A Houston-area businessman filed a negligence suit against Houston lawyer Kevin Hood and his current and former firms, alleging they failed to properly handle a negligence suit filed against the now-shuttered firm Beirne, Maynard & Parsons.
Stephen Morrow, who lives in Montgomery County, seeks more than $1 million in damages from Hood and Houston’s Hughes, Arrell & Kinchen in the petition he filed on Nov. 10 in state district court in Harris County. Morrow also names Fabrega Hood of Houston as a defendant.
Hood declined to comment, saying he had not read the petition. He said he practiced at Fabrega Hood before Hughes Arrell. Hood is not listed on the Hughes Arrell website but his State Bar of Texas listing identifies him as a lawyer at Hughes Arrell.
Hughes Arrell partner Mark Hughes declined to comment on the suit.
Morrow alleges that he was a partner in Cypresswood Land Partners in April 2007 when it was put into bankruptcy. At that time, Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, a Houston firm that dissolved in 2016, represented him and the company in bankruptcy court, he says.
He also alleges that after another Houston firm began representing them in bankruptcy court, Beirne Maynard filed a final fee application. In response to that application and on his own motion, Morrow says that the bankruptcy judge issued an order finding Beirne Maynard “had breached their fiduciary duties” to him and Cypresswood and ordered the firm to disgorge fees.
Morrow alleges Beirne Maynard paid back fees to Cypresswood but appealed the order on the disgorgement of fees he had paid. He alleges that a district court ruled that the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction to order disgorgement of his fees because he was not a party to the bankruptcy.
Morrow says he then hired the defendants to prosecute legal malpractice claims against Beirne Maynard. The defendants filed a negligence suit against Beirne Maynard in 2014, but the judge ultimately granted Beirne Maynard’s motion for summary judgment. Morrow alleges that before the judge ruled on the motion for summary judgment, the defendants failed to inform him during a mediation of a significant offer made by Beirne Maynard.
“Therefore, it has become necessary to bring this suit to collect a legal debt of money damages owing to plaintiff due to the defendants’ actions,” Morrow alleges in the petition.
Morrow brings a negligence cause of action against the defendants, He alleges the firms are vicariously liable for all of Hood’s acts, omissions and conduct because at all material times he was a member of Fabrega Hood or Hughes Arrell.
In requests for disclosure in the petition, Morrow seeks documents relating to the merger of Fabrega & Hood and Hughes Arrell, and documents related to the “windup” of Fabrega Hood.
Plaintiff’s attorney Brett Wagner, of Doherty Wagner of Houston, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.