A physician has sued a Dallas solo, alleging the lawyer owes him nearly $150,000 for unpaid medical fees the lawyer promised him for treating the lawyer’s clients. The doctor further alleges that the attorney had him arrested in front of his patients in connection with a subpoena.
The background to Sameer Fino v. Stephen W. Shoultz, according to the Oct. 22 original petition filed in Dallas’ 14th District Court, is as follows.
Sameer Fino is a medical doctor who sees patients by agreement with attorney Stephen W. Shoultz. Fino gets paid once Shoultz’sclient’s case settles or upon collection of a final judgment.
In a number of cases, Shoultz would write Fino and ask that he reduce his fee by a specific amount to accommodate a settlement, the petition alleges. Fino would agree to the reduction, but he was not paid the amount that was agreed to in writing. Instead, Shoultz “would consistently send a check for a nominal amount such as $250 which read ‘Full and final settlement’ even in cases in which Dr. Fino would testify at Attorney Shoultz’s request. These checks were not cashed,” the petition alleges.
On Feb. 18, 2011, Shoultz contacted Fino concerning the need for Fino’s testimony at a trial that was starting on Feb. 22, 2011. Fino informed Shoultz that he was going out of town on Feb. 22, 2011, the petition alleges.
A subpoena was delivered Feb. 21, 2011, requiring Fino’s attendance at the trial, but Fino was not personally served with the subpoena and did not see it prior to trial. On Feb. 23, 2011, “Dr. Fino was arrested at his clinic, and taken out of there in front of his patients, for an alleged failure to attend the trial pursuant to the subpoena, and taken before the judge to determine if he would be jailed for contempt,” the petition alleges.
“Dr. Fino was not jailed, but his practice was disrupted, and he was embarrassed to be hauled out of his medical practice in the custody of two deputy sheriffs,” the petition alleges.
Fino is alleging breach of contract, theft of services, abuse of process and malicious prosecution, among other things, in his petition.
Angela D. Norris and Robert W. Minshew, attorneys with Sherman’s Kennedy & Minshew who represent Fino, did not return one telephone call each for comment. Neither did Shoultz.
Shoultz has not yet filed an answer to the suit. On Nov. 2, 14th District Judge Eric Moyé issued a notice that the case is set for dismissal on Dec. 21 if no answer is filed. The notice directs the plaintiff to move for a default judgment by that date or face dismissal.