First Amendment

Lawyer’s TV Ad Claims Rival is Nonlawyer

A Texas personal injury lawyer has paid for TV ads asserting that a partner in a Corpus Christi law group is not a lawyer.

The lawyer in the ad, Thomas Henry, has also filed a complaint with an unauthorized practice of law committee, Texas Lawyer reports. Henry wants a determination whether the man he targets in the ad, Mauricio Celis, is a lawyer in the United States or Mexico. The complaint suggests other lawyers are improperly splitting fees with Celis.

A lawyer for Celis told Texas Lawyer he is licensed to practice in Mexico. But that is a matter of dispute in a separate lawsuit that claims Celis has failed to comply with discovery related to his law license.

Henry began running the ad Sept. 28, but hours afterward, a judge barred its broadcast, the legal publication says. A hearing on whether to dissolve the temporary restraining order is scheduled for today.

“I’m Thomas J. Henry. I proudly display my law license,” the lawyer says in his ad. “However, Mauricio Celis with the law firm of CGT International Law Group does not have a law license in the state of Texas, nor does he have a license to practice law anywhere in the world. If you have hired this law firm, you may be entitled to a refund of attorney’s fees paid. Contact me immediately.”

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