Lawyer Steps in for Disbarred Attorney
DALLAS (CN) - An attorney asked a Texas court to take responsibility for client files belonging to jailed and disbarred personal injury attorney Tom Corea.
Brad Thomas, of Dallas, filed a petition for assumption of jurisdiction In the Matter of the Law Practice of Thomas Corea, in Dallas County Court.
Thomas says he has agreed to "review the files and take necessary actions to preserve the interests of those clients."
"The assumption of jurisdiction and appointment of a custodian is warranted because respondent has been disbarred and is no longer licensed to practice law, is currently incarcerated, and cannot provide legal services necessary to protect the interests of clients," the 2-page petition states.
"Respondent has active client matters for which no other attorney licensed by the State Bar of Texas has agreed, with the consent of the clients, to assume responsibility."
Corea, of Palmer, Texas, was arrested on Aug. 30 after a Dallas County grand jury indicted him on four first-degree felonies: theft of more than $200,000; misapplication of more than $200,000 by a fiduciary; securing the execution of a document by deception worth more than $200,000; and fraudulent use and possession of identifying information.
"Corea is accused of stealing settlement funds from his clients' trust accounts, using false information to secure financial loans, and stealing identities to apply for various loans and credit cards," the Dallas County District Attorney's Office said in a statement at the time.
He was released on bond, but it was revoked last week after Judge Mike Snipes heard testimony about Corea's eviction from a Design District commercial space.
Doug Molney, the president of the real estate firm that represents the building, testified that when he inspected the building on Nov. 1, he found "complete destruction" and "penis graffiti on every single wall throughout the building."
Molney says his name was written next to several of the penises.
He testified that it appeared someone used a sledgehammer to smash several of the granite countertops. Light fixtures, doors and appliances were either destroyed or removed. There is at least $100,000 worth of damage, Molney said.
Prosecutors showed the judge several photos of the trashed office space, including a derogatory message about an Arizona judge in an unrelated case, and the judge's phone number with a 505 area code phone number.
"He destroyed that building," Assistant District Attorney Jacob Harris said. "I doubt seriously there are any random vagrants in the Dallas area that are familiar with area code 505."
During Molny's testimony, Snipes told Corea to stop "making faces at the witness," according to the Dallas Morning News.
Corea is still listed as the attorney of record in at least 12 active personal injury lawsuits, according to court records provided by the Dallas County District Clerk and Dallas County Clerk.
He is the former host of "Ask the Lawyer with Tom Corea," a half-hour, biweekly legal call-in show on KTXA Channel 21, a CBS station.