An epic historical non-fiction novel of injustice copyright 2013 by poor innocent victim Albert Barger


It’s hard being a genius like me, Al Barger.  Seems like everywhere I turn fools are lined up, like a confederation of dunces conspiring against me.  This brings me to the three year period from 2008-2011 spent rassling over my father’s modest estate.  It took awhile for the thieves and lawyers to accomplish the Prime Directive, which was Screw Al.  This gripping dramatic story would surely have great commercial potential as a movie thriller in the hands of the Coen brothers or Tim Burton.


In fairness, I suppose I must open by saying that I unwittingly or really more like witlessly volunteered for some of the boning.  My father, shopkeeper and gun trader extraordinaire Howard Barger passed in May 2008, leaving me in the home with a half dozen coon dogs while we figured how to settle his bills and make a three way split between three brothers – which should have been fairly simple. 


I should have known better than voluntarily agreeing to let baby brother become the personal representative.  For starters, his eagerness for the position even before we got the Geezer (a preferred term of endearment with the grandson) in the ground should have been a clue.  Duh.  I can only claim that he bypassed my brain and went at a sentimental blind spot during a tender moment.  After me and the middle brother Steven agreed to let baby brother be the executor, he had, as he later described the position, “all power” and turns out to be tethered to some horrible ball and chain of resentment at his no good big brother Al. Whatever.


However, I prefer to make a minimum of speaking ill publicly or privately of my blood brother.  I’m mostly explaining this story for the purpose of making publicly known in a perhaps marginally entertaining manner the unprofessional and dishonest behavior of a cheesy lawyer and judge.  Those would be a lying shyster name of Gary E Smith of Connersville, Indiana and the “Honorable” Judge J Stephen Cox of the Franklin County Indiana Circuit Court.  The lawyer hiring and judge electing public ought to know what they’re dealing with.  There’s a public interest there, besides me wanting to get it off my chest.


But I have to acknowledge that this nonsense was ultimately all at the behest of Michael Eli Barger Sr.  He was so willful in pushing his grudge against me that he hired a lying shyster to manipulate a willing and ridiculously narcisstic judge.  Michael Eli Barger Sr was willing to break his oral and written agreements with his own brothers, and to absolutely lie repeatedly under oath in a court of law against his own brothers.  Otherwise, none of the rest of this would be.


So the first thing he had to do was get rid of the estate attorney that the three of us had agreed to.  Turns out that we had accidentally hired an honest, conscientious Christian lawyer whose good name I will not besmirch by repeating it here in association with this foolishness.  An honest Christian attorney - what are the odds of such a thing? 


Looking for the opposite of that, baby brother easily enough scraped up a proud, puffed up little lying shyster named Gary E. Smith out of Connersville, Indiana also known hereafter as “Keyrock.”  I can say from first hand experience that this lawyer will not just misdirect, but directly lie (say things that he knows are not true) in open court against paying clients.  He will purposely surreptitiously sabotage paying clients who are trusting him to work for them honestly writing legal pleadings, which point of broken trust cost me personally at least $40K. 


Also, he isn’t very good at even simple math, repeatedly filing accountings with the court off by tens of thousands of dollars from his own numbers on the same documents.  Besides being crooked and malicious, he’s just not the brightest bulb in the pack, frankly.


But he certainly does think right highly of himself.  He’s come to put me very much in mind of Keyrock, Phil Hartman’s Saturday Night Live unfrozen caveman lawyer.  He’s a Neanderthal in a suit.  He obviously thinks he’s Mr. Big Stuff because he’s managed to weasel his way into a little pile of cash in Connersville, Indiana.  Well, color me dazzled!  He’s quite impressed with his power and influence.  But really he’s just a half educated caveman pushing worse BS than Keyrock’s lame personal injury lawsuits on SNL.


For one thing, attorney Gary E Smith of Connersville, Indiana in Fayette County will willingly lie under oath in a court of law against paying clients.  In July of 2009 I was in court where Gary Smith had come to ask the court to make me turn over my Malibu car with my name on the title.   The other two brothers had agreed not to claim the Malibu. (They had bigger fish to fry.)  They had Gary Smith put it in writing that the estate had “no further interest” in the car and was working to release the bank lien from the title.  Gary Smith signed a letter to this effect on behalf of the estate and sent this letter to me. 


