Mostyn a no show at hearing, Austin judge orders client to disclose finances

David Yates Jun. 2, 2009, 7:53am

On May 28, a Travis County district judge ordered Texas House Parliamentarian Denise Davis and her husband Ian Hancock to fully respond to questions and provide documents about their finances in connection with a lawsuit they lost in July of last year.

Davis and Hancock hired J. Steve Mostyn, Southeast Texas' most prolific filer of hurricane insurance suits, to represent them in a suit over nonpayment to a restoration company doing work on their flood-damaged home.

At trial, Advanced Indoor Remediation was awarded a $439,000 verdict. Due to interest and additional attorneys' fees, the amount is now more than $450,000, according to an AIR press release.

In February, the Record reported that a Travis County judge denied Mostyn's motion for a new trial for Davis and Hancock.

After that, AIR alleges that Davis and Hancock blocked attempts to locate their assets instead of paying the judgment.

"On May 11, Davis and Hancock responded that even that providing their names and current address was simply too burdensome and harassing," the press release states. "They also objected to providing the name, address, and telephone number of their current employers."

Neither Davis nor Mostyn bothered to show up for the May 28 finance hearing, but were ordered to pay the opposing side's attorneys' fees.

At the hearing, the district court judge overruled all of Davis and Hancock's objections and ordered them to respond fully by June 4, court papers say.

The parliamentarian and her husband will now have to provide detailed information about their financial situation, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, belongings, sources of income, gifts, debts, and financial statements, as well as what they did with settlement proceeds from their previous lawsuit against Farmers.

According to the press release, in December 2003 Davis and Hancock hired Mostyn to sue Farmers Insurance Exchange for more than $2 million after the insurer allegedly failed to honor its policy and pay to repair the couple's water-logged home in Buda.

The case with Farmers was settled in September 2004.

Since it had been hired to repair the couple's home, AIR claimed it was entitled to part of the settlement proceeds for completed work that remained unpaid. AIR eventually filed a lawsuit against Davis and her husband to recover the payment owed.

Court documents show that after a week-long trial in July 2008, a Travis County judge signed an order in December forcing Davis and her husband pay the remediation company for its services.

Although Davis and Hancock filed a number of counterclaims against AIR and third-party claims against the officers of AIR, the Travis County jury did not award any money to Davis or Hancock, the press release states.

State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer (D-San Antonio), who is an associate with The Mostyn Firm, provided legal services for Davis and Hancock in the AIR case, according to the press release. Rep. Fischer appeared on two motions by Davis and Hancock to postpone the trial.

Mostyn and his firm have filed more than 1,000 hurricane-related cases against insurance companies in Texas, including cases against Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

Advanced Indoor Remediation is an Austin company providing mold remediation and rebuild services in Central Texas.

Judge Darlene Byrne, 126th Judicial District, presided over the litigation.

Case No. D-1-GN-07-003245

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