Plaintiff's lawyers square off against each other in Orange

David Yates Sep. 15, 2009, 11:15am


Claiming that a well known plaintiff's attorney went back on her word, another trial lawyer has filed suit over the alleged broken verbal agreement hoping to collect $100,000 – his share of the attorney's fees.

Rodney Townsend Jr. filed suit against Sara Youngdahl on Sept. 1 in Orange County District Court, alleging Youngdahl hired him as a consultant on three cases but never paid him for his services.

Over the years, the Southeast Texas Record has reported on dozens of suits filed by each of the attorneys. While Townsend's choice in clients varies, Youngdahl primarily represents injured railroad workers.

At issue in Townsend's suit are three separate cases against BNSF Railway filed in Tarrant and Hardin counties. He claims that according to a verbal agreement with Youngdahl in January 2008, he was to act as lead attorney in the litigation.

"The subject of the verbal agreements involved Townsend performing certain legal work … and acting as the lead attorney," the suit states. "In late September Youngdahl informed Townsend that she was taking back … the cases and that his services were no longer necessary."

Townsend alleges the verbal agreement between them dictates that he receive 35 percent of the attorney's fees.

"To date, defendant has failed and refused to compensate plaintiff for the services he performed on such cases," the suit says. "There is currently due the sum of at least $100,000 for plaintiff's work performed under the oral contracts."

Townsend is represented by Steve Parkhurst, attorney for the Dies & Parkhurst law firm.

Judge Dennis Powell, 163rd Judicial District, is presiding over the case.

Case No. B090478-c

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