Texas Personal Injury Attorney Takes Complaint with Other Lawyer to the Airwaves
While not as monumental as the coverage of man first walking on the moon, a Texas personal injury commercial is newsworthy to say the least.
A Texas personal injury attorney has taken his disfavor with a rival personal injury lawyer to the airwaves, creating quite a stir with the action.
Back in May, personal injury lawyer Thomas J. Henry filed a complaint with the State Bar of Texas Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee about lawyer Mauricio Celis of CGT International Law Group.
Henry had written in his complaint that Celis was not licensed to practice law in the state of Texas or anywhere else in the world. Henry also alleged that Celis has been associating with licensed Texas personal injury attorneys via CGT and splitting fees, which is not authorized for a non-licensed attorney.
However, after failing to hear from the State Bar of Texas Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee on the matter, Henry voiced his complaint in a television commercial unlike other personal injury ads you've likely seen in the middle of weekday television courtroom dramas like Judge Judy.
The 30-second commercial essentially begins with Henry introducing himself and then saying that he proudly displays his law license. Henry then calls into question the credentials of Celis and asks CGT clients to contact him immediately about this information.
Here's the entire messaging of Henry's Texas personal injury commercial, which appeared on Corpus Christi affiliates of four television networks:
- "I'm Thomas Henry. I proudly display my law license. However, Mauricio Celis with the law firm of CGT International Law Group does not have a law license in the state of Texas, nor does he have a license to practice law anywhere in the world. If you have hired this law firm, you may be entitled to a refund of attorney's fees paid. Contact me immediately."
In synopsis, Henry's commercial is not only short and to the point but also very damaging to the image of CGT International Law Group.
Naturally, a representative of Celis disputed the ads. Solo practitioner Rene Flores admitted that her client is not licensed to practice law in the state of Texas but then refuted the claim he's not licensed anywhere in the world. Flores has said that Celis is licensed to practice law in Mexico.
The Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (UPLC) is now investigating the complaint by Henry, who said he's glad an investigation has begun on the matter. However, Henry said he is not lying down on this issue, indicating that he's ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the truth out about Celis on CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates as well as Univision.
The commercials began running on the afternoon of Friday, September 28th. Only a couple of hours later, a district judge signed a temporary restraining order obtained by Celis to prevent Henry from running the advertisements. Henry filed for a Motion to Dissolve the Temporary Restraining Order on October 2nd.
Celis has said that he will respond to Henry's allegations in court. He has also claimed that Henry has a personal vendetta against him. Flores has said that her client once worked as a private investigator for Henry, who has disputed the claim.
With all these allegations going back and forth, one thing is clear: Celis has a lot to disprove. Celis' licensing status has also been an issue in a separate fee-dispute lawsuit against him.
More specifically, Gonzalez & Associates Law Firm of McAllen has been seeking sanctions against Celis for allegedly not complying with a judge's order to provide written discovery relating to his license to practice law.