Houston lawyer Paul Kubosh and his firm, along with his bondsman brother Michael Kubosh and Kubosh Bail Bonding, face a civil barratry lawsuit filed against them on Aug. 28.
William Carter, a Harris County resident, alleges in a petition he filed on Aug. 28 that, when he sought a bail quote from Kubosh Bail Bonding, he was provided a quote that also included attorney services. Carter alleges in the petition the defendants' conduct constitutes civil barratry and violates the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.
He alleges that Texas Government Code §82.0651(c) authorizes him to file the civil barratry suit because a person "solicited" through conduct that violates state law or the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct regarding barratry, and did not enter into a contract as a result of the conduct, may file a civil barratry action.
On Aug. 30, Carter filed a first amended petition, adding 62 additional plaintiffs. The plaintiffs allege they called Kubosh Bail seeking a quote for bonds, were put on hold, and then a representative of the law firm came on the line and quoted them a price that included a fee for a lawyer along with the bond. The plaintiffs allege in the amended petition they did not seek an attorney to represent them in connection with their bonds.
Paul Kubosh, of Kubosh Law Office of Houston, says, "I'm not committing barratry, and it's just absolutely insane."
"We are going to beat this lawsuit and take it seriously," says Kubosh.
Kubosh suggests the suit is politically motivated, noting that his brother, Michael Kubosh, is running for an at-large seat on Houston City Council and led an effort to get a referendum on the ballot in 2010 that outlawed red-light cameras in the city of Houston.
Michael Kubosh, of Kubosh Bail Bonding, which has the same office address as Kubosh Law Office, declines comment until he reads the petition.
"I'm going to have to look into it. This is the first I heard of this," Michael Kubosh said in an interview Aug. 29.
Carter alleges in the petition in William Carter v. Kubosh Bail Bonding, et al. that he called Kubosh Bail on Sept. 19, 2011, because he needed to post a traffic bond. He alleges a representative for Kubosh Bail answered his call and put him on hold. He alleges that a different person came on the line and identified the business as Kubosh Law Office.
When he received a quote from the Kubosh Law Office representative, he was told the price quote "included the posting of the bonds as well as the fee for an attorney to represent Plaintiff with his legal matter."
Carter alleges he never sought an attorney to represent him in connection with the bonds.
He seeks to recover a $10,000 penalty from Paul Kubosh, a $10,000 penalty from Michael Kubosh, and unspecified actual damages, attorney fees and costs.
Plaintiff's attorney Brian Zimmerman, a director and shareholder in Zimmerman, Axelrad, Meyer, Stern & Wise in Houston, did not return two telephone messages seeking comment.