An Austin labor and employment lawyer and an attorney who contracted with her on legal matters are embroiled in litigation, each claiming they are owed money for cases that arose under the contract.
Alicia Wilde claims in her original petition that Sean Gregor defamed her to clients and failed to give her 50 percent of client fees. But Gregor denies the allegations and claims Wilde owes him his share of client fees.
Wilde, partner in Wilde Ricardi in Austin, says she saw an advertisement for Gregor’s services in the Texas Bar Journal, and she decided to contract with him because, “I had too much work. I needed someone to come in and do overflow.”
Wilde alleges in her Nov. 27 original petition in Wilde v. Gregor, filed in Travis County’s 261st District Court, that she and Gregor entered a contract in 2009 for Gregor to assist in representing clients.
“Cases were to originate with Plaintiff’s law firm. The fees from these cases were to be split evenly between Plaintiff and Defendant for services performed by Defendant,” alleges the petition.
The petition alleges Gregor made oral and written statements to multiple clients about Wilde that “are blatantly false.”
Wilde alleges she had a contract with one client and Gregor worked on the case. She alleges she suffered damages not less than $6,300 “as a result of the Defendant’s intentional interference.”
Among other things, Wilde alleges Gregor breached their contract “when he collected fees directly from clients and failed to provide 50% of those collected fees to Plaintiff.”
She further alleges that, “Defendant has filed suit twice in the preceding year against Plaintiff alleging various claims of funds due and each time has either dismissed or non-suited those cases. Defendant has failed to produce a single document supporting his unsubstantiated claims.”
In the petition, Wilde brings causes of action for defamation and slander per se; tortious interference of contract; civil theft; and breach of contract. She seeks actual damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and attorney fees.
But in his Dec. 6 original answer, special exceptions and counterclaims, Gregor denies Wilde’s allegations, raises the affirmative defense of “substantial truth” regarding Wilde’s defamation cause of action and claims Wilde “has never made demand to Defendant for any amount whatsoever.” He also alleges her “shotgun” original petition alleges claims “without any factual basis for said claims,” and he does not have “sufficient notice of the legal basis of the claims and allegations being made against him.”
Gregor also brings a counterclaim against Wilde for breach of contract. He claims he and Wilde entered a “Co-Counsel/Retention Agreement” that said they “would divide fees on certain legal matters while each retaining responsibility for the matters. . . .” They referred matters to each other and sometimes “directly entered into joint representation relationships with the clients.”
The answer alleges Wilde “billed, collected, or negligently failed to collect, and failed to distribute funds” for six matters and Gregor is owed $21,709.25.
Gregor’s counterclaim seeks damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and attorney fees; asks that Wilde take nothing from her claims; and asks that the court partially strike her pleadings or order her to amend them “to cure the defects.”
Wilde’s lawyer, Dan Corbin of Corbin & Associates in Killeen, declines comment.
Gregor, an Austin solo, refers comment to his lawyer, Adam Pugh, partner in Slater Pugh in Austin. Pugh said he needed permission from his client to comment and subsequently did not call back.