Arnoldo Casas, et al vs. Michael B. Silva, Paul F. Simpson, Silva & Simpson, LLP and McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, LLP
Mitchell C. Chaney, Jaime A. Saenz, and Sarah A. Nicolas represented all Defendants in this action. Plaintiffs, former clients of the Defendants, entered into a contingency fee contract with Defendants and then, over the course of more than three years, received a substantial settlement from an underlying lawsuit and sizeable gas royalties, all as a result of the Defendants’ legal representation. Plaintiffs subsequently filed this lawsuit in an effort to negate the contingency fee contract and subsequent agreements, alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, negligent misrepresentation, and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act (the “D.T.P.A.”). Plaintiffs sought to recover damages as well as disgorgement of the legal fees paid to Defendants. Trial began on June 16, 2008, but because the 229th Judicial District Court is a circuit court whose judge must “ride circuit” in Duval, Jim Hogg and Starr counties, could proceed only a week at a time. After June, July, August, September and October sessions, the trial court granted a directed verdict on all but one cause of action, and the jury then rendered a defense verdict on October 16, 2008.