Notice of removal filed in suit seeking to dismiss predatory

David Yates Aug. 11, 2015, 3:17pm


In May, a Jefferson County woman and a Harris County man filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County against a Rusk County attorney and a Jasper County attorney, alleging unsubstantiated interest in their mother’s wrongful death claim in 2014.

As previously reported, the plaintiffs seek to discard their current attorneys and hire the Provost Umphrey Law Firm to represent them in their wrongful death claim.

Court records show that on June 23 two of the defendants in the suit, Schneider National Carriers and Shayne Felty, filed a notice of removal to the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, Beaumont Division.

Originally, Mary Catherine Furlough of Beaumont, filing individually and as administrator of the estate of Carolyn Hammond, and Richard W. Spaulding of Katy brought suit against James Holmes individually and d/b/a The Law Office of James Holmes PC in Henderson; and John Burt, individually and d/b/a The Law Office of John Burt PLLC of Buna; in Jefferson County District Court on May 21 seeking to resolve a contractual dispute from December 2014.

The petitioners are the surviving children of Carolyn Hammond, whom the suit states was killed Dec. 14, 2014, in an auto accident involving her vehicle and an 18-wheeler.

According to the original filing, the petitioners were contacted by Burt, their mother’s probate attorney, the morning after her death on the pretext of urgent business.

The suit states that when the siblings arrived at Burt’s offices, they were instead pressured to sign a contract with Holmes to represent them in a wrongful death lawsuit. According to court documents, Furlough and Spaulding wish to discharge Holmes and hire Provost*Umphrey to represent them instead.

The petitioners seek a declaration releasing them from the contract with Holmes, declaring it invalid and void; and that the court find good cause for their termination, citing Holmes with the intention of unjust enrichment.

They seek declaratory judgment, attorney’s fees; expenses, and costs.

Former Provost Umphrey attorney Paul Ferguson Jr. filed the claim.

Jefferson County District Court Case A-197145

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