in Psychology Today (August 19, 2014) over the weekend where the ABA was quoted in this story. The article by Ruth Lee Johnson, J.D. was written in response to Professor Kevin Dutton’s book, Wisdom of Psychopaths”. Dutton, a psychologist from University of Oxford, argues that there are “functional psychopaths” who—unlike criminal psychopaths—use their unempathetic, ruthless, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society. He goes further, however, to postulate that some jobs are especially fertile grounds for functional psychopaths.

Based on Dutton’s research, the second most psychopathic profession is that of a lawyer. (The first is a CEO). This has spurred a lot of discussion in the legal community (see, e.g., Above the Law, ABA Law Journal.

“Dutton argues that psychopathic traits such as arrogance, ruthlessness, deceitfulness, manipulation, and charisma can help CEOs and attorneys succeed in their professions. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,”).

Individuals [with psychopathic personality disorder] are arrogant and self-centered, and feel privileged and entitled. They have a grandiose, exaggerated sense of self-importance and they are primarily motivated by self-serving goals. They seek power over others and will manipulate, exploit, deceive, con, or otherwise take advantage of others, in order to inflict harm or to achieve their goals. They are callous and have little empathy for others’ needs or feelings unless they coincide with their own. They show disregard for the rights, property, or safety of others and experience little or no remorse or guilt if they cause any harm or injury to others. They may act aggressively or sadistically toward others in pursuit of their personal agendas and appear to derive pleasure or satisfaction from humiliating, demeaning dominating, or hurting others. They also have the capacity for superficial charm and ingratiation when it suits their purposes. They profess and demonstrate minimal investment in conventional moral principles and they tend to disavow responsibility for their actions and to blame others for their own failures and shortcomings.

This article confirms my suspicions about my uncle, a Shreveport, LA attorney who I’m currently in a lawsuit against since June 2014 after he failed to turn over the stock due to me while doling small amounts of cash for three years from his mother’s estate following her death, in 2010. He has many of the qualities listed about psychopaths and I’m convinced that he is one. My side of the family has been on the receiving end of his sociopathic actions involving my late-father, a Vietnam Veteran, and now me. In 1990, my mother asked Jimmy to help us get my father, Tommy, back into treatment for alcoholism for the second time. Jimmy came down to Mobile, AL from Shreveport, LA only to talk with Tommy’s boss.

Having heard enough Jimmy blamed my mother for their marriage problems and suggested that they get a divorce. We were trying to get my father, and his brother, some help. Tommy died 8 years later (1998) of chronic alcoholism. In the summer of 2001, I got a phone call from Jimmy stating that he would mail to me the paperwork to sign on my father’s estate after he returned from a weeklong mission trip to Mexico. I’m still waiting on that paperwork. In 2002, I got married. Jimmy was the only close family member not invited to the wedding. I simply didn’t trust what he would say or do.

In 2012, I found myself sitting in the Monroe County Jail, in Forsythe, Georgia facing a number of charges while suffering from bipolar disorder at the time of my arrest while driving up I-75, near Macon. With a cash bond of $25,000, Jimmy made up one excuse after another on why he shouldn’t bond me out over the passing days, weeks and months. This made working on my case much more difficult.

I got a letter from Jimmy several weeks before Easter. In the letter, Jimmy stated that he was coming to town and that he would bond me out. We would then get my car out of the impound yard before following me back to Daphne, AL, which is a good 6 or 7 hour drive. That sounded great. Here’s what happened. He showed up on Holy Thursday (April 5) telling me that he missed his meeting with the attorney, Laura Hogue of Macon, he then called two bail bondsmen mentioning to them that “I had bipolar disorder and that I was from out of state”. With no criminal record neither one wanted to take me on as a client.

He then went to the impound yard to see my car before paying me a visit at the jail’s visitation room. With glass separating us, Jimmy confessed to me that I had the money to bail myself out before telling me a chilling story. After graduating from LSU Law School, Jimmy accepted some court-appointed criminal cases where all four clients went to “jail” before changing his practice. I knew exactly what he was saying and where he was going. Reading through the lines he was saying, “Ted, you’re my next case and I’m going to lose it, too.” The handwriting was all over the wall.

