Friday, August 24, 2012

Texas Church Seeks Summary Judgment Against Attorney For Allegedly Ripping Off $1M+ In 'Rita-Damage' Insurance Proceeds

In Jefferson County, Texas, The Southeast Texas Record reports:

  • First United Pentecostal Church of Beaumont is seeking summary judgment against Beaumont attorney Kip Lamb, who allegedly swindled the church's $1 million Hurricane Rita settlement.

    As previously reported, First United Pentecostal Church (The Anchor of Beaumont) filed a lawsuit Feb. 21 in Jefferson County District Court against Lamb Law Firm, Kip Lamb, Leigh Parker and Lonnie C. Treadway.

    Court records show that on June 1 the church filed a motion for partial summary judgment against Lamb and Leigh, asserting that the evidence shows the defendants took the church's money and did not return it.

    Lamb responded to the motion on July 26, stating that no summary judgment evidence has been presented showing that any written demand for payment has ever been made, court papers say.

    The Commission for Lawyer Discipline, an arm of the State Bar of Texas, filed a petition to suspend the Lamb practice on July 10 in Jefferson County District Court.

    Furthermore, Lamb has been charged with two counts of misapplication of fiduciary property. The criminal case is set for trial in September.

    According to the plaintiff's original petition, the church alleges it was awarded $1.09 million from a settlement with Lloyds Insurance Co. in 2006 for damages caused to its property by Hurricane Rita.

    Following the settlement, Treadway, the church's pastor, ordered that the money be deposited into a trust account held by the Lamb Law Firm, the suit states.

    The church seeks recovery of the settlement money and an accounting from Treadway of all his financial dealings with the church in the past 10 years. It also seeks attorneys' fees and demands a jury trial.(1)

(1) The Clients' Security Fund of the State Bar of Texas was established to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to misappropriation or embezzle­ment by a Texas-licensed attorney.

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that sometimes help cover the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:

Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.

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