Hearing in Margarita vs. Dupuy by galvnews

VIEWS: 2,586 PAGES: 26


 1                         REPORTER'S RECORD
                         VOLUME 1 OF 1 VOLUMES
 2                  TRIAL COURT CAUSE NO. 09CV1183

 4   vs.                            ) GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS


 8          _____________________________________________

 9                        HEARING ON MOTIONS

12         On the 26th day of January, 2012, the following

13   proceedings came on to be held in the above-titled and
14   numbered cause before the Honorable Elizabeth Ray, Judge

15   Presiding, held in Galveston, Galveston County, Texas.

16         Proceedings reported by computerized stenotype
17   machine.







 1                         APPEARANCES
 2   Mr. David Bryant
     SBOT No. 00785730
 3   Ms. Jessica Juren
     SBOT No. 24058577
 4   5020 Montrose Blvd., 7th Floor
     Houston, Texas 77006
 5   Telephone: 832-487-0880
     Attorney for Plaintiff














 1                           VOLUME 1
 2                      HEARING ON MOTIONS

 3   January 26, 2012

 4                                                       PAGE VOL.
 5   Greg Hughes                        Direct   Cross     V.Dire
        By Mr. Bryant                    14 v1
     Reporter's Certificate ........................... 25        1













 1                                  INDEX OF EXHIBITS
                            Use is indicated as follows:
 3         J - Jury    R - Record Only D - Demonstrative

 5   P-1                  Register of                       8 v1    8 v1       R
                          Actions, Case No.
 6                        09-CV-1183

 7   P-2                  Defendant's Notice                8 v1    8 v1       R
 8   P-3                  Order Setting                     9 v1    9 v1       R
                          Deposition and Rule
 9                        11 Agreement

10   P-4                  Emergency Motion to               9 v1    9 v1       R
                          Stay Proceedings
11                        Pending Mandamus

12   P-5                  Letter from                      10 v1   11 v1       R
                          Kathleen Collins
     P-6                  Letter from David                11 v1   11 v1       R
14                        Bryant

15   P-7                  Relevant Timeline                12 v1   12 v1       R

16   P-8                  Second Motion to                 13 v1   13 v1       R
                          Recuse and
17                        Disqualify Judge
                          Shearn Smith
     P-9                  Order Denying                    20 v1   20 v1       R
19                        Defendant's
                          Requestion for a
20                        Stay of Proceedings

21   P-10                 Memorandum Opinion               20 v1   20 v1       R

22   P-11                 Petition for Writ                21 v1   21 v1       R
                          of Mandamus



 1                        January 26, 2012
 2                  THE COURT:    This is Cause No. 09CV1183,

 3   Mr. Margarita L.P. Vs. Dupuy & Associates, and this is

 4   on a Motion to Recuse and Motion for Sanctions.        So
 5   would you please announce who is here and who is not.

 6                  MR. BRYANT:    Thank you, Your Honor.        My

 7   name is David Bryant, and I'm here on behalf of the
 8   plaintiff, Mr. Margarita.     I have Jessica Juren here who

 9   is also an attorney with my office.     We are present.

10   The defendant and the movant is not.
11                  THE COURT:    And are the people in the

12   courtroom witnesses or --

13                  MR. BRYANT:    Greg Hughes is an attorney
14   here in Galveston.   I might ask him a couple questions.

15   But Julie Hatcher is also an attorney here in town.              I

16   don't think -- she is just here to listen, I think.
17                  THE COURT:    Well, you may or may not

18   know -- I don't know if you do or not -- but apparently

19   the court received a letter today from Rachel Morales
20   saying that the office is withdrawing and passing the

21   hearing.   Well, of course, they cannot pass the hearing.

22   The hearing is set as a result of the Motion to Recuse
23   and it's set by the court.     That's not an option.        The

24   withdrawal, of course, is not in front of me because

25   that would be, depending on the ruling on the Motion to

 1   Recuse, that would be in front of the regular judge.        So
 2   I can't rule on that.

 3                  For the record purposes, the Motion to

 4   Pass the Hearing is denied, and that puts the Motion to
 5   Recuse -- what I believe to be the Second Motion to

 6   Recuse -- although I believe they filed it as an Amended

 7   Motion to Recuse -- that puts that at play; and since
 8   there is no one here to promote that motion, that motion

 9   is hereby denied.

10                  That leaves, I believe, in front of me
11   your Motion for Sanctions.

12                  MR. BRYANT:    Yes, Judge.

13                  THE COURT:    Do you have any objection to
14   how I just proceeded?

15                  MR. BRYANT:    Not at all.

16                  THE COURT:    Because of the fact the other
17   side is not here, there is no lodged objection to the

18   way that I have proceeded, so we will now take up your

19   Motion for Sanctions.
20                  MR. BRYANT:    Thank you very much, Judge.

21                  I don't know if the court reporter has a

22   few exhibit stickers?   If the court doesn't mind, I will
23   hand number my exhibits.     I didn't know how it was going

24   to go today.

