Houston law firm's suit seeks to block former attorney from collecting on recent arbitration settlement

By John Suayan | Jul 11, 2018

HOUSTON – A local law firm has filed a lawsuit against one of its former attorneys to bar her from collecting on a recent settlement between an ex-client and a large national bank, recent Harris County District Court records show.

Sturm Law PLLC sued Shannon Lang on July 2 in the Harris County 125th District Court, stating Lang resigned from the firm while it represented Universitas Education LLC in arbitration proceedings in New York.

According to the breach of contract suit, Universitas signed a contingency-fee agreement with Sturm to handle its case against Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB on Feb. 15, 2016. At the height of the legal wrangling which concluded earlier this year with a Universitas and Wilmington agreeing to a $12 million settlement, Lang resigned from Sturm.

The original petition alleges that Lang’s exit caused Universitas to drop Sturm as its counsel “without cause.” Universitas joins Lang as a co-defendant in the suit.

“Universitas has now settled its claim against the bank and the settlement has been funded,” court documents say. “Accordingly, Sturm Law now seeks to recover its contingent fee from Universitas.”

Consequently, Sturm seeks $1 million plus fees, as well as a jury trial.

Edwin Sullivan of the law firm Oberti Sullivan LLP in Houston is representing the complainant.

Harris County 125th District Court Case No. 2018-44269

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