Lloyd Kelley, The lawyer for the Ibarra brothers, who successfully sued Harris County for civil rights violations earlier this year and, in the process, brought down Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, is now the defendant. The brothers have hired another lawyer to sue him over more than $200,000 in expenses deducted from their $1.7 million settlement, reports Rick Casey in the Houston Chronicle.
The expenses include $20,000 to community activist / police auxiliary Quanell X. According to the Ibarras, Kelley told them that the money was for organizing a demonstration march. According to X, he was a jury consultant for the trial. X says that he was paid some amount of money “to be a consultant, a jury consultant for the trial.” Kelley says that he turned to X to help him frame the issue of asking a jury for $5 million for a night or two in jail, because “he’s just somebody who if you want to know what certain aspects of the community are thinking, you consult with.”
I’m not sure what Lloyd means by “certain aspects of the community” (sounds like some sort of code to me), but X’s demographic is Black American Muslims; the odds of having a single Black American Muslim on a jury in the Southern District of Texas, with its inordinately white jury panels, are Lotto odds. That notwithstanding, X didn’t know how much he’d been paid, and Ibarra’s new lawyer says that Kelly hasn’t provided any invoices or canceled checks to X.
Kelley also claimed to have paid or owe attorney Minh-Tam “Tammy” Tran $95,000 — $20,000 in consultation fees and $75,000 for “jury charge consultation fees.” There was no jury charge in this case, which was settled mid-trial; Kelley now says Tran helped with jury selection and with researching contempt issues. Tran denies having been paid any of the $95,000, and doesn’t know whether she had sent an invoice for $75,000.
Somehow I don’t think Tannebaum would approve.