GRETNA – A local law firm is being sued for alleged mishandling of property records in a divorce hearing and allegedly advising a client to declare bankruptcy.
Cynthia Fairley, formerly known as Cynthia Richard, filed suit against attorney Gary Joseph Clark, Roy M. Bowes & Associates, Collaborative Law Center LLC and their insurer in the 24th Judicial District Court on Feb. 6.
Fairley alleges that she hired Clark as a member of Roy M. Bowes & Associates to represent her in divorce proceedings. The plaintiff asserts that on Nov. 15, 2012 she made a request for judicial partition of the property and that after service was made on her she had 90 days to file a sworn descriptive of the property to the 40th Judicial District Court in St. John the Baptist Parish where the divorce proceeding were taking place. Fairley claims that Clark attempted to fax file her statement to the court, but the court never received that file and her ex-husband’s property list was then declared uncontested.
The plaintiff alleges that her ex-husband’s attorney attempted to contact Clark to resolve the issue in handling the partition, but Clark refused to communicate with her prior to the court proceedings.
In addition, Fairley asserts that she allowed Clark to file for bankruptcy on her behalf as a solution, but in the end she not only lost property she shared with her husband but also had ruined her ability to obtain credit.
The defendant is accused of legal malpractice.
An unspecified amount in damages is sought for damage to credit score and history, emotional distress and legal fees incurred for loss of community property and bankruptcy proceedings.
Fairley is represented by Jacques F. Bezou Jr. of Covington-based The Bezou Law Firm.
The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Nancy A. Miller.
Case no. 735-281.