What is it about barratry that Ron Reynolds doesn’t understand?

The SE Texas Record Apr. 23, 2013, 8:54am

You’d think an accomplished individual like Ron Reynolds would be a quick study, but his current learning curve is a flat line. 

Here’s a guy who’s a managing partner at one of the “largest and most successful minority-owned law firms in the State of Texas,” as Brown, Brown and Reynolds describes itself.

He’s an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University, a state legislator (House Democratic Whip, in fact), a former municipal court judge and past president of the Houston Lawyers Association.

Knowing what barratry is--the illegal soliciting of clients for litigation (i.e., ambulance chasing), should be a piece of cake for a guy with Ron Reynolds’ impressive credentials. But apparently, he doesn’t get it.

So, let’s go through this one more time, for Ron’s sake.

Barratry is a crime in Texas. That means it’s against the law and you’re not supposed to do it. If you do it and get caught, you can be arrested, tried, convicted and punished.

As of 2011, barratry is also a civil offense in Texas. That means law enforcement officials are not the only ones who can punish you for an act of barratry. Private individuals who believe they’ve been harmed by your illegal solicitations can seek damages against you in court.

As a member of the state legislature that passed this new provision in 2011, during which time the House Democratic Caucus named him “Freshman of the Year,” Reynolds cannot be unfamiliar with this most recent expression of state disapproval for barratry.

How, then, to explain his arrest for barratry in Harris County in 2012? The purported victim, believe it or not, was a fellow attorney. How dumb is that?

Last month, Reynolds was charged with barratry again, this time in Montgomery County.

Surely we deserve more from a lawyer, law professor, former lawyers association president, onetime judge and erstwhile freshman legislator of the year?

What does Reynolds deserve? How about losing his law license for a start? Then he could start a new career as, perhaps, an ambulance driver, thus having no need to chase one.

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