Disbarred Lawyer’s Client Files Still in Limbo

     DALLAS (CN) – A former Texas judge and a Dallas lawyer will act as temporary co-custodians for the client files of disbarred TV attorney Tom Corea, a judge ruled.
     Attorney Brad Thomas filed a petition for the assumption of jurisdiction over Corea’s law practice on Nov. 13. One week later, Thomas and attorney Eric Marye each asked Judge Ken Molberg to appoint them as the permanent custodian of the records.
     Molberg said Wednesday that the evidence does not yet show if either men should be appointed permanent custodian.
     “For this reason, the court believes it will benefit from the report and recommendation of a qualified and disinterested person regarding the best person to serve as the permanent custodian of the affected client files,” the five-page order states. “The court appoints the Honorable James M. Stanton, former presiding judge of the 134th Judicial District Court, as the primary custodian of the client files and related papers of the Corea Law Group LLC.”
     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.
     Judge Mike Snipes revoked bond on Nov. 7 after hearing testimony about Corea’s eviction from a Design District commercial space that was thoroughly vandalized with drawings of penises on the wall and smashed fixtures.
     Corea 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.
     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.
     Molberg appointed Stanton as custodian for up to 30 days. His limited duties include compiling an inventory of affected client files and recommending a permanent custodian to the court.
     Marye will serve as secondary and temporary custodian for “assessing the files for any immediate action necessary to prevent harm to the clients,” according to the ruling.
     “During the term of Marye’s appointment, Marye is prohibited from directly soliciting the affected clients, though this injunction does not prohibit any affected clients from voluntarily, and without coercion, retaining Marye as counsel,” Molberg added.

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