We’ve never had the urge to watch soap operas, but it’s not because our tastes are so much more sophisticated than those of the average daytime TV addict. No, it’s because we find real life so much more entertaining and amusing than make-believe and are able to satisfy whatever need we have for eavesdropping on the lives of strangers by following the antics of the local trial bar, particularly storm and ambulance chasers.
One of our favorite real-life programs is Days of our Livesay.
It’s the true story, acted out in real time, of Kent Livesay, the Edinburg hailstorm attorney who paid roofers and adjusters to line up clients for him and even “represented” some of them without their knowledge or permission.
Two years ago, after securing a judgment of professional misconduct against him for demanding hail storm damages from Allstate on behalf of a client he did not represent, the Texas State Bar's Commission for Lawyer Discipline censured Livesay for violating the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and required him to surrender his law license for a year.
Livesay had to pay nearly $2,300 in attorney’s fees, publish notice of his censure in the Texas Bar Journal, notify all clients of his suspension, and return all files, papers, monies, and property belonging to them.
Following an investigation by the Texas Department of Insurance Fraud Unit, Livesay was indicted by a grand jury for fraud related to lawsuits he filed over a two-year period against insurance companies without the homeowners’ knowledge or consent.
Last month, Livesay pled guilty to insurance fraud and barratry and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Unlike TV soaps, this insipid serial has finally come to an end. The sands have run out, the hourglass is empty, and the show is canceled.
During sentencing, Livesay named names of other Texas attorneys allegedly following his business model.
Time may be running out for them, too.