Buzbee v. Apffel! Get your tickets now!

The SE Texas Record May 10, 2011, 8:12am

When gangsters prey on the innocent, we react with horror and disgust. When they prey on each other, we may secretly delight.

It's hard to feel sympathy for predators who are preyed upon. Let them savage each other, we think. When the fighting ends, we hope there'll be fewer predators to prey on the rest of us.

At times we can't help feeling similar disdain for a certain breed of lawyers -- the ones that seem to make a practice of preying on the more productive members of society.

We deplore their rapaciousness towards well intentioned community members. But when they turn on each other, we can't help feeling somewhat lighthearted about it.

Consider the plight of Tony Buzbee -- the popular Galveston attorney who once treated a judge to lunch after a favorable ruling, who touted Starr County as a choice venue because of the generosity of minority juries and judges, who sued FEMA on behalf of hurricane victims who disliked the free houses provided to them, and who recently exulted in the prospect of Gulf Oil Spill litigation being "the largest case in the history of the United States."

Now Buzbee has set his sights on a fellow barrister and we can only shout hurrah – to him and his opponent. We're rooting for both of them and hope there's no winner.

Buzbee is suing Bettison, Doyle, Apffel & Guarino in Galveston District Court, claiming Darrell Apffel and his firm used the Buzbee name and reputation to sign up Hurricane Ike clients and settle their cases.

Buzbee claims Apffel "went as far as to illegally list Buzbee as lead counsel on the proceedings for more than 20 cases filed in Galveston state court -- again without Buzbee's knowledge or permission or without compensating Buzbee a dime."

Have at it, guys! May the legal slugfest be long, torturous and expensive!

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