Broken Wedding Cake.


Houston criminal defense lawyer Paul Nugent has settled a lawsuit brought by a Texas woman who alleged he mishandled her divorce.

On Aug. 1, Nugent, a partner in Nugent & Peterson, and plaintiff Susana Knight filed a joint motion to dismiss the suit with prejudice and to dismiss all claims against each other. The same day, 333rd District Judge Daryl Moore in Houston signed a final order to dismiss the case, Knight v. Nugent.

Knight sued Nugent in 2015, alleging the attorney charged her “unreasonable, excessive and inequitable” fees and “did very little to move the divorce toward a conclusion.” She sought fee forfeiture and other damages. Nugent filed an answer in 2015 denying the allegations and filed a motion for summary judgment in 2016. Moore denied that motion and the suit was set for trial in October.

Lawrence Rothenberg, a solo practitioner in Houston who represents Nugent, said a confidentiality agreement prevents him from talking about the terms of the settlement.

“It’s very amicably settled. We can’t discuss the terms of it,” Rothenberg said.

Plaintiff’s lawyer Jeffrey Glass, a solo practitioner in Houston, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When Knight sued Nugent in 2015, she also filed a suit against Houston lawyer James Patrick Smith, also alleging he mishandled her divorce. Knight nonsuited Smith several months after she filed the suit against him.

According to a counterclaim Nugent filed against Knight in 2016, she hired him in 2011 and “abruptly discharged” him in 2012, and ultimately settled her divorce litigation after hiring two other attorneys.

According to Nugent’s motion for summary judgment Knight “cycled through” eight attorneys for her divorce proceedings, which lasted for four-and-a-half years.