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Androvett Blog

by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing at 1:10:00 pm


The owners of Rowdy Girl farm, a self-described farm animal sanctuary run by vegans in Angleton, Texas, were ordered to pay nearly $60,000 in fines and legal bills for filing a meritless lawsuit over a Facebook post that criticized their aggressive fundraising. The owners had sought $1 million for defamation, but their case was dismissed by a Houston court on July 26.

“This case should be a warning to thin-skinned people who think that suing their critics is a good way to shut down free speech,” said Houston lawyer Adam Milasincic of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, whose client was sued by the couple. “All my client did was raise legitimate questions in a Facebook post. We need to be on guard now more than ever for bullies using our court system as a hammer to whack First Amendment rights.”

The suit was filed by Renee King-Sonnen, a country singer who bills herself as the “Queen of Honky Tonk,” and her husband Tommy Sonnen. Until 2014, Tommy Sonnen raised cattle for slaughter. After his wife became a vegan, the couple converted the ranch into a no-kill farm.

But the farm became controversial when Ms. King-Sonnen raised $30,000 from online donors to buy her husband’s cattle to establish the nonprofit. The fundraising practices came under fire, especially after 2015 tax returns revealed that only 9 percent of the nearly $100,000 raised that year was spent on livestock supplies and veterinary care. In addition, cows, birds and a pot-bellied pig have died under suspicious circumstances. Photos show some cows looking emaciated.

Mr. Milasincic’s client, Dr. Sujatha Ramakrishna, a child psychiatrist in Dallas and animal rights advocate who once donated to the farm, merely posted her concerns on a Facebook page called The Real Rowdy Girl Revealed. Her post led to her being sued.

This is the most recent case Mr. Milasincic has won under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, a law that aims to shut down lawsuits targeting First Amendment rights. Using the same law, Milasincic has previously won six-figure fines against Schlumberger Ltd. and Landry’s, Inc.

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Kit Frieden at 800-559-4534 or

by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing at 10:56:00 am

Two brothers exploring their favorite park in Fort Worth, Texas, were killed in March when they came into contact with a live power line downed by a storm the night before. This week, their family filed a wrongful death suit in Dallas County against electric utility Oncor for its negligence in failing to cut power to the line or issue warnings to people in the area.

Killed were 12-year-old Alex Lopez and his 11-year-old brother Isaiah, who instinctively raced to help Alex after he was stricken by the electric shock. Both boys died from injuries resulting from high-voltage electricity. Dallas lawyer Jeffrey Rasansky of Rasansky Law Firm, represents Alex and Isaiah’s mother, Tammy Brooks.

“Oakland Lake Park was a place Alex and Isaiah loved and felt safe to explore. It was never a place to fear,” Mr. Rasansky said. “But due to Oncor’s negligence and delay in cutting power to this live line, the park became the scene of horror, ending these young boys’ lives.”

According to the lawsuit, Oncor uses interactive smart technology that provides real-time notification of disruptions. Yet the company failed to address line problems in the park until after the tragedy. Even then, it took Oncor workers an hour to arrive on the scene to cut power so that emergency personnel could reach the Lopez brothers.

The lawsuit is Alejandro Luis Lopez, Tammy Brooks, and Ana Lopez as Personal Representative of the Estates of Jose Alexandro Luis Lopez and Isaiah Alexander Luis Lopez v. Oncor Electric Delivery Company, LLC, in Dallas County.

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Mark Annick at 800-559-4534 or

by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing at 12:30:00 pm

It was a mistake and a bad one. In responding to a subpoena for information, a lawyer for Wells Fargo inadvertently sent the opposing attorney in a lawsuit a disc filled with confidential information, including Social Security numbers, for 50,000 of the bank’s wealthiest clients. This embarrassing and damaging error came to light in a New York Times article.

Telling the media is not the appropriate way to handle such a transgression, says Houston trial lawyer John Zavitsanos of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. or AZA, who has tried more than 75 cases to verdict. Normally, the recipient of the material would return it to the sender, understanding that mistakes like this happen sometimes, he said.

Instead, this may boomerang on the people who publicized the breach, and they may get in trouble for it. Most judges are human beings and understand mistakes – and they don’t like gotchas.