Unfortunately, I showed up in court that day without this document in hand.  Gary E Smith perfectly well knew that he had personally written and signed the “no further interest” letter just a couple of months previous, but he simply denied writing any such letter.  In anticipation of this hearing, I reminded Keyrock of this letter, so he would have a chance to look it up in the unlikely event that he had honestly forgotten writing it.  Nonetheless, here’s how it came out in court:


July 9, 2009 from Franklin County court recording:

AL: You told me that the estate has, quote, “no further interest” in that car.

GARY E SMITH:  I didn’t say that at all.  Let’s get that straight.


January 28, 2009 letter to Al from Smith Law Office

Enclosed are the duly endorsed certificates of title for two vehicles that are in your name…You should contact the license bureau promptly in order to be timely in the obtaining of the license needed to operate the vehicles and, further, you need to insure both vehicles since they are now titled to you and the estate has no further interest.

(signed) Gary E Smith


Thus, Gary E Smith – in my employ as an heir – directly and knowingly lied to the judge against me.  In an honest legal system, such documentable ill behavior (I found the original letter an hour later) would be grounds for disbarment.  But then, this judge wanted to be repeatedly lied to as regards Al Barger on numerous occasions, and indicated immediately that he was ruling in the estate’s favor.


Just from listening to this July 2009 hearing again, I noticed at least two other direct lies from Gary E Smith in court, notably this utter fabrication regarding the Schwab stock account:


GARY E SMITH: Until today, he wouldn’t even turn it over to us…The petition I was going to file was prepared by my staff.  Counsel’s staff has made several attempts to obtain Albert Barger’s signature on the authorization from him transferring the Schwab account.  He won’t return our phone calls.  That’s the way that works.  I’m saying that as an officer of the court.


In fact, I had repeatedly requested that they get me paperwork to sign over the scraps of stock, but Smith only just presented it to me a few minutes before this July hearing. In March, shortly after the agreement, he had me sign a paper to authorize the estate to look at my account.  He could have just as easily given me a document such as he claimed to transfer my account to the estate instead as we had agreed.  By the way, one of his tells where you can tell that Keyrock is lying is when he invokes his status of trust as an officer of the court, like in this example.  He made similar invocations in close vicinity of a couple of other purposefully spoken untruths in even just that one hearing.


Gary Smith certainly knows how to bellow like a good caveman.  Alone with him in an empty hallway five minutes later, I referred to him reasonably calmly as a “lying shyster.”  He and I both knew that he had just lied multiple times against me right there in court, so Keyrock bellowed at some close range in my face about how he’d sue me for libel for that remark if I had anything to sue for.  He had apparently been recently eating something with heavy garlic, if memory serves. 


Lest the likes of Keyrock contemplate retribution against ol’ Al for this goofy scrawl, I’ll note that I’m pretty sure that my memory of journalism law class does serve, where I was taught that TRUTH is an absolute defense against charges of libel in American law.  So being careful to be scrupulously honest in my testimony here, the garlic breath thing there was just a minor literary flourish.  In careful truth, I just vaguely remember his breath smelling bad – but it could have been anything.  Garlic just sounded funnier.


Yes sir, he was a badass though, barking at me like the alpha dog. I was thoroughly intimidated.  I fought off an urge to curl up in the fetal position and protect my parts.  This reminds me of a Richard Pryor bit. “Why you black guys always holding your things?”  “You done took everything else, Jack.”  Further, he told me that I was no longer welcome in his office!  This was despite being a paying client, eventually out a third of $25K+ for his “professional services.”


Alright then, by rights I must accept one more major acknowledgement of foolishness on my own part.  It was only after that little debacle in July, over a year on, that I broke down and hired an attorney.  I was thoroughly broke and also really, really didn’t want to hire a lawyer to go after a brother in court.  Even brother Steven, with whom I was still in an adversarial position through this point, had repeatedly urged me to get counsel.  In defense of my efforts as my own legal counsel, I can only ask for leniency of judgment for my poor performance on the grounds that I had a fool for a client.


