SAN ANTONIO - Known for landing multi-million dollar verdicts in personal injury cases, plaintiff’s attorney Thomas J. Henry recently made headlines by throwing his 15-year old daughter a $6 million Quinceanera.
The celebration for Maya Henry was held in San Antonio at a purpose-built venue, which was ornamented with 30-foot tall cherry trees, according to a March 9 Daily Mail article.
Around 600 people attended and enjoyed performances by two famed singers, Pitbull and Nick Jonas. Patrick Ta, who has worked with the Kardashians, applied Maya’s makeup. Designer Rolando Santana crafted her two dresses for the event, the article states.
If some of Maya’s father’s more recent jury verdicts are a measure of the trial lawyer’s wealth, Henry didn’t exactly go broke throwing the extravagant birthday party.
In September, the Corpus Christi firm Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys hauled in a $67 million jury verdict for their client, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a 2012 automobile collision.
Court records show a Nueces County jury found defendant Weatherford U.S., a provider of oil well drilling equipment and services, negligent.
Ultimately, the firm ended up reaping nearly $4 million in attorney’s fees from the case.
Henry’s firm, which bills itself as “one of the biggest plaintiff’s firms in Texas,” boasts more than 60 attorneys working in offices in Houston, San Antonio and Austin, according the lawyer’s website.
“Over the years, Thomas J. Henry has gone from being the premier auto, trucking, and on-the-job injury firm in Texas to becoming a nationally-recognized personal injury practice handling all types of accident claims and representing clients in mass tort, product liability, child injury, and whistleblower protection cases nationwide,” the site states.
The attorney’s site also lists several more multi-million dollar jury verdicts secured by the firm, including semi-recent verdicts of $28.4 million and $21.5 million, both stemming from vehicular collision lawsuits.
Though, Henry has made headlines for reasons other than throwing extravagant Quinceaneras and landing monstrous jury verdicts.
In 2007, Henry was the force behind exposing Mauricio Celis, the notorious non-lawyer who made a small fortune obtaining personal injury cases to which he referred to South Texas trial lawyers.
It is a form of illegal barratry for lawyers to pay non-lawyers fees for procuring cases on their behalf.
In a May 2010 TexasMonthly article, entitled “The Great Pretender,” Henry says he learned Celis’ did not have a law degree and in May 2007 launched his own investigation into the man’s background.
“And so that fall, Henry took the next logical step for any savvy plaintiff’s attorney: He began airing thirty-second ads inviting Celis’s clients to hire him,” the article states.
“‘Mauricio Celis, with the law firm of CGT (Law Group International) . . . does not have a law license in the state of Texas, nor does he have a license to practice law anywhere in the world,’ Henry announced in a commercial that caught the attention of then-Nueces County district attorney Carlos Valdez. ‘If you have hired this law firm, you may be entitled to a refund of all the attorney’s fees paid. Contact me immediately.’”
Henry’s political contributions have also caught the eye of the press.
In 2014, he made a $700,000 to Democrat Nico LaHood, who ran and won against the Republican incumbent Bexar County district attorney, Susan Reed.
More recently, Henry’s firm made a $66,800 donation to the Democratic National Committee, according to opensecrets.org.
Also noteworthy, Henry appeared on CNN last September as the attorney representing the family of Gilbert Flores, the 41-year old man who was shot and killed by two Bexar County sheriff’s deputies.