Defendants portray barratry case as a setup

By David Yates | Dec 4, 2014

A barratry lawsuit brought last April and previously set to go to trial in December was recently removed from the court’s docket after an attorney who the defendants portray as orchestrating the whole shebang was designated as a responsible party.

On April 5, 2013, area resident Michael Youngblood filed a civil barratry suit against Kubosh Bail Bonding and the Kubosh Law Office, alleging he was unwantedly solicited for representation for his traffic tickets.

The suit was filed in Jefferson County District Court and also names Paul Kubosh and Felix Michael Kubosh as defendants.

Barratry, more commonly referred to as ambulance chasing, is illegal in Texas and applies to lawyers who inappropriately solicit clients for profit.

Court records show that on Nov. 24 Judge Gary Sanderson, 6oth District Court, removed the case from his docket pursuant to the plaintiff’s unopposed request.

Just three days earlier, Judge Sanderson, at the defendants’ request, had granted the Kubosh motion to leave and designate Andrew Sullo, a Houston attorney, as a responsible third party.

The alleged barratry incident transpired on Sept. 19, 2012, when Youngblood, the plaintiff in the case, contacted Kubosh Bail, which is owned by Michael Kubosh. Youngblood needed to post bond on three traffic tickets that were in warrant status.

In his suit, Youngblood claims he informed a Kubosh Bail representative that he needed a quote and was placed on hold. When someone came back on the line, it was a different person and this person was a representative of the Kubosh Law Firm seeking to solicit his business for court representation.

The two Houston-based businesses are located right next to each other and share a phone system.

What the suit doesn’t state but is revealed in the Kuboshs’ motion to designate Sullo as a responsible party is that Sullo was present when Youngblood contacted Kubosh bail and the call took place and was recorded at the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

Sullo could be heard whispering to Youngblood during the call, court records show.

Court transcripts also show that Sullo testified that he and Youngblood utilized PU’s conference room and that he had plans to meet with PU attorney Joe Fisher for a different legal matter and that’s why they were at the law firm.

“Mr. Sullo had either planned to meet Fisher and discuss a separate matter or he had driven out to Jefferson County for the sole purpose of directing Mr. Youngblood in his call to Kubosh building and to insure it was recorded for use in this lawsuit,” the motion states.

“Of course, Sullo’s testimony regarding meeting Mr. Fisher is directly contradicted by Mr. Fisher (the PU attorney) who states that not only did he not meet with Sullo on that date, but that he didn’t even find out about it until ‘much later.’

“Mr. Sullo’s description of how the recording was made is also of note here and again underscores how the entire phone call, made from the office of one of Beaumont’s most prestigious law firms and with a lawyer sitting next to the plaintiff, is very instructive here.”

Sullo argues he recorded the call to Kubosh Bonding for the purpose of a “price match” on Youngblood’s bonding warrant, court records show.

The Kuboshs contend his argument lacks credibility, which will now be an issue for jurors to decide since Sullo has been designated as a responsible party.

Attorney Brian Zimmerman of the Houston law firm Zimmerman, Axelrad, Myer, Stern & Wise represents him.

Sullo is represented by Zimmerman and Fisher.

Houston attorney David Furlow represents the Kubosh defendants.

Also noteworthy, Zimmerman, on the behalf of Brandon Nash, filed another barratry suit against the Kuboshs on Oct. 1 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging Kubosh Bail Bonding transferred Nash’s call to Kubosh Law Office without his consent or knowledge.

Case No. B194-221

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