Two former clients have sued Howrey partner Michael S. Dowler and the firm, alleging breach of fiduciary duty after an alleged deal to buy a patent for $1 million went sour.

On April 2, the plaintiffs filed Guardian Media Technologies Ltd., et al. v. Howrey LLP, et al. in Harris County, Texas’ 234th District Court. Guardian, a Texas limited partnership, and GMT Management Co., a Texas corporation that is the general partner in Guardian, acquire and license patents. They allege in their petition that Dowler, a partner in Howrey’s Houston office, was their lawyer in a variety of patent matters and that he brought a patent to them for potential purchase, demanded an “under the radar” verbal deal for 50 percent of net profits to be derived from the patent and breached his fiduciary duty by “misrepresent[ing] the value of the patent.”