Rachel Brown Accuses Her Attorneys of Ripping Her off
Michael "I Hope There's Tons of Cocaine in Heaven" Brown's widow, Rachel Brown, has sued three of her attorneys, accusing them of looking out for their own financial interests instead of protecting hers.
Filed March 31 in Harris County District Court, the suit accuses David Brown (no relation), Jed Moffett and Robert Hoffman of legal malpractice and seeks to halt any payments they're receiving as creditors in Michael Brown's bankruptcy case. (Hoffman's majestic mustache is not named as a separate defendant.)
According to the suit, which refers to divorce and bankruptcy filings from 2011 and 2013, respectively:
Defendants put themselves in a position where they were a priority creditor in bankruptcy, whereas Plaintiff is an unsecured creditor; Defendants agreed to release the husband from jail for the payment of a relatively minor sum, when that was probably the best opportunity to negotiate a settlement; Defendants did not relay settlement opportunities received from the opposing side to Plaintiff; Defendants had a conflict of interest by representing a previous ex-wife at the same time Defendants were representing Plaintiff without making full disclosure; Defendants had a conflict of interest in seeking their own attorney's fees before seeking recovery for plaintiff
"By placing their own interests ahead of the Client, [the defendants] ran up excessive and unnecessary legal fees that were unconscionable and as such should be reduced or forfeited pursuant to the applicable law," the suit alleges.
Also: "Even after the bankruptcy matter was filed, Defendants did nothing to take Plaintiff's case to mediation, or to otherwise pursue settlement opportunities. This is in spite of the fact that the bankruptcy estate, and the actions of the bankruptcy court, was decimating the value of the community estate rapidly."
Not only that, but the suit accuses the lawyers of "calling opposing counsel disparaging names" and "made multiple statements to the media without the consent of Plaintiff regarding the status of various legal matters, her private life, and even regarding opposing counsel, which were self-serving and did nothing to further the interests of Plaintiff..." (Although the suit doesn't specify, Hair Balls suspects this refers to various, uh, colorful statements David Brown has made over the years.)
The defendants haven't filed responses yet, and Moffett and David Brown did not respond to requests for comment. Hoffman declined to comment.
Rachel Brown's attorneys in this case, Jimmy Williamson and Cyndi Rusnak, did not respond to a question about why their client is only now accusing the defendants of malpractice.
Michael Brown had lived in Florida for at least two years at the time of his death on November 7, 2013. Miami Beach police said the ex-surgeon attempted suicide at his home October 24. He remained in a coma until he was taken off life support.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.