Then there’s the crown prince of this dance of dunces, Franklin County Indiana Circuit Court Judge J Stephen Cox.  This guy’s working on such a low personality level of cheap self-absorbed pride and prejudice that he certainly should not be in any position of authority over other human beings.  I wouldn’t trust him with the authority of being a shift manager at a Dairy Queen.  He exhibits a hateful and prejudicial personality even towards a person like me who is not in his court as a criminal if it suits him for whatever arbitrary personal reasons, to the point that he ignores the law and even written agreements that he has personally signed off on in order to enforce the Prime Directive, which is of course, “SCREW AL!”


Basically, J Stephen Cox is Eric Cartman from South Park demanding “RESPECT MY AUTHORITA!” The difference is that Judge Cartman actually has serious power over other people’s lives. It has been suggested in explanation of my problem here by a PhD psychologist that perhaps I exude some anti-authoritarian pheromone that the likes of Judge Cartman can simply smell, no matter how I try to hold my tongue.  I’m lucky I came out from under this emotional cripple just losing my shirt. He was about a half step away from locking me up for driving my own car.  I’d hate to think what kind of treatment I’d get from this ridiculous person if I had to come in front of him as any kind of even a minor criminal defendant.


Now when I say that Judge Cox wanted to be lied to if it furthered the Prime Directive, that was in evidence at all half dozen hearings, but most directly at the next hearing in September 2009.  At that point I showed up appealing his decision on the Malibu in good confidence, as now I came with 1) the document with Gary Smith’s signature on it proving his lie and 2) an attorney to present this as properly written motions for the court.  Judge Cartman, however, was not impressed in the least.  It didn’t matter what agreements we had in writing. He, Judge Cartman, had not signed off on this.  RESPECT MY AUTHORITA and hand the car over.  Judge J Stephen Cox didn’t care a whit that the estate attorney had been shown to be lying to him against a paying client.  Like I said, Judge Cox wanted to be lied to.  Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.


Let’s move on to the courthouse hallway in Brookville on a lovely November day in 2009 for some skullduggery between Michael and Keyrock vs Steven and reason.  According to Steven’s written and sworn public testimony, these two clever fellows insisted to Steven that they couldn’t accept an offer to buy the Malibu from the estate in-kind against his eventual settlement to settle this issue because the estate needed the cash to pay the bank because the estate was in a “financial crisis”.  But the bank was only owed $2000 at that point, and a few minutes later Keyrock was explaining in court that we had sold land pending approval of the court and that he right now had a $20,000 down payment, check in hand.  Right there, Gary E Smith of Connersville, Indiana bald face lied to a client in order to sabotage his and my interests.  Did I mention that me and Steven paid 2/3 of the freight for this lying shyster?  It’s communism and terrorism, I tell ya.


Speaking of communism and terrorism, let me give you Keyrock’s most clever trick of caveman economics:  He apparently purposely simply ran Howard’s main debt, a $48K bank loan, into default for over a year.  Now, the estate held more than twice that value in stock in the bank to which the loan was owed.  Indeed, that was the collateral for the loan.  The estate purposely put off the obvious point of selling the bank back some of our stock to cover the loan as they were asking, and ran up Lord knows what kind of extra interests and penalties – or the point of even just selling enough stuff from a near half million dollar estate to keep making Howard’s $500/month payments.  Heck, the continuing dividends on that bank stock would have paid half the payments without selling anything at all. 


Speaking as a forensic pathologist for what’s left of my dumb cracker ass, the only and obvious point of running this loan into an expensive default like this was to use that as a club to beat ol’ Al and take my little bit of stuff and generally fulfill the Prime Directive.  The “financial crisis” of the defaulted loan means that really the only way to pay that mortgage was to sell my home and/or my car out from under me.  There’s $100K+ in bank stock, but really they’ve just GOT to have my five year old Malibu to pay a $48K debt.  They eventually sold the bank enough stock to leave $2000 in debt to hold over me – the $2000 they were moaning about to Steven.


The most memorably contemptibly comically disgusting display of Judge Cox’s Cartman complex came before me a few minutes later that day in November of 2009, again involving the ever so controversial Malibu.  I was late by three weeks at that point from obeying his order to physically surrender to the estate my only means of transportation from 15 miles out in the countryside while I was still hustling to secure another vehicle. I didn’t like dragging my feet on fulfilling a court order, but I was slightly less scared of those bad possibilities right at that moment than of being absolutely stranded.


