The drive would be responsible for the damage if he acted outside the scope of his employment. The "we" in this case does it mean you and your wife? He who did the damage is responsible. If you offered to make repairs that is reasonable and the repairs must be done according to code. Go with that and make friends with your neighbor.
Defamation is tricky stuff. Hire a local lawyer who practices in that area. If the paper only published copies of the court filings you probably don't have a case but if they also added analysis and commentary that contained falsehoods and hearsay materials that you can prove were false then you might have a claim. If you can prove they coordinated to provide and publish information that both knew was false then you can add conspiracy too. But, get a lawyer!
Did you have a lawyer when you sign the plea? Did you have a hearing and did the judge ask you if you understood the terms of the plea before you signed it? If so, you would have a very high threshold to overcome in order to avoid the plea but if you are thinking of hiring a new lawyer then you should inquire of him as to your options.
Not on the basis of not having read you Miranda.... seems like your conduct was the basis for the arrest. In the event that you were questioned and you further incriminated yourself, then perhalps those statements would not be used against you.
It all depends in the State. Was the gift to both of you or to your ex? Was the kitchen a gift to both of you or just your ex? Did you have an agreement with your ex about the disposition of profits? Do you have an understanding/agreement as to how much to value your contribution of labor towards the renovations?
If you just go on the basis of the deed and you lived in Virginia you would be considered tenants in common and therefore equally benefiting from any profits. However, there are...
No duty to report but I would be in favor of reporting attorney misconduct. Opposing counsel can make your life miserable and still be within the rules of conduct. The rules of procedure are complex and you should have a lawyer who can navigate them correctly. And, when looking for a lawyer find one you can trust.
Your attorney might very well have an independent interest in the judgment depending on the terms of the retainer. I dont know the details but seems like he won a judgment for you and firing him "for cause" I read to mean that it might be outside the scope of this relationship. If that is so, I think he is probably vested in his fees under the retainer. There seems to be much more to this story. You should hire a new lawyer and he can coordinate with this old lawyer so that you dont get in...