Galveston attorney sues former client over unpaid fees

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 12, 2011, 6:51am

Apffel III

GALVESTON - Galveston attorney E.A. "Trey" Apffel III has filed suit against a former client he alleges failed to pay him attorney's fees, recent court documents say.

Apffel's lawsuit against Todd Slaughter of Austin, filed April 29 in Galveston County Court No. 1, says Slaughter owes the plaintiff $8,625.

Slaughter hired Apffel in February 2009 to represent him in a lawsuit alleging he mismanaged the affairs of a local business and engaged in activities that constitute a conflict of interest. Apffel insists he spent considerable time, effort and expense in defending Slaughter through September 2009.

"During this time period, the plaintiff was instrumental in formulating a plan to resolve (Lynne) Averett's claims against Slaughter in the underlying lawsuit," the original petition says.

"Additionally, the plaintiff was instrumental in preventing the imposition of a permanent injunction against the defendant, Slaughter, in the underlying lawsuit which would have substantially impaired the defendant Slaughter's ability to continue in his business venture as the proprietor of an interior decorating company."

Apffel then prepared and submitted an invoice to Slaughter. The defendant, however, "failed and refused to fulfill the agreement and pay the attorney's fees," the suit says.

The complainant adds "this action by the defendant has caused (him) to suffer damages."

In addition to the funds in question, a jury trial is requested.

Apffel is representing himself, and Galveston County Court No. 1 Judge John Grady is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 65,182

More News