Also, many states have snapback procedures whereby if you inadvertently turn over privileged information, you can retrieve it and say it was inadvertently produced. Until that privilege is determined, the receiving party can’t hold onto it. There are a slew of states that have provisions like that. And even if this involved a state without a snapback rule, the other side can file a motion to protect their confidential information.

“Of course, if Wells Fargo is unsuccessful in retrieving the information, its law firm may be subject to claims and penalties. Usually you come up with a set of protocols to prevent this from happening. However, every lawyer with an active litigation practice has produced something in error at some point. You call the other side and ask them to return it. We’ve all been there.”

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Kit Frieden at 800-559-4534 or

by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing at 5:05:00 pm

Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott is accused of punching a man at a popular Dallas bar Sunday night. Police have not arrested anyone tied to the bar brawl, but sources claim Elliott hit the man. This latest incident comes as the NFL is reviewing a domestic violence allegation against the running back that happened a year ago and could suspend him in the upcoming season. Dallas attorney Rogge Dunn of Clouse Dunn says Sunday’s altercation doesn’t help Elliott’s case.

“The NFL can take action against players whose behavior doesn’t meet NFL conduct standards on and off the field. The NFL has strengthened its stance on matters relating to violence against women and domestic violence. Any behavior related to domestic violence places the player at risk. In addition, there may be good conduct provisions in the player’s contract that could lead to economic penalties. On top of that, this type of behavior affects a player’s reputation and reduces the chances of future endorsements.”

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Sophia Reza at 800-559-4534 or


by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing at 2:00:00 pm

Munck Wilson Mandala has solidified its place among the elite intellectual property firms in North Texas with the arrival of seven experienced lawyers from IP boutique Howison & Arnott LLP. Monday’s announcement sent ripples through the North Texas IP bar, where the two firms are already known for their sophisticated and client-centered IP work.

Writes Texas Lawbook: They are joining forces to create the third largest patent law practice and the largest patent law boutique in North Texas… With the addition of the Howison & Arnott lawyers, Munck Wilson boasts 27 registered patent attorneys, which is the third most in North Texas, behind full service corporate law firms Baker Botts (40) and Haynes and Boone (31).

The new arrivals include partners Gregory Howison, John Arnott, and Brian Walker, as well as senior counsels  Andrew Graham, Edward Jorgenson, and Steven Greenfield, and associate Keith Harden. More details on all seven attorneys here: 

“We have a strong vision about the future of patent law and the addition of Greg and his team positions our law firm as a powerhouse in IP law,” Munck Wilson Mandala Managing Partner William A. Munck told Texas Lawbook. “We will put our resources and expertise up against any law firm in Dallas.”

Howison agreed: “During the past few years, the IP law market in Dallas has changed significantly – the dynamics have changed – and this move makes the firm uniquely positioned to take advantage of those changes,” he said.

For more information, contact Shannon Tipton at 972-628-4500 or

by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing at 12:25:00 pm

President Trump’s pick to replace fired FBI Director James Comey goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. While committee members are preparing a full day of tough questioning to reveal Christopher Wray’s character and positions on law enforcement, former high level Justice Department lawyer Bill Mateja says his former colleague is ideally suited to weather the turbulent and politically charged approval process.

“Chris Wray’s appointment should sail through with flying colors,” said Mr. Mateja, now a shareholder in Dallas-based Polsinelli P.C. and former Senior Counsel to U.S. Deputy Attorneys General Larry Thompson and James Comey in Washington, D.C., where he also served as point person for the President's Corporate Fraud Task Force. “He’s a superb and qualified candidate to run the FBI. He has a great moral compass and he’s no one’s minion. He has the experience, the smarts and the gravitas.

“He’s an odd choice in a way for President Trump because he has worked with and is cut from the same cloth as Jim Comey, who Trump fired as FBI director, and special counsel Robert Mueller, who Trump has attacked. All three strive to do the right thing. The public can rest easy that Chris will not be a lackey for Trump.

“Chris is a Republican but he doesn’t wear his politics on his sleeve. He keeps things close to his vest. He isn’t as colorful as Jim Comey. He takes a conservative approach. It’s not his nature to comment publicly if it can be avoided.”

For more information, contact Mary Flood at 800-559-4534 or