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Herron files motion to seal Floyd/Wu case from the public and media

Story by Shannon Taylor Senior Investigative Reporter

A motion for order to “protect minor child” has been filed by Attorney Roy Herron for plaintiff Yueh Feng Wu with the Weakley County Chancery Court on March 10. The motion states that Jo Floyd widely distributed the minor child’s personal and confidential information to the public and media, that she posted on Facebook multiple photos of the Petition for Injunction and “publicized to the world” that the child had serious issues, that she told this reporter that her son was stolen using the court system, that she publicized “sensitive psychological diagnoses” through the Weakley County Press and online and that she used Facebook as a way to post that the minor child was stolen and kidnapped.

The motion also lists actions of Floyd’s attorney, Jeff Washburn, stating that he made a “lengthy public Facebook post” claiming that Wu is “considered wealthy by any measure” and that “in a rural area that suffers from economic stress and a growing drug epidemic, this claim of wealth could target the parties’ minor child and put him in danger.” The motion also states that Washburn made a public Facebook claim that Floyd received no protection from the court, that he’s representing Floyd to prevent her from being further taken advantage of by Wu, Herron and orders issued by the court and the motion states that “such statements could endanger the child by causing believing individuals to commit kidnapping or other violent acts.”

Washburn filed a motion in response on March 15 stating that in the matter of the public distribution of the child’s personal and confidential information that it was actually Wu and Herron who published “these ridiculous and false allegations” regarding the minor child with their petition for injunction and the affidavit of Lisa Alexander which were all public record and filed with the court system.

The motion states that Herron’s motion fails to demonstrate any harm to the child or that any acts by Floyd present an immediate danger to the child. “The only thing that the averment demonstrates is that Herron is offended because his legal tactics were called into question in a newspaper article that cast him in a bad public light.” Washburn goes on to say that Herron and Wu have sought to “enflame this court to create a bias against her by taking a statement out of context.”

Washburn states in the motion that both he and Floyd have a First Amendment right to openly state their opinions and that Herron is seeking to suppress that right to speak and publish opinions on the status of “their egregious and false statements contained in court filings to deprive her of contact with her child, create and maintain a situation in which she was made immediately homeless and a pauper, and otherwise take away her parental rights to have visitation with the parties minor child.”

Washburn states that Wu and Herron have “falsely depicted Floyd in a bad light and called her sanity, mental capabilities, and parenting skills into question by their court filings and through statements made to law enforcement and others for no other reason but to attain a tactical advantage in the pending divorce litigation and create bias against her with the court and law enforcement in the city of Dresden.”

The motion states that Floyd used the terms “kidnapping” and “stolen” because such actions by the court were, in her mind, the same as kidnapping and stealing a child. Floyd also states that Washburn was correct when he stated on Facebook that Wu and herself has significant financial assets and demands discovery to show the extent of his wealth and she states that Washburn has a First amendment right to comment on his opinions of getting involved in a high profile case which Wu’s counsel “should not be allowed to interfere with through frivolous motions intended to prolong litigation and enrage the court thereby creating a bias against Floyd.”

Washburn shows evidence in exhibits attached with the motion that Herron has a “propensity to comment himself via newspaper interviews, television and radio interviews and via the internet on cases that he files in court. Attorney Herron likes to cite rules in his motions that he seeks to enforce against opposing counsel, which he has historically shown no intent to follow himself.”

Washburn’s motion states that Herron ex parte order was done in violation of Rule 65.03 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure due to failing to state that the applicant would suffer immediate and irreparable harm and that Herron failed to notify and serve Floyd with notice prior to the hearing as set out as required by T.R.C.P 65.03.

Washburn stated that Herron “quotes rules of professional conduct but has consistently shown in the course of this and other litigation that he cannot comport himself to follow the rules that he seeks to enforce against other attorneys who dare oppose him in a case. Additionally, this court as recently as Feb. 24 of this year issued an order that found Herron’s conduct in another case where this court has jurisdiction was in breach of the rules of professional conduct and he engaged in questionable billing practices as well.”

In response to Herron’s request for a sealed court, Washburn said, “it is the conduct of Wu and Herron that erode public confidence in the courts through the use of deceptive and false legal tactics.” He goes on to say that “there is nothing in this case that has risen to the level requiring closure of the courtroom or public records except Herron’s desire to protect his reputation and operate under the cloak of darkness in trying to create an atmosphere where there is bias against Floyd within the court such that she will be incapable of receiving a fair hearing and settlement.”

Washburn ends the motion with, “to close the court and the records will only further create distrust in the judicial system of this county, state and nation. The compelling public interest is that the courtroom and all records of this case remain open to the public!”

Washburn is demanding that Herron and Wu show “strict proof” of all of their claims and allegations.

The next hearing for Floyd is Wednesday, March 22 at 9:00 a.m. The courtroom is open to the public and media at this time.

This is a developing story.




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