State Rep. Ron Reynolds escaped a barratry charge Monday after a juror said she had been unduly influenced.
Reynolds, an attorney and a Democrat state representative from Missouri City, was reelected to the state House last week while he was on trial for felony barratry.
He was found guilty of a lesser charge, six counts of misdemeanor solicitation of professional employment, by a Montgomery County jury on Nov. 7.
But after a juror said she had been told the other attorneys involved in the barratry case had made plea agreements, District Judge Lisa Michalk overturned the conviction. The Houston Chronicle reported that the woman was the only African American on the jury.
Judge Michalk has set a new trial date for March 30 on the original barratry charge.
A message for Reynolds’ attorney Vivian King of Houston has not been returned.
As the Record previously reported, Reynolds was charged with barratry in March 2013 on allegations he and other Houston-area lawyers paid someone to illegally recruit car wreck clients. Barratry, commonly known as “ambulance chasing,” is a third degree felony.
The attorneys allegedly paid a man to search Houston police reports for recent traffic accidents. The man, who may have also been the co-owner of a chiropractic clinic, would be paid if he signed up the victim or the driver who was not at fault in the crash.
According to his Texas House member page, Reynolds graduated from Texas Southern University and then earned a law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.
He is a partner at Brown, Brown & Reynolds law firm and a certified mediator. The site says Reynolds is a past president of the Houston Lawyers Association.
Reynolds serves on the House Environmental Regulation and Technology committees and is the House Democratic Whip.
The website for the Brown Brown & Reynolds law firm claims it is one of the “largest and most successful minority-owned law firms in the State of Texas.”