The Corporate Malfeasance Case Kristen Juras Hopes You Don’t Find Out About

Right-wing Supreme Court candidate Kristen Juras touts her experience in business. Yet the single most important duty of a company’s legal counsel is to make sure the company complies with the law.

She was general counsel for Crop Growers Insurance which at the time was headquartered in Great Falls.  During her tenure, Crop Growers was indicted on federal criminal charges, as was its CEO and Senior VP for bribery related to a scheme to funnel illegal contributions to the 1993 congressional campaign of former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy’s brother.

So her work in the private sector, which she points to proudly, is limited consists of having either approved of what was going on, or trying to clean up the mess and defend criminal activity, and does not exactly scream out competence.

You can read the indictment here.

The company (and jobs) and the shares plummeted.  The company paid a $2 million fine to settle the case, and its CEO John Hemmingson was convicted by a jury of money laundering.  He served a year in a halfway house in Spokane until he was Pardoned by President Clinton on his last day in office.  Yet the sports arena at Gonzaga University is now named after Hemmingson thanks to his $25 million donation, which I guess is a thing people do who want to improve a negative public image.

To be sure, this helps explain why Montana GOP all-stars Jason Priest and Art Wittich are among her biggest supporters.  But the most important point is, no matter how many times Juras peppers her Facebook page with the word, Juras hardly has any experience, and the experience she does have is not something to brag about, as we see from this insurance scandal.  Juras wittich

 

 

 

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16 Comments on "The Corporate Malfeasance Case Kristen Juras Hopes You Don’t Find Out About"

  1. Right, these guys were busted for skanking around the candidacy of a DEMOCRAT, Henry Espy, who tried to succeed his bro Mike when Mike became Secretary of Ag in 1994. 46 grand, for a Democrat.

    Here’s a tidbit:
    58. On or about March 4, 1993, defendant HEMMINGSON met in the District of Columbia with a former Department of Agriculture official who was hired as a consultant to CROP GROWERS concerning contacts and a meeting with Secretary of Agriculture Espy.

    59. On or about March 19, 1993, that consultant wrote to defendant HEMMINGSON and proposed the text of a draft letter from HEMMINGSON to Secretary of Agriculture Espy concerning HEMMINGSON’s proposed meeting with Secretary of Agriculture Espy, which stated in pertinent part:

    Perhaps, at some time in the future, we will be able to arrange a Mississippi tour for you and Congressman Henry Espy if our efforts on his behalf are successful (this part has to be subtle).

    End tidbit.

    And there is a John Hemmingson who maxed out to Obama in 2008.

    A58. On or about March 4, 1993, defendant HEMMINGSON met in the District of Columbia with a former Department of Agriculture official who was hired as a consultant to CROP GROWERS concerning contacts and a meeting with Secretary of Agriculture Espy.

    59. On or about March 19, 1993, that consultant wrote to defendant HEMMINGSON and proposed the text of a draft letter from HEMMINGSON to Secretary of Agriculture Espy concerning HEMMINGSON’s proposed meeting with Secretary of Agriculture Espy, which stated in pertinent part:

    Perhaps, at some time in the future, we will be able to arrange a Mississippi tour for you and Congressman Henry Espy if our efforts on his behalf are successful (this part has to be subtle).

    There’s also an unidicted co conspirator, Number One, a Louisiana attorney — that’s not Juras, sorry, kids. Here’s some more:

    (2) $20,000 Contribution in 1994 To The Henry Espy Campaign 68. On or about March 31, 1994, defendant HEMMINGSON attended a fundraising dinner in the District of Columbia for Henry Espy at the 116 Club. In attendance, in addition to HEMMINGSON, were Henry Espy, unindicted co-conspirator #1 and various others who had business before the USDA, including agricultural lobbyists. The attendees were urged to raise $10,000 or more each in order to assist with the retirement of Henry Espy’s campaign debt.

    And a little more:

    72. On or about July 28, 1994, unindicted co-conspirator #1 traveled to a grocery store in Algiers, Louisiana, delivered the $20,000 check from CGI that was payable to him, and received $5000 cash. By on or about August 8, 1994, unindicted co-conspirator #1 obtained the remaining $15,000 in cash from the same grocery store. On or about August 8, 1994, unindicted co-conspirator #1 deposited $10,000 cash into a bank account of the Henry Espy for Congress Committee in Louisiana. On or about August 10, 1994, unindicted co-conspirator #1 deposited $9,000 cash into the same bank account of the Henry Espy for Congress Committee. On or about August 11, 1994, unindicted co-conspirator #1 deposited $1,000 cash into the same bank account of the Henry Espy for Congress Committee. On or about August 19, 1994, unindicted co-conspirator #1 transferred by wire $21,000 from the bank account of the Henry Espy for Congress Committee in Louisiana to a bank in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

    Okay, now who is the bag man? There is one really well-known Louisiana lawyer active in Democrat Montana politics I know of, and his name ain’t Kristen Juras.

