Judge orders local law firm to hand over records

David Yates Feb. 17, 2010, 8:50am

As lawyers prepare to take a case to trial in Tarrant County, a Jefferson County judge has ordered a local law firm to supply the outside attorneys with court records related to the case.

In October, Virginia Kinsel, acting as attorney in fact for four other individuals, filed an application for order compelling response to deposition on written questions and subpoena duces tecum against the Benckenstein, Norvell & Nathan law firm.

In the U. S. legal system, a subpoena duces tecum � Latin for "bring with you under penalty of punishment" � is a specific form of subpoena issued by a court ordering the parties named to appear and produce tangible evidence or documents for use at a hearing or trial.

The petitioners, plaintiffs in a Tarrant County civil case, served the custodian of records at the Benckenstein firm on Dec. 9, 2008, seeking information related to their case.

A month later, the Benckenstein firm denied their demand, stating that the requested information "may constitute a conflict with the attorney-client privilege" with a member of the Kinsel family, court papers say.

On Tuesday, Feb. 16 Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, ordered the Benckenstein firm to hand over the requested records.

Virginia Kinsel, as attorney-in-fact for J. Frank Kinsel, J. Frank Kinsel Jr., Carole Edwards and Catherine Collins, had filed the application on Oct. 14 in Jefferson County District Court.

The Benckenstein firm was represented by Beaumont attorney Michael McGown.

Case No. A185-124

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