Apffel non-suits former client in fee fight

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 19, 2011, 9:26am


GALVESTON - Stating he no longer wants to prosecute his case against a client who reportedly owes him back fees, attorney E.A. "Trey" Apffel III of Galveston recently filed a motion to non-suit.

Apffel submitted documentation in support of his motion to non-suit Austin resident Todd Slaughter on Nov. 1 before the Galveston County Court at Law No. 1. Judge John Grady granted the motion the same day.

Apffel filed suit against Slaughter last April in an effort to recoup $8,625 in unpaid attorney's fees.

According to the original petition, the defendant hired the plaintiff 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, saying he "was instrumental in formulating a plan to resolve (Lynne) Averett's claims against Slaughter in the underlying lawsuit."

"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," the suit says.

It adds Slaughter received an invoice for services provided to him, but "failed and refused to fulfill the agreement and pay the attorney's fees."

The defendant did not offer a formal answer to the allegations.

Cause No. 65,182

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