Friendswood attorney sues would-be client for defamation
GALVESTON - A Friendswood attorney has filed a $1 million libel lawsuit against a Webster man, stating the latter wrongfully accused him of helping his ex-wife secure a divorce.
Bret Griffin's lawsuit, filed Aug. 31 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 1, claims Edwin Morgenthaler made false statements about him after he rejected Morgenthaler's case.
According to the suit, Morgenthaler's allegations "are fantasy to the degree that they must be intentional lies designed to harass, threaten and cause anxiety or distress."
Court papers state that Morgenthaler sought assistance with a lawsuit for a false report against his credit report, which he alleged caused a higher interest rate when he refinanced his mortgage.
Griffin told Morgenthaler that he would be willing to help him with the recovery of damages if he would first provide evidence of the financial damage he would incur as a result of the higher interest rate, the original petition states.
A written power of attorney also was needed before any action would be undertaken by the complainant.
Griffin asserts that Morgenthaler, however, failed to meet both prerequisites.
"The plaintiff rejected the defendant's case because of this lack of participation and wrote him a letter explaining these circumstances," the suit says.
It further alleges that Morgenthaler wrote a letter to the State Bar of Texas denouncing Griffin for "secretly (assisting) the defendant's estranged spouse in a divorce."
Morgenthaler also complains in the letter that Griffin's wife was "an integral person in my divorce" and insists Griffin kept knowledge of the divorce from him, the suit says.
The Griffin suit states that Morgenthaler was sued for divorce, but Morgenthaler's ex-wife did not hire him to represent her.
Griffin is representing himself in the suit.
Galveston County Court at Law No. 1 Judge John Grady is presiding over the case.
Cause No. 65,927