Having been in jail since December 11, 2011, I was so eager to get out. I would’ve owned up to a murder, if I thought it would’ve made a difference in getting to taste freedom on that day. I turned 41 on Good Friday. Wasn’t his plan to get me out? No! He was just setting me up for another disappointment. Jimmy left me in jail that Easter weekend while he drove up to Atlanta, GA to visit with his daughter and her family. (See the attached story: “A Low-Speed Chase through Georgia”), which chronicles my road trip from Alabama through Florida and Georgia before my arrest and incarceration in middle Georgia. After his visit, I knew I had to get away from Jimmy managing my case or I wasn’t going anywhere except to a Georgia prison.

I’m of the opinion that Jimmy wanted me to go to trial on a very serious charge filed by a Georgia State Trooper that didn’t fit the crime thus all the inheritance would be his. With two Bibb County deputies serving as witnesses, the DA had the case in hand until I started writing to the Georgia Governor Nathan Deal from jail explaining what happened. Jimmy let me stay put for 5 months until I got my own attorney, Karen Martin, the jailhouse favorite. She showed up at the jail, at the end of April, with a deal in hand from the DA. However, it required me to accept a reduced felony charge, but no prison time was required. I reluctantly accepted it. Jimmy did nothing on my behalf except try to sink my ship. I have since learned from the famous Georgia trial lawyer, Bobby Lee Cook, that my constitutional rights had been violated in my case.

The inheritance is his last chance to maintain control me with my share of the cash and stock. It has been seven years since his mother has been dead. After his failure to turnover any stock to me for first three years, I finally hired Mr. Carey J. Messina, of Kean Miller, to represent me. Mr. Messina wrote a letter to Jimmy seeking a copy of the estate’s financials. Rather than send the financials mailed back, Jimmy called up Carey and for ninety minutes tried to torpedo our new legal relationship. It almost worked. Carey was so pissed off over what he had just heard from Jimmy that he called me up and gives me the riot act. Carey told me not to call him on his car phone or his cell phone and more importantly that he would get me the financials in a couple of weeks from Jimmy, but that he wouldn’t be able to represent me going forward.

I saw what Jimmy was doing and I couldn’t continue calling up more attorneys in Louisiana only to have him interfere with these new relationships with his lies. To settle Carey down, I had my lunch companion, Michael Pereira, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch call him up as my character witness. I had been eating with Michael 3 and 4 times a week for several years. Mike grew up in Shreveport, LA before attending Southeastern University in Hammond, LA and then going to work for Merrill Lynch in New Orleans, LA before Hurricane Katrina displaced him and his family, in 2005. They now call Fairhope, AL, home. Michael called Carey’s office several days later and left a message. When Carey called back, Mike said, “Carey was still hot”. When Jimmy failed to send the financials to Carey’s law firm, they filed suit in Caddo Parish.

Since 2012, I’ve long said to anyone who would listen and to all those who won’t including the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, Louisiana State Supreme Court Office of Disciplinary Council (LADB) (screening counsel Eric R. McClendon, 6/2016), in Baton Rouge, the Shreveport Bar Association leadership (2016, 2017), area attorneys, to my first attorney and now my current one, Rita Bacot, that my uncle is a sociopath and he’s controlling the pace of the case not the court nor anyone else. Few involved in the case understand what’s really going on because he’s hid it so well and for so long unless you’re a past victim of his and they’re out there. Jimmy is a terrible liar. He never follows through on his promises and he hopes you’ll forget. Who forgets a promise?

The mission of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board is such…

“LADB is [charged] with the responsibility of investigating all allegations of lawyer misconduct and making recommendations to the Court when discipline is warranted. The agency consists of a statewide board, hearing committees, disciplinary counsel, and administrative staff appointed by the board and disciplinary counsel.”


The LADB failed to carry out any investigation into my uncle following my complaint to them, in May 2016. This year, my new attorney, Rita Bacot, had Jimmy removed as the executor over the conflict of interest in that he was also an attorney. Both, my uncle and I are naked owners to my paternal grandparent’s estate, which is valued around $600,000. According to my late-grandmother’s accountant and the newly court-appointed executor, Ed Ball, CPA, JD; “this case could have been resolved in the first year”, if Jimmy had wanted it to happen and that’s the problem.