Rather than wait two more weeks for me to hand over the Malibu, as I had told the estate in writing I would do by the end of the month, they had me drug back into court, hoping to get me thrown in jail for contempt of court.  Plus, this gave Gary Smith an excuse to run up at least $1500 in “extra” legal charges over the maybe $3000 actual value of my car.  This is, again, also rather than accept or even consider or negotiate the offer from Steven to pay for it in kind – as Steven had repeatedly made in writing to settle the matter simply between us.  That would have settled the matter, but it wouldn’t do much to SCREW AL. 


This is a prime example showing that the point of a lot of this business was malice and spite against me rather than even simple and relatively clean greed.  The point for Michael, Gary Smith and Judge Cox going along with all this nonsense was not to maximize value for the estate, even at my expense.  Alright, SELL the car to Steven or Al and be done with it.  Rather, the estate attorney Keyrock ran up thousands of dollars in “extra” legal fees over insisting on absolutely physically confiscating  a vehicle (with my name on the title) worth no more than $3K.  Howard Barger would certainly have hated the idea of this turd burglar getting a fat chunk of his belongings or our car – as who wouldn’t?


Fortunately for me however, by that November day His Crowned Majesty Judge Cartman was just so tired of screwing with this car that he decided on the spur of the moment to leave the car with me and have the estate charge me for it.  Heading into the holidays, he apparently just didn’t want to be bothered with the paperwork to lock me up.  Ah, Fortuna – the wheel spins upward!


This brings us to that very special moment of Cartman-icity that I mentioned.  Judge Cox spreads his arms out dramatically like he was Jesus giving himself on the cross at Calvary and tilts his head dramatically to one side as he declares with a Christ like benevolent smile not “Father forgive them” but rather, “I guess I’m just going to have to swallow my pride and not put anyone in jail for disobeying my orders.”  If memory serves, I believe he managed to repeat that exact same imagery of his great magnanimity thrice that day – and again at later hearings.  Judge Cox seems to really, really like “swallowing pride”.  I’m just saying.  [End result: I kept the Malibu, and the estate charged Steven $7000.  Thanks again, Steven.]


The main important thing here was not probate law, our written agreements, Howard Barger’s intentions in putting my name on the car, fiduciary responsibility on the part of the estate or anything about me getting back and forth to work.  Nope, the main important thing was the grievous disrespect to Judge Cartman’s authorita.


I know that by rights in that moment, I should have been grateful simply that I wasn’t going to jail.  Yet somehow I found myself feeling very much like Otto having to apologize to John Cleese in A Fish Called Wanda, i.e. wanting to choke the living crap out of a badly deserving jackass.  I just want to say that I’m sorry … I’m sorry that I…I …F()*&$)(*#  yooouuu!! 


Still not wishing to go to jail however, I repressed all such urges.  Instead I let my calm and seasoned attorney say something appropriate like “Thank you, your honor.”  This also saved ME having to try to say “your honor” with a straight face and without choking the living crap out of Judge Cartman, which would certainly not have turned out well for me – no matter how badly the self-absorbed sumbitch deserved it. 


NOTE: You cannot put a beat down on judges or other elected public officials for any reason.  You can’t even smack them with a rolled up newspaper.  Apparently they passed some law.  To me, such a law would seem to be a clear violation of our constitutional system of checks and balances.  I mean, how else are you supposed to keep the bastards from peeing on the carpet?  Perhaps somebody needs to take a refresher course on The Federalist Papers.


Dropping back now to get the main nut, our first court appearance in February 2009 should have largely settled most of this, as we ended the day with a detailed written agreement between us – after it became clear in court that I had to pretty much do whatever the other two wanted or Judge Cartman would bang the gavel right now today okaying the sale of my home from under me, and you and the coon dogs got 30 days to find someplace else to be.


For starters, Gary E Smith was poisoning the well for me with the judge behind my back before I ever even met him on that literally and figuratively cold February day.  That’s a lovely thing to do to a paying client.  According to what he explained to Steven at the time, he was in chambers privately working on Judge Cox before court, telling him that I was mentally disturbed, kind of off my beam.  That was why I gave the estate a bill for caregiver services for the seven years I spent taking care of Dad. 


I didn’t draw or ask for any regular pay beyond room and board in that time, but Dad took it on himself (unbidden) to put my name on a Schwab account and a car.  We didn’t have any big discussions on any of this.  The Geezer was always reluctant to the point of queasy about discussing “end of life” issues, as the more delicate would put it.  That’s why we were working from a 30 year old will – not that this simple form was itself ever in any dispute. 


