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Recent Law Grad Files New $1M Suit Against Lawyer in Prove-Me-Wrong Dare

Posted Jul 12, 2010 7:04 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A South Texas College of Law graduate has filed a new breach of contract suit against a lawyer who promised to pay $1 million to anyone who could prove the prosecution’s theory of a case against his client.

Former law student Dustin Kolodziej filed suit late last month in federal court in Atlanta, the city where he drove from an airport to a La Quinta Inn in less than 30 minutes in an effort to fulfill what he says was an oral contract, according to stories in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Courthouse News Service. Kolodziej says Florida criminal defense lawyer James Cheney Mason has to live up to his televised challenge.

Prosecutors had claimed the defendant drove to the La Quinta in 28 minutes as part of a longer journey. They said he used an alias to fly from Atlanta to Orlando where he murdered four people, then flew back to Atlanta and drove to a La Quinta where he used a motel security tape as an alibi. Kolodziej followed the same route and recorded his quest on video after Mason said on Dateline NBC that it just wasn't possible.

According to the lawsuit, a transcript has Mason scoffing at the 28-minute claim. “I challenge anybody to show me, I'll pay them a million dollars if they can do it," he reportedly said.

Mason claims the interview was edited, and his comments about paying a million dollars followed a challenge issued to prosecutors about the travel time. Mason says he told the interviewer: “State's burden of proof. If they can do it, I'll challenge 'em. I'll pay them a million dollars if they can do it.” Mason also claims the challenge was a joke.

Last year, Kolodziej filed a similar suit in Houston federal court.

The Journal-Constitution interviewed Kolodziej’s lawyer, David George. “This is the kind of thing only a law student would do,” George said. “It reads like a question on a law school test. This case will likely be studied in law school.”

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