Inside the Capitol

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Mysterious Bill Robins

SANTA FE The mysterious Attorney Bill Robins, appointed by Gov. Bill Richardson last November to represent the dead Billy, arrived like an action hero just in the nick of time, as the effort to exhume Billy’s mother was faltering in the Silver City District Court.
And on top of those heroics, Robins offered his work pro bono. Also, there have been rumors he is helping to pay the costs. In my mind, an attorney who not only works for free, but also foots the bills, automatically qualifies as a super hero.
Robins wouldn’t have been so mysterious had he just stuck with representing dead Billy. Sure, his legal ploy of having the deceased request his own and his mother’s exhumation left me a little queasy. But I would have merely criticized him for a warped sense of humor.
Unfortunately, he also became one of the attorneys joining the three sheriffs in their petition to dig up Billy’s mother. And he represented the sheriffs in their petition to dig Billy up. Now it is reported that he plans to represent the sheriffs if they go back to Silver City with their supposed DNA scraped off a supposed carpenter’s bench on which the dead Billy lay.
Since we are in the Age of Information, I went to its source, my computer, into which I typed “Heard, Robins, Lubel, Cloud, and Greenwood LLP,” the name of his Houston, Texas law firm, which has branches in Santa Fe and Hobbs.
In business since 1998, these enterprising men whose practice is civil litigation in personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice, class action cases, and representation of Fortune 500 companies, brought in “an excess of 50 million dollars” for their clients in 2001.
Then I hit my keyboard with “Governor Bill Richardson political contributions,” and I got for 2002 from “Follow the Money: Nation’s Most Complete Resource On Money In State Politics” that this generous attorney’s firm had given $72,000.00 plus $2,500.00 to the lucky man. And Robins had himself topped it off with $12,100.00.
My calculator told me that equals $86,600.00, and my brain told me that Robins et al had to have been one of Richardson’s biggest financial backers.
Robin’s law firm has the slogan “dedicated to their clients needs.” That’s real nice. But who was his client in the Billy the Kid Case? Richardson hired him. Since he represents New Mexico, it means the state did too. But Robins says in his court documents that he represents dead Billy.
Leaving the spirit world out of this, the dead do not exist in a court of law. That leaves only the governor and the state as clients, plus the three sheriffs. That means attorney Robins is participating in a New Mexico criminal investigation into murder as an act of charity for the governor, the state, and the police.
But it gets more sticky. An attorney can be appointed only by a judge and for someone indigent. The governor is not a judge. Billy is not indigent; he’s dead. And the sheriffs and Lincoln County, which they brought in, aren’t indigent either. So can someone solve the mystery of why Attorney Robins came in the first place, and how did he get into our courts?
Try a different angle. If Robins can speak FOR the dead Billy, he must be able to speak TO him. Then why didn’t Billy hire him? In fact, by hiring Robins, Richardson proved that he is the client.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m in favor of pals. After all, New Mexico has immortalized the concept on the Billy the Kid tombstone, which has “pals” carved in granite. So maybe Attorney Robins is best pals with our governor.
Then they can explain to all of us lacking friends with 50 million dollar businesses, just what’s in the Billy the Kid case for them. Self-styled Deputy Steve Sederwall’s Mayor’s Report of May 2003, may be the answer. “I know it is a crazy idea but won’t it be fun?


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