Just recently, I complained to Caddo Parish Probate Judge Michael A. Pitman and to the leadership of Shreveport Bar Association for the second time about my uncle dragging his feet in settling this 3-1/2 year old case. Using the word, sociopath, and applying it to my uncle doesn’t seem to mean anything to anyone in the state of Louisiana.

The Shreveport Bar Association’s website states this…

“Our purpose hasn’t changed in the past 60+ years. We are committed to providing an organization where members of our legal community can serve the public under the highest ethical and professional expectations.”


Clearly, both, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board and the Shreveport Bar Association have failed to keep their commitment to the public and to me. In my case, neither even bothered to try.

I live in Alabama two states away from Louisiana. I am also on Social Security Disability where I get a monthly check, but it doesn’t cover all my expenses. My inheritance has been piecemealed to me, over the past 7 years, by my uncle preventing me from doing any financial planning and more importantly allowing me to invest the principle in the most prudent manner to earn income in the form of dividends and interest. So far, I have consumed much of the principle to date on living expenses. I need someone who can jerk Jimmy’s chain because so far my actions haven’t done much nor has the court’s. Pulling his license would be a good start for the 74 year old and could up this case.

This man has never missed a Sunday morning and thus the folks in the Shreveport must think I’m accusing Jesus Christ of wrong doing, but Jimmy doesn’t walk on water and never has. He’s proof how phony Christians are and can be! Many have turned a blind eye to this dangerous man and my complaint.

The ABA had this to say in Ruth Lee Johnson’s article…

“… Although it is not apparent from TV shows about lawyers on television, lawyers get disbarred all the time for carrying out some of the “psychopathic” behavior described above. The American Bar Association (“ABA”) enforces its Rules of Professional Responsibility actively, and a lawyer that behaves unethically not only risks losing his job at a law firm, but of getting sanctioned by the ABA or by a court.”

Once again, it’s time for the ABA and the Louisiana State Bar Association to carry out justice!

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chronology of family deaths:
My paternal grandfather, Verne Burnett, April 1, 1988
My father, Thomas Edward Burnett, Sr. November 28, 1998
My paternal grandmother, Ava Candler Burnett, March 11, 2010 (7 years ago)

See attachments [Blue Links]:

1) Are Lawyers All Raging Psychopaths, Psychology Today (August 19, 2014)

2) A Low-Speed Chase through Georgia (2011-12)

3) My letter to the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board – James Albert Burnett

4) The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board’s reply.

Louisiana State Supreme Board Office of Disciplinary Counsel;
Mrs. Carrie L. Jones, of Shows, Cali and Walsh, Chair;
The Shreveport Bar Association leadership;
Caddo Parish (Louisiana) Probate Judge Michael A. Pitman (
Mr. Ed Ball, CPA, JD of Morehart and Cook, CPAs, Shreveport, LA
Mr. Carey Messina, Kean Miller of Baton Rouge, LA – My 1st attorney (December 2013-June 2016)
Mrs. Rita Bacot, Shreveport, LA – current attorney (September 2016-present)
Retired U.S. Representative Jo Bonner, 1st Congressional District of Alabama (2003-13)
Mrs. Laura Hogue, of Hogue and Hogue, Macon, Georgia
Mrs. Karen Martin of Martin and Martin, Barnesville, Georgia
Mr. Bobby Lee Cook, Cook and Connelly, Summerville, Georgia
U.S. Federal Judge Emmett Ripley Cox, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Fairhope, AL

Are Lawyers all raging psychopaths;
Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board;
Martin Luther King, Jr. quote;
Shreveport Bar Association;

 Ted Burnett: I'm an American thought leader and pioneer on the subjects of human, organizational and societal development and health. I write about the role that integrity, dignity, sanity play, as well as, on the topics of spirituality, faith, freedom, happiness, problem solving and risk taking. I produce and deliver original, world-class commentaries on business, political, social and spiritual matters to a global audience of world leaders, chief executives and key decision makers, top faculty and notables in the fields of academia, banking, business, foundations, government (including heads of state, lawmakers and governors), healthcare, media, non-profits and policy institutes. Website: