Just five days before a trial was to begin in which long time companion Darla Lexington was suing the Estate of John O’Quinn. It appears everyone was happy after a four hour mediation meeting between the attorneys resulted in a sealed out of court settlement.
The Texas Lawyer announced the settlement late today.
“This afternoon, Darla Lexington, the longtime companion of prominent Houston plaintiffs lawyer John O’Quinn, settled her dispute with O’Quinn’s estate and the John M. O’Quinn Foundation over assets from his estate. O’Quinn died in an automobile accident in October 2009.
…Lexington sought court orders to force the executor of O’Quinn’s estate to return property she alleged belongs to her because of her common-law marriage to O’Quinn and because she received the property as gifts.
The estate and the foundation, which is the sole beneficiary of the estate in O’Quinn’s will, claimed that Lexington was not entitled to the property because O’Quinn specified in his will that he was not married and he left his estate to the foundation.
…Jimmy Williamson, a partner in Williamson & Rusnak in Houston who represents Lexington, says the terms provide for Lexington and her security. Kathy Patrick, a partner in Gibbs & Bruns in Houston who represents the foundation, could not be reached for immediate comment.
“I’m very happy we came to a mutual agreement and the foundation can go on and honor John,” Lexington said this afternoon.
Executor Gerald Treece, an assistant dean and professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, said he is pleased with the settlement. “As the person John selected as the executor, I’m very happy to do what was in John’s best interest and also please Darla and the foundation,” Treece said.
The settlement averted what lawyers expected to be a five-week trial beginning on Jan. 9 in Judge Mike Wood’s Probate Court No. 2 in Houston.”
One thing I noticed was the trial was to start in Judge Mike Wood’s Probate Court, the same court that Anna Nicole Smith took on Pierce Marshall!
In other news in Houston Texas today, Jerry Eversole received a break from U.S. District Judge David Hittner who sentenced, the former Precinct 4 commissioner to 3 years probation in a case that could have landed him in federal prison for up to three years and cost him up to $100,000 in fines.
KUHF reported today that Eversole was accused of accepting bribes from developer Michael Surface. The sentence is for lying to a federal investigator about money and lavish gifts the government alleges Eversole received from Surface, a longtime friend, in return for lucrative county contracts.
“Eversole had been charged with conspiracy, accepting a bribe, and making false statements on tax returns in 2003 and 2004. All those charges were dismissed.
…Eversole refused comment on his sentencing and instead, let his attorney Rusty Hardin speak on his behalf. Hardin says he was ready to play hardball with government prosecutors, if need be.
“The judge read a provision in his sentencing memo, in which we took exception, and I said that I thought it was unseemly for the government to seek to have him punished for the counts they chose to dismiss, and that they could have asked for a trial on. We’d let a jury decide and they chose not to do that. And then they wanted the judge to punish him for something they didn’t have the courage to try.”
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January 4, 2012
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