Trials & Litigation
Brothers Sue Texas Lawyer Who Got Them $1.7M in False Arrest Case
Posted Oct 16, 2008 4:35 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Two Texas brothers who won a $1.7 civil rights settlement in a false arrest case that brought down the local district attorney are now suing their own lawyer.
At issue in the new breach-of-contract case is litigation costs: A state court judge approved reimbursement by the losing Harris County defendants of only $51,000 of the $300,000 in expenses that attorney Lloyd Kelley is claiming in the earlier civil rights case, according to the Houston Chronicle. So that means the plaintiffs are responsible for paying the difference, under the representation agreement they signed, Kelley contends.
However, Randy Sorrels, an attorney representing Erik and Sean Ibarra in their new suit, contends that Kelley has inflated his costs and withheld settlement money from the brothers that they are entitled to. Kelley reportedly has so far paid each of them $400,000 from the settlement.
"I expect to be reimbursed, and I'm entitled to be paid from their settlement," says Kelley, concerning the costs he is claiming. "When you're getting $1.7 million for one night in jail, and one (brother) had two nights in jail, (that) is phenomenal. They didn't pay one dime over the last six years and they don't want me to get reimbursed for those expenses. That is ingratitude."
ABAJournal.com: "$1.7M Settlement in Case That Exposed DA’s E-Mail"
ABAJournal.com: "$4.4M Legal Fees Sought in Texas Case that Brought Down DA"