Defendants move for summary judgment in barratry case

By David Yates | Jan 27, 2015

Michael Kubosh

A pair of defendants fingered in a barratry lawsuit are moving for summary judgment, asserting the whole case was brought against them by an attorney looking “to build an army of plaintiffs.”

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 Jan. 21 the Kubosh defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, contending enough time has passed for discovery and the plaintiff has failed to unearth evidence to support his barratry claim.

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.

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.

Court records show further show that on Nov. 21 Judge Sanderson, 60th District Court granted a Kubosh motion to leave and designate Andrew Sullo, a Houston attorney, as a responsible third party.

The Kuboshs say 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.

“Sullo developed this scheme for this purpose: he wanted to use … Youngblood to attempt to obtain indirectly what he cannot legally obtain directly. That is, Sullo believed that he could exploit the barratry statute against the Kubosh defendants as he understood the way they do business,” the motion for summary judgment states.

“However, he could not bring suit simply to obtain a declaration on the point. So he sought to build an army of plaintiffs … to fill out his hypothetical facts.”

Houston attorney David Furlow represents the Kubosh defendants.

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

Case No. B194-221

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