Woman claims Houston attorney withholding $580K settlement, files lawsuit

By John Suayan | Oct 14, 2016

HOUSTON – A Houston attorney faces a lawsuit for allegedly withholding settlement proceeds from a former client.

In court documents filed Oct. 13 in the Harris County 127th District Court, Andrina De Anda says that despite hiring Jason C. Webster and The Webster Law Firm to represent her and her ex-husband in litigation accusing the divorcees of breach of contract sometime in late 2014, Webster focused more on his and Riccardo Garza’s interests as opposed to hers.

“Andrina was deprived of over $500,000 in settlement proceeds that she was supposed to receive as valuable consideration for the claims that she released in an underlying case,” the original petition says. “At the end of the day, although Andrina released her underlying claims based on the advice and counsel of Webster, she received nothing from the settlement.”

De Anda and Garza, who is not a party in the case, invested $50,000 in Cornell Solutions, LLC in exchange for a 10 per cent ownership interest in 2009 while they were married. De Anda’s former siblings-in-law also purchased stakes in Cornell.

A legal fight ensued between Cornell and Garza, his sister, and his brother-in-law. Cornell, which was first sued for defrauding the three, filed a countersuit with De Anda, who had since divorced her husband, as a co-defendant.

The plaintiff hired Webster, who reportedly had her and Garza a sign a Waiver of Conflict. The waiver, the complaint explains, relieved the respondent from siding with either party and noted that any settlement would benefit “all parties.”

Cornell agreed to settle the case for $5,250,000, of which De Anda and Garza would receive a third, or $1,750,000. Webster purportedly advised the complainant that her final amount was approximately $580,569.75.

According to the suit, Webster told De Anda that her divorce attorney needed to write a letter regarding the release of the subject funds only to not give her the money though she complied with his request.

Court documents further show that Webster spoke with Garza, which was a violation of his duty of confidentiality, stating Webster’s actions caused De Anda to be on the losing end of the divorce proceedings.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorneys Lance Christopher Kassab and David Eric Kassab of The Kassab Law Firm in Houston are representing De Anda.

Harris County 127th District Court Case No. 2016-69776

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