    • Mr Skinner – Hemmingson is a convicted criminal. You provide a lengthy rant that goes into mind-numbing detail about how much of a crook he is. The blog post simply pointed out that Ms Juras either colluded with or excused his crooked behavior. Emphasizing his criminality doesn’t do much to paint her in a better light. Quite the contrary.cla

      You obviously intended your spite-filled verbosity to support her candidacy, but you’d have provided better advocacy by keeping your mouth shut. That doesn’t seem to be one of your strong points though, does it?

      • Totally Agree Claudias. And Dave who cares who they were promoting for office. the fact is they broke the law and Juras is a part of it. Even though Progressives are far less likely to pull bullshit on others compared to your party which is now a daily occurrence of stupid… the fact is Juras was complicant in some form. Thats why Wittich probably likes her…. it must have something to do with slime factor.

        So your argument about someone else to shift the blame from Juras( a Typical GOP Straw Man Argument) Implodes as usual.

  2. I was surprised to learn that University of Montana’s law school would hire Juras as a faculty member knowing her past ties to this kind of corporate malfeasance.

  3. When did Democrats begin vilifying a lawyer for representing an unpopular client? The Law School hired me knowing of my past ties to a triple-murderer. There are good reasons not to support Kristen. This is not one of them.

    • Amen. Really, she represented a criminal defendant, so she’s sleazy? Quite a reach. I did not know that progressives now oppose the right to counsel.

      Yawn…

    • sooo… that law school doesn’t employ you anymore right? And the Missoulian’s portrayal of your ‘departure’ tended to raise more questions than it answered… Just sayin. Public image can be important in academia and political races regardless of whether one supports ‘right to counsel.’

  4. Hellina Handbasket | August 10, 2016 8:13 AM at 8:13 AM |

    But it would be a good reason for you not to be elected to office.

    • Old Line Democrat | August 11, 2016 10:48 AM at 10:48 AM |

      Your comment is ridiculous. Every attorney is required by law and oath to fully represent his client. The defense of the Constitutional rights of the accused is really the defense of everyone who might be wrongly accused in the future. It happens more often than the average person thinks.

      Imputing the actions of an accused person (guilty or not) to his attorney and thereby disqualifying him from elective office is absurd and totally contrary to the concept of the rule of law. Do you also impute the actions of mass murderers to the gun manufacturers, their parents, their school teachers?

      I rarely agree with Jeff Renz but he is correct in this case, an attorney cannot be judged on the behavior of his present or former client.

    • Certainly. Montana is a public interest state. Montana voters reserve the right to judge candidates for representing industries, clients, or corporations who are abusive to the public interest. These arrogant lawyers can argue about ‘right to counsel’ all they want. Voters care about character.

  5. I have taught with Professor Juras at the University of Montana School of Law for many years and I have the highest respect for her knowledge, experience, and integrity. I am also a liberal Democrat and a social activist and Kristen and I disagree, respectfully and thoughtfully, on a number of issues. There are many valid reasons for Montana voters to choose to support either Judge Sanderfur or Professor Juras in this important Supreme Court race. The issues raised in this post are not, however, on that list of valid reasons and indicate a total misapprehension of the relationship between attorneys and clients and the ethical obligations that an attorney owes to his or her client. Attorneys are not charged with the responsibility of judging guilt or innocence; we have the responsibility to represent our clients, whether they are guilty or innocent, in accordance with our rules of professional responsibility. I have scanned the indictment linked to this post and no where in the indictment did I see any reference to wrongdoing by Professor Juras. I am confident that the US Department of Justice was absolutely capable of charging Professor Juras if they had any indication of wrongdoing on her part. Second guessing the Justice Department on that issue is, in my opinion, inappropriate. All clients, innocent and guilty, are entitled to an effective and ethical defense. I have seen no evidence that suggests that Kristen did anything other than ethically represent her client. There are important issues in this race; this is not one of those issues.

    • Drunks for Denny | August 12, 2016 9:56 PM at 9:56 PM |

      I agree with Ms. Weaver. You silly liberals should focus on the whole stream access issue, not on an attorney who is defending a client.

    • With all do respect Mrs. Weaver, perhaps it is you who make the misapprehension of the relationship between the electorate and the elected. All clients are entitled to representation, but not all candidates are entitled to our vote.

      Montana voters do not need to reject ‘right to counsel’ to reserve judgment about a candidate’s history representing certain types of clients.

      Montanans vote for who they want, even if some fancy lawyers say otherwise.

      This was an issue for Dennis McDonald’s congressional race, just like it was for Steve Bullock in his primary for Attorney General. Those candidates answered tough questions about who they represented. They didn’t get a free pass, hiding behind the ‘right to counsel’ card. Juras has a more difficult position because she cannot persuasively separate herself from the politics of her clients.

      That’s a political issue, not a legal issue. Elections are not courtrooms.

      And can we just be honest: Juras is an industry candidate, and Montanans remember the Copper Kings.

  6. One other significant fact. The events that were the subject of the indictment occurred prior to the time that Professor Juras was hired as General Counsel of Crop Growers and she had no knowledge of those events at the time she was hired. Let’s have a conversation about the Supreme Court race that focuses on issues that are relevant and important. Again, this is not one of those issues.

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