A pair of Texas attorneys were indicted late last week in state court on felony charges that they illegally solicited clients in San Antonio
Paul Andrews, 57, and Keith Gould, 52, of Corpus Christi-based Gould Law Firm were indicted May 29 by a Bexar County grand jury on felony barratry charges.
The indictment states that they are accused of paying two people -- and trying to pay a third -- to solicit clients for their practice in 2011.
Demetrio Duarte, the attorney for both Andrews and Gould, told San Antonio media that the allegations "unfortunately stem from a labor dispute between a disgruntled employee and (Andrews and Gould)."
"(Andrews and Gould) never paid anyone to illegally solicit any case, never paid anyone to do anything illegal," Duarte said.
The case may be the first of its kind in Bexar County, according to the district attorney’s office.
Duarte said Andrews and Gould have been practicing law for 20 years. He said he's "sure the district attorney will find the allegations not well-founded and based on half-truths."
Each of the indictments states Gould and Andrews hired Mario and Maribel Cordova to communicate with prospective clients. The indictments say the attorneys also tried to hire a third worker, Maryann Uribe.
"On or about the 2nd day of June, 2011 through on or about the 1st day of November, 2011, KEITH GOULD, hereinafter referred to as the defendant, did then and there, with the intent to obtain an economic benefit, pay to MARIO CORDOVA money to solicit employment by communicating with a prospective client concerning professional employment within the scope of defendant's professional license and concerning an existing problem of the prospective client within the scope of the defendant's professional license, when neither the person receiving the communication nor anyone acting on that person's behalf had requested the communication, and the defendant's conduct was not authorized by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct or any rule of Court," states Gould's indictment.
Andrews' indictment contains the same accusations.
According to the firm's website, Gould is currently the managing partner of The Gould Law Firm in Corpus Christi which was created in 2003. The Gould Law Firm practices in the areas of employment law, criminal defense, family law and personal injury litigation.
He also is a partner with Andrews Gould in San Antonio which was created in 2009. Andrews Gould practices in the areas of Civil Litigation, Criminal Defense and Family Law. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of New Mexico in 1986 and a law degree from the University of the Pacific in 1990.
The website says Andrews has litigated a wide variety of employment claims involving employment discrimination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination and wrongful termination. He is board certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1999.
He graduated cum laude from Ohio University in 1979 and a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1985. The site says Andrews was Associate Editor of the Houston Law Review and a member of the Order of the Barons Scholastic Honor Society.