Why wouldn’t you just take that stuff Howard put your name on as his intended recompense and leave it at that, asked an already clearly hostile Judge Cox during this our first appearance.  I explained that I would gladly do that, Your Honor, except that the estate is here already today in front of you trying to pry those very things away from me.  If they’re going to take those things, then I need to ask directly for compensation. Apparently that was crazy thinking.  Judgie Wudgie just glared daggers at me, like ol’ Al really is off his rocker – hostility being the appropriate response to someone who’s mentally disturbed. 


By the way, as it happens I had a formal psychiatric evaluation for unrelated insurance purposes in December 2010.  So I have it in writing that I can prove that I am NOT INSANE!  Nor did written tests or a formal interview with a PhD psychiatrist indicate any obviously diagnosable –ics or –isms.  Apparently there’s nothing wrong with me mentally; I’m just an asshole.  Somebody here is off their rocker though, and I gots papers to PROVE that it’s not me.


So as Gary Smith pre-arranged with Judge Cox before the start of proceedings, after making it clear that he would be glad to cast aside normal estate law (which says that an heir living in a family home is usually presumed to have a right to take the home from their part of the estate) and put me on the sidewalk, what with the “financial crisis” in the estate and all. 


Judge Cox granted a continuance for a couple of days to let the heirs try to come to an agreement amongst all three of us.  As I later came to understand it, Michael’s basic preference was to take the opportunity of an offer on my house to put me on the street.  He ultimately tried to put me out of my home three times during the course of settling the estate.  This one time, he could have probably gotten the job done if he had squeezed the trigger.


Steven, however, was not interested in screwing me as he understood it, but he badly wanted my joint Schwab account with Howard handed over to the estate.  Michael obviously wanted this as well.  It was in my name with no kind of lien and the estate had not even tried to legally claim it, but Steven had it in mind as a matter of principle that Howard had at some point indicated to him orally that the account was intended for all the brothers to share.  Steven prevailed in his will over Michael at this point to the extent of getting him to use this opportunity of having me over the barrel to make a chess game fork move – voluntarily give up the Schwab account they had no claim to or give up my home.  I have to credit Steven for sharp strategery.


So then, after court in February 2009, per Steven’s design, the three brothers went directly to The Gold Finch restaurant for a meal and negotiations.  Steven took conscientious notes as I agreed to hand over the account, and take a hit for about $10K cash I took out of the account after Howard passed, among other things.  It was, as Steven is proud to note, a fairly hard bargain.  “Uncle” – you win. But I get to keep my house and a little bit of my ass, and I could live with it.


Immediately, Steven came home with me and literally stood over my shoulder as I wrote up our carefully detailed agreement as a letter to our estate attorney, Gary Smith.  Here’s what we all agreed to.  Please write this up as a motion for the court.  Michael couldn’t specifically sign in agreement as he had already agreed to sell my home to a buyer, and thus it had to be presented as a “motion in opposition” by the other brothers – negotiated by all three brothers and written by the estate attorney and thus with the implicit approval of the estate.  That was the point of the carefully engineered recess – to give us a minute to make this deal.


This was the first and most important point where attorney Gary E Smith purposely sabotaged by deceit and betrayal of professional trust his paying clients Steven and Albert Barger.  Turns out that he carefully weasel worded what we had agreed to in order to give him wiggle room to make up whatever him and Michael wanted to later.  The main point of this cleverness was carefully leaving out the repeatedly used word “cash” from the phrase “cash withdrawals” in the agreement we sent him, thus as it ultimately turned out in the practice giving him license to charge me $40K to the estate for money that I had lost from my own account in the market crash of 2008. So I’m out $40K twice.  Ouch!  This was pure treachery on Gary E Smith’s part against his own paying clients.  Seems like such deceit would be considered prosecutably unprofessional - in any other profession.


On the other hand, such lawyerly cleverness was hardly necessary in Judge Cartman’s kangaroo court.  He had our written agreement as we originally sent it to Keyrock in evidence.  Judge Cox looked at our agreement that we sent Smith, then the document he gave us to present as a motion in court, and now Smith’s obvious bad faith in asking to rob me for $40K in unmistakable violation of our clear and simple written agreement that we presented him.  Again, Judge Cartman had written evidence of Keyrock’s treachery to his paying clients, and cared not.


