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May 2011

The New York Times Profiles Bob Bragalone's Case Disputing Lawyer's Lobbying Fees

Dallas Managing Partner Bob Bragalone serves as co-counsel in a case disputing fees charged for lobbying in favor of greater payments for wrongful incarceration. Dallas Senior Counsel Steve Lawson and Associate Ryan Fellman are also assisting on the case. On May 9, The New York Times published an article on this controversial case.

Mr. Bragalone represents Steven Phillips and Patrick Waller, who were both wrongfully incarcerated and hired attorney Kevin Glasheen to sue the City of Dallas and the State of Texas for wrongful imprisonment. Instead of filing suits, Mr. Glasheen lobbied the Texas Legislature to pass a bill to increase the payout to exonerated prisoners for each year served and require additional annual payments for life. Exonerated individuals could still pursue the option of suing, but the terms of the new bill encourage settling outright.

Based on his successful lobbying efforts, Mr. Glasheen then claimed a share of the compensation given to Mr. Phillips and Mr. Waller for himself and another lawyer. Of Mr. Phillips' $2 million lump sum payment, plus annual payments, Mr. Glasheen claimed over $1 million in lawyer's lobbying fees.

The focus of the suit against Mr. Glasheen is that the fee charged was for lobbying. Neither client hired Mr. Glasheen to lobby, nor did their contracts include any reference to lobbying. Further, Texas law prohibits lobbying on a contingency-fee basis as against public policy. Randy Turner, Mr. Bragalone's co-counsel, put it simply stating, "Mr. Glasheen wants a million dollars for being a lobbyist when he wasn't hired to be a lobbyist."

Click here to read the complete article.

Robert A. Bragalone
B. Ryan Fellman
Steven Lawson



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