Attorney sues client over unpaid legal fees

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 27, 2009, 8:49am

GALVESTON � A Harris County attorney seeks $68,000 in damages from a Dickinson man he formerly represented.

Andrew G. Shebay III, who is doing business as Shebay Law Firm PLLC, says John B. Wood refused to pay him despite serving as the defendant's counsel in two cases currently pending in Harris County courts, according to a lawsuit filed in Galveston County District Court on Jan. 21.

The suit explains that Shebay and Wood entered separate contracts on both suits in which Wood is named a defendant.

Shebay insists his firm "fully and completely fulfilled all of their obligations to the defendant; however, the defendant has failed and refused to comply with his obligations."

All the while, Wood did not properly cooperate and communicate with the plaintiff nor spend any money on representation, the suit says.

"The defendant�has failed to pay the agreed upon attorney's fees, refused to cooperate in the defense of the lawsuits, and stay in contact with the plaintiff," the complaint charges.

The plaintiff deems the defendant's alleged indifference and failure to present restitution as breaches of contract.

Shebay was prompted to withdraw his services in accordance to the contracts. Prior to doing so, the plaintiff issued a series of written motions informing the defendant of the work stoppage.

The documents are included as exhibits for the court.

The suit states Shebay is currently trying to recover his compensation but to no avail.

"The defendant, however, has refused, and continues to refuse to pay the attorney's fees incurred for the plaintiffs' representation in these lawsuits," the suit says.

In addition to the $68,000, the plaintiff demands a jury trial.

Galveston attorney Ernest G. Caldwell is representing the plaintiffs, and Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0079

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