top of page


LESSON: In extreme adversity, the waterfall seems to gain more force and velocity against you in a never-ending torrent. Then one day, sometimes imperceptibly, the tide starts to turn. And then you gain momentum, compound your victories, begin to turn the tide of power, and even begin to take control of the narrative.

The below lesson is an excerpt from my recently released Amazon #1 Best Seller, When Not If: A CEO's Guide to Overcoming Adversity, Forbes Books, 2024.

Once all your motions, petitions, appeals, and US Supreme Court filings have been denied, as nearly five hundred of pro se filings (representing myself) had been, the last path available to an inmate is to make, basically, the same arguments rephrased in the manner that it was my attorney’s fault!


This Statute 28 U.S.C. # 2255 provides a path back into court for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel. If your attorney provided such a demonstrably terrible representation in your case, you could, possibly, have the opportunity to submit your issues before the court, again. As with everything else, the tremendous majority of these submissions are denied, but I believed that if anyone had a strong case for this, I had to have a chance here.


Since I was now officially a two-time felon, the term the government would repeatedly submit to reinforce its position, I was now, in the government’s eyes, an even more horrible excuse for a human being and would need to tender two separate submissions.


It was now 2017. I submitted my petitions, approximately 250 pages each produced with a No.2 pencil and manual typewriter. Honorable Judge Wanda Wright Allen of the Eastern District of Virginia was the presiding judge for both cases now that the sentences had been combined and increased. My reward for reversing my trial sentence. Thanks for playing! 


She would not respond for an entire year, and then when compelled, denied all 18 grounds with responses in many instances which seemed totally irrelevant to the argument made.


To my astonishment, the Appeals Court reversed Judge Allen’s decisions on five separate grounds, again practically unheard-of results. I remember the day I received notices of the reversals. At first, I didn’t dare believe I was actually making progress. As a result, I was entitled to an Evidentiary Hearing back in Norfolk, Virginia. It was to be me, pro se now pitted against my former attorneys, James Broccoletti and Larry Woodward, as well as my old nemesis, Asst. U.S. Attorney Brian Samuels representing them!


I then requested the Honorable Judge Wanda Wright Allen recuse herself for a thorough list of obvious reasons. Judge Allen refused to recuse herself. I persisted. The Appeals Court ordered her to rule on her own recusal. She refused again. I filed again and forces higher up ordered her to recuse herself, again an almost unheard-of break.


It was the second time a U.S. District Judge passing judgment over me had been removed.


I once heard Joel Osteen say, and this Post-It Note has been on my home desk for 4 years, “We don’t have to win; sometimes we just have to outlast them.”



40 views0 comments


bottom of page