Defendant claims Galveston court lacks jurisdiction in suit over attorney fees

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 30, 2012

GALVESTON - A motion to dismiss was recently entered into a Galveston attorney's breach of contract lawsuit against a client.

Defendant Barbara Regina Schlein filed the five-page document May 17 before the Galveston County 56th District Court on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction.

As previously reported, Galveston attorney Anthony P. Griffin alleges in an April 20 suit that Schlein owes him approximately $110,000 for representing her in numerous civil and criminal cases in Galveston and Harris Counties.

Grffin's original petition states the defendant racked up an invoice that included 352.5 work hours totaling $88,125 and $22,339 in additional costs, but the funds have not been remitted.

Schlein owes an additional $75,000 for legal counsel in litigation outside of the specified contract, according to the plaintiff.

The defendant's motion states that she received a notice of levy from the Houston Office of the Internal Revenue Service notifying her that it placed a lien amounting to $726,821.09.

The notice of levy required her to surrender to the IRS all existing unpaid obligations due to Griffin, the motion says.

It further states that both parties agree on the existence of an obligation to pay the plaintiff for legal services rendered, but are at odds over the figured owed.

Schlein insists Griffin's pleadings and the accompanying evidence determine that the currently assigned court does not have jurisdiction to hear the suit.

She is represented by Christian, Smith & Jewell LLP.

Case No. 12-cv-1098

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