Doug Bruce Sues Top Defense Attorney, Epic Hilarity Ensues

Doug Bruce.

Doug Bruce.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Megan Schrader reports, convicted felon tax evader and author of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Douglas Bruce is going back to court–this time to sue his former defense attorney, the renowned David Lane of Denver, for not moving Bruce’s appeal of his convictions fast enough through the courts:

Douglas Bruce has filed a civil suit against his former attorney David Lane seeking $165,000 in damages for misconduct in handling Bruce’s appeal of his 2012 felony convictions.

Bruce, a Colorado Springs anti-tax crusader, hired Lane in 2012 to represent him at the sentencing of a tax evasion trial with a $75,000 retainer to handle the appeal of three guilty convictions. Bruce said Lane delayed filing the opening brief of his appeal for almost two years, then refused to refund his money when Bruce lost patience and hired a different attorney. The case was filed in Denver District Court in early July…

Lane’s response to Bruce could be one of the greatest smackdowns of Colorado’s least-ingratiating anti-tax activists ever recorded.

“That’s not a particularly long time,” Lane said of the delay for the opening brief. “We met every single deadline imposed upon us by the Colorado Court of Appeals. The fact that the court doesn’t move as fast as Douglas Bruce wants it to is probably because there are not enough dollars to adequately staff the Colorado Court of Appeals due to the TABOR Amendment.” [Pols emphasis]

Wham! But seriously, Lane continues,

“It was very difficult dealing with Douglas Bruce because I believe him to have a mental illness,” Lane said.

That’s not a sentiment we expect anyone with an interest in defending Bruce’s “gift” to our state, TABOR, will want to see repeated. But the fact is, Bruce’s personal conduct, from his bizarre violent outbursts to his felony conviction for tax evasion, have done almost as much to discredit TABOR as the deleterious effects of the law itself. TABOR’s labyrinthine provisions, not just requiring votes on tax increases but tightly regulating every aspect of the process to ensure such proposals are almost impossible to pass, make a great deal more sense in the context of their authorship by a tax cheat. TABOR is supported by conservatives not because it requires citizen participation in the decision, but because it skews the process to make a no vote the most likely outcome.

At one time, we would have described TABOR as the product of an evil genius. But seeing what has become of Douglas “Mr. TABOR” Bruce in recent years, “genius” is not a word we would use to describe either Bruce or his handiwork.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    Never mind my complaint from Get More Smarter. This link (reports) gets me to the same question  annoying question screen but when I answered (this time I got to select how familiar I am with the Ford fusion) it sent me to the article.

    • BlueCat says:

      PS. Hope Colorado voters are proud of having bought what this sociopath was selling, going so far as to incorporate it into the state constitution, leaving us with his sociopathy pretty much etched in stone. Where can I get a  "Don't Blame me. I Voted Against TABOR" sticker?

  2. Gadfly says:

    Word on the street was that Professor Ward Churchill collected a good sized check from David Lane on a legal malpractice claim that was settled out of court.  

  3. JeffcoBlue says:

    Wow! Kicker had that coming.

  4. Voyageur says:

    I've known Bruce a long time.   I'd agree with the mental illness suggestion, most probably narcissistic personality disorder.

  5. Davie says:

    I'd dust off the term "Crackpot".  It seems appropriate as well.

  6. Half Glass Full says:

    1. Is it ethical for lawyers to make comments like that about former clients just because the clients sue them for malpractice?

    2. I think Doug Bruce is crazy, but as far as TABOR is concerned, we're the ones that voted for the damn thing. We have only ourselves to blame.

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