Drag Queens: Drummond Company Cross-Dressing as Law Firm

RuPaul is probably in disbelief that he’s been outperformed.

Drummond Company has done one of the greatest acts of cross-dressing in the history of Alabama: the coal company is portraying itself as a law firm.

Well-read legal blog Legal Schnauzer predicted correctly last week that Judge Tamara Johnson would reject Drummond’s latest stall and delay tactic, writing:

What is that central question Drummond seeks? 

Whether a corporation, which is not itself a legal services provider, may avail itself of the [Alabama Legal Services Liability Act] statute of limitations where its alleged liability is based on the conduct of its general counsel, who is a legal services provider?

The Alabama Supreme Court already has answered that question in a case styled Alabama Educ. Ass’n v. Nelson, 770 So. 2d 1057 (Ala. 2000). Nelson involved a teacher’s efforts to sue AEA under the Alabama Legal Services Liability Act (ALSLA) because of alleged legal malpractice by one of the association’s in-house lawyers. 

But Drummond has a slight problem — it admits that it is not a legal-services provider, and the Alabama Supreme Court held in Nelson that the ALSLA does not apply in such situations. 

Here is the key finding in Nelson:

We note that throughout the ALSLA, the language used by the Legislature indicates that the Act was intended to apply to lawyers and law firms. For example, § 6-5-572(3)(a) sets out the “standard of care” a “legal service provider” is to observe:

“The standard of care applicable to a legal service provider is that level of such reasonable care, skill, and diligence as other similarly situated legal service providers in the same general line of practice in the same general locality ordinarily have and exercise in a like case.”

What standard of care would be applied to the AEA under this statute? We know of no other “legal service provider” that, in regard to the AEA, might be considered to be “similarly situated.” Clearly this section contemplates that the ALSLA is to be applied only to lawyers and to law firms— including professional corporation associations, and partnerships—whose membership is composed solely of lawyers acting for the purpose of providing legal services.

Interestingly, the statute of limitations of ALSLA is only six-months.

Ex-Drummond executive David Drummond was convicted on July 20, 2018. Exactly six months later, Roberson was fired in early February of 2019.

What foolish drag queen thought the statute of limitations had expired and advised then-Drummond CEO Mike Tracy to fire Roberson?

Like embattled law firm Balch & Bingham, Drummond Company is sadly being laughed about and ridiculed behind closed doors and in the highest legal circles in Alabama.

Before putting on the red stiletto high-heels and sparkling-fabulous costume jewelry, Drummond must come to terms with the absolutely misguided path they have taken, and fire the fools that misled them.

With less than two-months before the Biden Administration enters office, truly now is the time to be sensible, logical, and grounded rather than walking on the wild side.