CORPUS CHRISTI – In 2014, attorney Keith Gould and his partner, Paul Andrews, made headlines after they were indicted by a Bexar County grand jury on felony barratry charges.
Barratry, commonly referred to as ambulance chasing, is the illegal solicitation of law clients.
While the criminal charges against Gould were dropped in May, the Commission for Lawyer Discipline, an arm of the State Bar of Texas, continued forward with its case, reaching an agreed judgment of probated suspension with the attorney on Nov. 14, records show.
The judgment states Gould shared attorney’s fees with Mary Ann Uribe, a non-lawyer and the former office manager of Gould’s firm, Andrews Gould Attorneys.
As previously reported, Andrews was arrested in August 2014 for plotting to kill Uribe. He was sentenced to 10 years in state prison in May.
In a civil action against the former partners, Uribe claimed the men tried to force her to illegally solicit personal injury cases.
The indictments against Andrews and Gould stated the men were accused of paying two people -- and trying to pay a third (Uribe) -- to solicit clients for their practice in 2011.
The judgment against Gould states he shared fees with Uribe from the settlements received on behalf of two clients, Chelsea Navarro and Melissa Eller.
The commission found Gould violated Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct 5.04(a) and 5.01(a), which deal with unauthorized practice of law and responsibilities of a supervisory lawyer, respectively.
Gould’s suspension began Nov. 15 and will end Nov. 14, 2017.
Attorney Stephanie Strolle represented the commission.