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Texas attorneys accused of not paying Mississippi businessmen ask federal judge to drop case

After being hit with a lawsuit by three Mississippi businessmen, who allege they are owed millions, Houston, Texas Attorneys Michael Pohl and Jimmy Williamson are asking a federal judge to dismiss the case.

Pohl and Williamson became the target of the lawsuit after Mississippi businessmen Scott Walker, Kirk Ladner and Steve Seymour alleged they steered thousands of clients to the Houston attorneys and are owed $7.9 million.

According to the lawsuit, Pohl and Williamson formed a joint venture to represent clients injured by the BP oil catastrophe from spring through summer 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. Walker and the others argue in their lawsuit that as a result of their efforts, “many seafood restaurants and seafood dealers and other oil spill claimants in Maryland, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama signed contracts to be represented” Pohl and Williamson related to their BP oil spill claims.

Walker, Ladner and Seymour filed the suit in federal court back in October, claiming they steered exactly 9,486 clients to the attorneys.

The Lone Star lawyers are denying the claims and therefore asking in separate motions that the case be dismissed.

Walker, Ladner and Seymour allege their contracts with Pohl and Williamson included $1,500 an hour payouts, according to the lawsuit. Pohl and Williamson, though, denied this claim as well.

“The essence of the plaintiffs’ claims appears to be that the plaintiffs agreed to accept or accepted money to improperly solicit BP clients for Pohl and Williamson,” the motions to dismiss say. “It is illegal for a non-lawyer to accept or agree to accept money to improperly solicit clients for a lawyer. Under both Texas and Mississippi Law, a claimant may not recover under any theory for illegal conduct.”

Final briefs for the case are expected to be filed before Jan. 20.

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