A non-jury trial has been requested in litigation brought by a law firm seeking to be released from liability from a dispute between a widow and her step-daughter over an inheritance.
Last May, Speigts & Worrich Law Firm filed a petition for interpleader in Jefferson County District Court against Carole Hebert and Evelyn Johnson.
Speights & Worrich alleges it began working for Hebert and Johnson to interpret the will left behind by Hebert’s husband, Ollie Hebert, who is also Johnson’s father. Hebert and Johnson had been in disagreement over how much money each was supposed to receive following Ollie Hebert’s death.
Court records show on Nov. 8 a letter was filed by defense counsel Carl Parker requesting a non-jury trial for sometime in early 2013.
The letter states all discovery will be complete by the time of trial.
According to the suit, after examining Ollie Hebert’s will, Speights & Worrich determined that he had left all his real property to his children and the remainder of his estate to his wife, Carole Hebert.
However, the law firm claims it is not certain which party is entitled to receive settlement money Ollie Hebert received from an insurance company, the court document states.
“Plaintiff engaged in hours of legal research trying to decide who was legally entitled to this money,” the petition says.
“However, Plaintiff’s efforts were to no avail. It appears that Texas law does not characterize a cause of action against one’s insurer as personal or real property. Nor does Texas law characterize an insurance claim as personal or real property, and likewise there is no classification for settlement proceeds stemming from real property damage whether or not a defendant-insurer admits liability under the policy.”
Speights & Worrich, because of its dilemma, attempted to mediate an agreement between Hebert and Johnson. Hebert was willing to split the money with Johnson, but Johnson wanted all the funds for herself, and the parties could not come to an agreement, according to the petition. Since then, Johnson has hired an attorney, the court documents state.
The firm claims it holds the check for $21,150 and is willing to release it to whichever party is legally owed the money.
In its petition, Speights & Worrich asks to be released from liability and to be awarded its costs in bringing the petition and other relief the court deems just.
Jason B. Speights, Todd A. Worrich and Brennan M. Kucera of Speights & Worrich in San Antonio are appearing pro se.
Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, is assigned to the case.
Case No. B192-281