Family Sues to Get Attorney's Fees Back Because Their Lawyers Successfully Bribed the Judge

Categories: Courts, Crime

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A Texas family that successfully settled a wrongful-death suit for big bucks is suing to get back $5.7 million in attorney's fees and expenses because the lawyers used part of that money to bribe the judge.

Whatever it takes, right? Be happy with your winnings, right? Apparently not.

The plaintiffs are the survivors of an EMT who died in a helicopter crash, and filed a suit that ended up in Cameron County District Judge Abel Limas's court. The lawyers they hired on a contingency basis to represent them included Jose Solis, a former state rep.

Both Limas and Solis have entered guilty pleas on bribery charges.

The plaintiffs say in their suit that the bribes were all kinds of nefarious:

Like the recent Wall Street financial crisis, defendants' conduct fosters a far reaching and severe distrust of those in the legal profession. Defendants' criminal acts are just another brick in the already glaring wall that greedy and dishonest lawyers are building between the judicial system and the public it is meant to serve and protect.

The bribes breached the lawyer's fiduciary duty to clients and jeopardized the suit, the plaintiffs say, although it sounds like the bribes did their job.

(Unless, of course, the original defendants claim foul. But if you settled a case for numbers big enough to earn $5 million in attorney's fees, you probably don't have that great a defense available to argue in court.)

The suit says:

The bribes even included future employment for Limas at Rosenthal's law firm. After losing his re-election bid, Limas exercised employment options while still on the bench. ... Limas was offered an 'of counsel' position with 'the firm,' as well as cash payments cryptically referred to as "golf balls."

The consideration was Limas' past and continued favorable rulings. Ultimately, Judge Limas was also paid additional sums of money after settlement was obtained.

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Guest2
Guest2

Another case involving Ray Marchan's bribe to Limas occurred against the charity National Heritage Foundation.  Limas influenced the trial resulting in a $7 million "judgment". Soon thereafter Limas hastily ordered a bank "turn over" that bankrupted NHF.  It's interesting that the attorneys for the plaintiffs, Albert Garcia, Ray Marchan and Rick Zayas required NHF to sign a "no appeals" clause when settling in Ch11.  It seems clear now that there are other money trails leading back to Limas.

Det.TrappieBailey
Det.TrappieBailey

First, they should have never been able to get 14 million dollars.  The whole story is here: http://www.dallasfortworthinju...

B/C they just got busted on a technicality.  The pilot did not have the required instrument training and he was flying into bad weather.  He wasn't on drugs or convicted of any gross negligence.

The worst part about this is that the company that was sued was a non-profit company that provides emergency med. transportation.  I think the families had a right to sue, but 14 million is excessive. 

An then, the attorney and judges get into a bribe deal to loot this non-profit company over a technicality.  Aren't you supposed go to jail for that?  Lock them all up  and throw away the key!

Messeyme
Messeyme

Shhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.  No wonder my skin crawls everytime I go to the court house.

Guest
Guest

The judge left the bench before the case was settled.  State law provides that a lawyer's breach of fiduciary duties mandates fee forfeiture.  Otherwise, crime would pay.

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