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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On April 26, 1999, Plaintiffs O.R. Brooker, W.A. Pitchford, Natalie T. Bornstein, Maria G. Cardenas, Vernoy Walker, Joel Hendryx, Randolph Waldman, Walker Jackson, Kathryn Horn and Mary Ward brought suit against the appellants Richard Ross, Dr. Richard Standridge and James Farrelly in County Court-at-Law No. 7, El Paso County. The original petition alleged that the defendants falsely represented how and why the stock merger into Access Healthsource would be beneficial to them, and as a result of the defendants’ misrepresentations the value of their stock went from $5 million to zero dollars. On Oct. 19, 1999, the trial court granted appellees’ motion for substitute service of process on appellant at an address in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Arizona process server’s affidavit on Nov. 1, 1999, states that he attempted to personally serve appellant at the given address, but had to post and mail the documents served. The description of documents served does not list the citation and the record does not contain a return receipt for certified mail, though the affidavit states the documents were mailed by certified mail. On Jan. 21, 2000, appellees obtained a default judgment against appellant in which they were awarded $5 million in actual damages and $5 million in exemplary damages, plus interest and attorney’s fees. The default judgment recites that appellant was duly served with process. On Feb. 29, 2000, the trial court severed appellees’ cause of action against defendants Standridge and Farrelly from its default judgment against appellant. In March 2000, appellees sought enforcement of the Texas default judgment in an Arizona state court. On April 17, 2000, appellant filed a motion under Arizona civil procedure rules to vacate the foreign judgment appellees had filed in Arizona, based on insufficient service of process. On Aug. 8, 2000, the Arizona state court found insufficient service of process on appellant and ordered the foreign judgment filed by appellees “void and hereby vacated.” On Jan. 7, 2003, appellant filed a petition for bill of review, challenging the default judgment obtained against him by appellees in January 2000. On Jan. 31, 2003, the trial court ruled that appellant’s bill of review petition to set aside the January 2000 default judgment was denied. Appellant timely appealed the trial court’s judgment. This court previously held that a genuine fact issue existed as to whether appellant had shown good cause for failing to exhaust his legal remedies, and reversed and remanded the trial court’s granting of summary judgment denying the bill of review for further proceedings. On Oct. 8, 2004, the trial court held a bench trial wherein the trial judge found that appellant did not come into the court with clean hands and failed to diligently pursue all available avenues. On Nov. 29, 2004, the trial judge signed the judgment denying appellant’s petition for bill of review seeking to set aside the default judgment granted against him and signed on Jan. 21, 2000. HOLDING:Affirmed. Appellant’s failure to file a motion for new trial or regular appeal is fatal to his bill of review. Appellant directs this court’s attention to the actions of his attorney, Klausner, to establish due diligence. When appellant discovered the default judgment entered against him, he immediately contacted Klausner and relied on him to do whatever was necessary to respond to the default judgment. Klausner has been admitted to practice in Arizona since 1975, where he practices primarily commercial litigation and appellate law. It is undisputed that he discovered the default judgment entered against appellant on April 12, 2000. Prior to this date, he had not received any notice of the default judgment. According to his testimony, he had represented five other clients where default judgments were entered against them. However, appellant’s was the first case where he was attacking a Texas default judgment in Texas. In response to appellant’s case, he testified that he filed a motion under Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 60 to vacate the foreign judgment appellees had filed in Arizona based on insufficient service of process. The Arizona state court vacated the foreign judgment on grounds of insufficient service of process. At this point, he did not feel it was appropriate to take any other action in Texas in response to the default judgment. The Arizona judgment was the only reason he did not attack the default judgment in Texas. When asked why, after he discovered the default judgment, he did not file a motion for new trial by the May 14, 2000, deadline in Texas, he testified that he never considered attacking the default judgment in Texas. He did not research Texas law on this subject and did not contact any Texas lawyer for advice on how to handle the situation. Even after knowing the options he could have pursued in Texas, Klausner stated that he would have not advised someone to take any action, because he believed the best thing was to move in Arizona to vacate the foreign judgment. He never advised Ross to talk to a licensed Texas attorney, because he felt that this was a federal question and not a Texas law question. Prior to Oct. 27, 2000, he did not advise appellant to seek advice of a Texas lawyer on the default judgment issue even though the appellant had available counsel in Texas. When asked whether he knew that Texas cases clearly hold that the trial court in Arizona cannot void a Texas trial court’s judgment, he testified that he was not aware of such a case and that this would be contrary to Williams v. North Carolina, 325 U.S. 226, 65 S.Ct. 1092, 89 L.Ed. 1577 (1945). In Ross v. Access Healthsource, No. 08-03-00079-CV, 2003 WL 22870451 (Tex. App. El Paso Dec. 4, 2003, pet. denied) (not designated for publication), the appellant raised this similar issue. The court stated the following: “[W]e reject Mr. Ross’ contention that the Arizona state court order vacating the foreign judgment in Arizona has the effect of voiding the Texas default judgment for enforcement purposes in Texas.” In addition, another reason given for not pursuing a remedy in Texas was because it was more economical in Arizona. Appellant and his attorney’s neglect of the matter simply cannot constitute due diligence, the court decides. This case is not one in which appellant’s failure to obtain a ruling on its motion for new trial resulted from the accidents or wrongful acts of others and not from lack of due diligence. Here, appellant offers no adequate explanation for his attorney’s failure to pursue an appeal. A client is bound by the act of his attorney, and attorney negligence is not a sufficient ground to support a bill of review. Considering the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court’s findings, the court concludes that the evidence supported the trial court’s finding that the appellant failed to exercise due diligence in pursuing all adequate legal remedies available against the default judgment. The court finds no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s finding of appellant’s unclean hands and that this prevented him from seeking or obtaining equitable bill of review relief. OPINION:Richard Barajas, C.J.; Barajas, C.J., McClure and Chew, JJ.

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