Ultimately in his final written decision settling the estate in November 2010, Judge Cox didn’t even pretend that he was enforcing our written agreement that he had in fact specifically personally signed off on March 10, 2009.  So even Judge Cox’s written word isn’t good for much.   Rather, a year and a half later he granted every bogus made up charge from the estate, according to his published judgment, for the sake of “equity.”  Judge Cartman’s idea of “equity” ultimately was that as 1/3 heir of what started out to be a near $500K estate, I got no money, but actually owed the estate - $16K yet on my $66K property.  Prime Directive fairly well accomplished, I’d say.


It took most of an extra year to finish screwing me at the end though, in large part because Gary E “Keyrock” Smith can’t do simple math even when he’s making up the figures to add.  He filed the first of ultimately three “final” accountings with the court in May 2010 with his math in the document off by $28,000 on the bottom line based on his own figures in that very court filing. By his figuring, I was $21K ahead of my fair share for the sake of the value of the house and because he said so.  Thus, he proposed I get my house only subject to a lean of $21K to Michael, and a lien of $21K to Steven.  This would be as opposed to the obvious correct answer of splitting $21K three ways, thus making a $7K lean each to the other two brothers.   Now class, what is 21 divided by 3?  You in the back there – Keyrock…


When Steven detailed this math error to the estate, Gary Smith re-submitted the document at court calling for two $14K liens – off by only $14,000 this time!  Keyrock finally got his own math straight on the third try.  This was obviously merely professional incompetence rather than malice, so I guess I count this as the lesser of his sins.  Hey, you can’t expect a caveman to be good at math.


One last bit of treachery lay dormant for a year till I got my first property tax bill in the spring of 2012, to discover that Keyrock had managed to transfer the property in 2011 with $1000 in back taxes attached.  Plus interest, of course.  Just a little last kiss.


So yeah I kinda got hosed, but on the other hand this whole mess has somehow turned into a positive blessing between Steven and me.  We hadn’t gotten along much at all for a good many years, and he certainly spoke harshly to me repeatedly and at length before and after Howard’s passing.  He’d likely tell you it was for my own good.  Plus, there was the Schwab thing.  I certainly wanted pretty badly to go upside his head on a good many occasions – and vice versa.  We’re much better now, though.


For one thing, it seemed to satisfy something that he needed when I conceded the damned Schwab account in February 2009.  He didn’t care a whit when it turned out that the decimated remains of that account really were worth less than $2000, as I had insisted in court before we made the deal.  It satisfied his perceived point of principle, and he was good and increasingly supportive from there.  “You’ve been punished enough” he explained to me at one point.  Close enough.


In retrospect, Gary Smith lying against me in court over the damned Malibu became a big point of reconciliation between Steven and me.  “We had a deal” was Steven’s new (and much more appreciated) point of principle.  This only became a more assertive statement as the estate came out with their first fictionalized final accounting in May 2010.  By assertive, I mean long, detailed letters of account and testimony and multiple beautiful big easel sized flow charts with circles and arrows and paragraphs explaining each one.  Those things are pieces of art.  I got those things hanging on my walls for art.   Oh, I tell you what, Steven Barger with a point to prove is perhaps even worse and more aggravating than our famously cantankerous and argumentative favorite late beloved Uncle Slick, Helmuth Fields Jr – may God bless and protect his sainted name.  


By the end, it looked to me like Michael and Gary were hating Steven even worse than they hate me. Hey, Steven Barger can be a right asshole if he thinks you’re lying to him. By the way, I also found it a particularly interesting family moment to sit quietly in court watching Michael on the witness stand with Steven gently making him repeat a couple of his lies for the record. No Steven, I don’t remember telling you anything a year ago about how “I’m going to make Al pay $30, 40, 50K on the Schwab account.”  Hey, after a couple of years of encouragement from Keyrock and Judge Cartman, Michael Eli was so far gone by this point that he was directly lying on the witness stand rather than even admit that he had seen my simple document accounting for my actual Schwab withdrawals.  Nope, he never saw this critical one page document that he’d been sent several times.


