A retired doctor has dismissed his claims against one law firm, but his lawsuit is still pending against another firm and lawyer.
Travis County’s 419th District Court on Jan. 10 granted a request by plaintiff Glenn Haluska to dismiss his claims against Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease because “all matters of controversy between them have been settled by agreement,” according to an Agreed Order of Dismissal as to Defendant Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP Only in Haluska v. Wesley J. Filer.
Vorys represented Haluska in an underlying probate suit that pitted the doctor against his two children. Haluska alleged that Vorys committed a breach of fiduciary duty by demanding an excessive fee. Haluska alleged the two remaining defendants—attorney Wesley J. Filer and Waco-based Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee—committed professional negligence when Filer wrote a letter to Haluska’s two children about terminating two trust accounts, according to the Sept. 26 Plaintiff’s Second Amended Petition.
“[W]hile the principal acts of negligence that caused Dr. Haluska’s damages were those of Defendants Filer and Naman Howell, the lawyers at Defendant Vorys Sater compounded matters by inadequately, inartfully and negligently advocating and arguing Dr. Haluska’s position” during the summary judgment proceeding in the underlying probate suit, and by “charging Dr. Haluska excessive and unconscionable attorneys’ fees and expenses in doing so, and thus also secondarily contributed to Plaintiff’s damages,” alleges Haluska in the amended petition.
Filer and Naman Howell denied all the allegations, and they argue the case should be transferred to McLennan County, according to the Sept. 9 Defendants’ Original Answer.
Vorys’ lawyer, McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore partner April Lucas, declined comment because “the terms under which the dismissal came about are confidential.” She did not respond to two calls and an email seeking a copy of Vorys’ answer in the lawsuit.
Haluska’s lawyer, Knisely, Prehoditch & Panzer partner Tom Prehoditch, and Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody partner Mike McKetta, who represents Filer and Naman Howell, each didn’t return a call for comment.