So count in there to the good of this mess that I’m strongly reminded that Steven Barger is certainly honest and good for his word.  He definitely would not lie under oath in a court of law against a brother, or anyone else.  Thank you, Steven.  Also, Steven is particularly definitely not a backstabber.  If he’s got beef with you, he’ll put it to you directly and honestly to your face.


More than that though, having somehow burned away some weeds of resentment from the fields of our relationship, Steven’s underlying brotherly nature has come out shining.  He’s shown good concern for my welfare, and how I’m keeping the lights on and the coon dogs fed.  He specifically has voluntarily absorbed about half my screwing in the estate, including the Malibu as well as taking and forgiving the entire lien on my home.  That’s over $20K right there, and a generous brotherly gesture for someone who ain’t a millionaire. 


So do let me take this opportunity to publicly note:  Thank you Steven Barger for your outstanding brotherly generosity in these trying times.  I’d say that the Geezer would certainly be right pleased with you at this point. 


So hey, all’s well that ends well – finally.  The estate officially closed in April of 2011.  Steven and I both got some hosing, but I’ve got my home.  Plus I’ve STILL got the ever-lovin’ Malibu.  Howard’s humble last car has been the most trouble free, reliable car I’ve ever driven.  After 100k+ miles and surviving a half dozen court appearances, maybe I should name the car “Grace.”  As a Quentin Tarantino fan, the old man would probably be amused by the idea -  and now that it’s over, I do feel like Butch stumbling out of some particularly nasty basement into the sunlight.


Hey, the hosing’s only money.  And it’s worth a little money to know who your brothers really are.



So then, that’s how the estate ended, but here’s a little post script.  As I have been scratching to pay $1000+ in back property taxes, I figured to take the last reasonable legal step regarding the skullduggery.


In July of 2013, I filed a formal complaint for disciplinary action against Gary E Smith with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.  I filled out a form from their website and wrote a formal complaint against Keyrock boiled down to about 1700 words called “Complaint Against Gary Smith.”  You can find a copy of that document and this essay at my LyingShyster.com website.  I tried to make it as appropriate and lawyerly as I could manage.  For example, I avoided the word “shyster” and I didn’t call him “Keyrock.”  I did, however, include this Barger Estate Massacre up until this post script as background. 


I promptly received a courteous reply from a G Michael Witte, the Executive Secretary of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.  In a letter dated July 25, 2013,  the Executive Secretary said


Dear Mr. Barger:


Your Request for Investigation concerning attorney Gary E. Smith was received by this office on 7/15/2013.


This matter was considered by this office.  After reviewing the complaint, we have determined that it does not raise a substantial question of misconduct that would warrant disciplinary action.  Therefore, the complaint has been dismissed.


Thank you for bringing this matter to the attention of the Disciplinary Commission.


Sincerely, G Michael Witte


So then, in full fairness to Gary Smith I will note that not only did Judge Cox side with him against me pretty much right down the line, the Indiana Supreme Court saw nothing “substantially” wrong with anything he did. 


Indeed, I take the very promptness of their reply as a rebuke. It took only eight days from receiving my complaint to making a case-closed reply.  Assuming that someone as much as took the time to read my complaint, this implies that they obviously didn’t think it serious enough to even ask Gary Smith about it. 


So then, the Indiana Supreme Court says that Gary Smith is cool, and that ol’ Al can go pound sand.  This could mean at least a couple of different possible things.  One would be that the entire legal system is grossly corrupt and debased, cause otherwise what more exactly would a lawyer have to do to constitute misconduct that would warrant disciplinary action?  Would he have to pull out a gun and shoot someone in open court?  Or the other obvious meaning of this outcome could be simply that ol’ Al is full of prunes and doesn’t have anything to bitch about.  Or perhaps it’s a little from Column A and a little from Column B. 


I reckon y’all can make up your own minds about all that now, cause I’m all done talking about this – unless Keyrock comes up with some reason to sue me for speaking my peace here.  Otherwise, I’m all good and done with this now that I’ve told my story for the record. 


That’s my story of the Greatest Injustice in the History of Mankind.  Thanks for hearing me out.


Howard Barger and about half his damned coon dogs, fall 2007


And a final note to my late father Howard Barger.  Sorry about all this nonsense, Pops. I’ll try to do better.







Contact Al Barger

Al's More Things