25                  What I have done, Your Honor, is I have

 1   pulled from the record a few documents that I think
 2   exemplify the sort of conduct that we have been dealing

 3   with in this case from Day One.                        I have here as

 4   Exhibit 1 that I'd offer into evidence, and Exhibit 1 is
 5   basically a printout -- may I approach, Your Honor?

 6                         THE COURT:         Sure.

 7                         MR. BRYANT:         I will tender to the court
 8   Exhibit 1.        That is a printout from the records of this

 9   case from the publicly available docket sheet indicating

10   the various documents that have been filed, motions, et
11   cetera.       And I've highlighted for the court's

12   information some various items indicative of the delay

13   tactics and frivolity of the defendant's motions and the
14   things that they have tried to do for the sole purpose

15   of avoiding a single deposition. I have been

16   attempting, Judge -- as I know you know because you read
17   the whole file -- I have been trying to get a deposition

18   of our defendant, a lawyer and now sitting judge in this

19   county, for over eight months and every time I attempt
20   to get that deposition, whether it's by court order,

21   agreement or otherwise, I am met with something else.

22   I'm met with a Motion to Quash. I'm met with a, quote,
23   "notice."

24                         I'll mark this as Exhibit 2.                There was

25   a -- I'll offer Exhibit 1, Your Honor.

 1                  THE COURT:    Exhibit 1 is admitted.
 2                  MR. BRYANT:    Exhibit 2, Your Honor, is a

 3   document that was filed by the defendants on August the

 4   29th on the eve of the deposition that was ordered in
 5   this case for September the 1st of 2011.      It says,

 6   "Defendant's notice that plaintiff's pleadings are

 7   stricken per court order and notice that dismissal is
 8   now purely ministerial."     This document was filed

 9   because the defendant had a dispute about whether my

10   pleadings had been amended properly in response to a
11   special exceptions.   That document was filed.     I got a

12   letter on a fax saying that they are not going to appear

13   at the deposition, so we come back to court.
14                  I'll mark Exhibit 3.     Exhibit 3 -- I would

15   offer Exhibit 2, Your Honor.

16                  THE COURT:    Exhibit 2 is admitted.
17                  MR. BRYANT:    Exhibit 3 is actually two

18   documents.   The first page is the order setting the

19   deposition of Christopher Dupuy.      This was a hearing
20   held on September the 16th, 2011, as a result of the

21   failure to appear for his deposition the second time,

22   wherein the court orders that the deposition of
23   Christopher Dupuy is to take place on the 6th of

24   October, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.     And then we have a Rule 11

25   agreement where the defendant agreed to pay $1,830 for

 1   attorney's fees and expenses in preparing the Motion for
 2   Deposition and Motion to Compel as a result of the

 3   defendant's failure to appear for two depositions

 4   ordered by the court.
 5                 I would offer Exhibit 3.

 6                 THE COURT:    Exhibit 3 is admitted.

 7                 MR. BRYANT:    That document clearly
 8   indicates, Your Honor, that the court for the second

 9   time has ordered a deposition -- actually, the third

10   time -- second time, excuse me, has ordered the
11   deposition of the defendant; and on the morning of or

12   the afternoon before -- the morning of the October the

13   6th deposition, I get Exhibit 4 which is an Emergency
14   Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Mandamus.

15                 And I'd offer Exhibit 4.

16                 THE COURT:    Exhibit 4 is admitted.
17                 MR. BRYANT:    I also received at the same

18   time, Judge -- I think I probably have it here -- there

19   is a letter from Ms. Collins, who is the counsel for the
20   defendant, and in that letter she indicates that her

21   client will not be appearing at the deposition because

22   of the fact that they have filed -- here we go.      This is
23   exhibit -- well, I'll just show the court this.      If we

24   need to make it an exhibit, we will.     It's actually part

25   of a larger set of exhibits that I had for my Motion to

 1   Compel, etc.
 2                    And in this letter she indicates that her

 3   client is being released to serve the citizens of

 4   Galveston County and, in other words, she is not going
 5   to have her client appear for the deposition that was

 6   clearly ordered by the court because she believes that

 7   the mandamus stays the proceeding.          It clearly did not.
 8                    I sent her back a letter saying that

 9   that's going to be a problem.          And I'm going to go

10   ahead, and if we could, just get a copy of this.             I
11   apologize, Judge, for having this out of order, but I'm

12   going to say this is Exhibit 5 and the next letter is

13   Exhibit 6.     And we will make a copy of this, if we
14   could, Judge.     I will tender it to the court and I will

15   offer it into evidence pending a copy, if we can do

16   that.
17                    THE COURT:    Sure.

18                    MR. BRYANT:    Exhibit 5.     That's the letter

19   I just showed you.
20                    THE COURT:    Okay.

21                    MR. BRYANT:    If we go to the next page,

22   Exhibit 6, this is the letter that I sent back to
23   Ms. Collins explaining to her that her mandamus

24   application did not stay the proceedings, that I intend

25   to seek sanctions.     And at the very end you notice I say

 1   specifically I'm going to send my court reporter down
 2   there.   I don't want to come down there for no reason.

 3   I'm going to send somebody to take a certificate of

 4   nonappearance.     I don't get a response to that.
 5                    I would offer Exhibit 6, also.

 6                    THE COURT:    5 and 6 are both admitted.

 7                    MR. BRYANT:    I didn't get a response to
 8   that letter.     What she indicated to me was that her

 9   client was going to be released.       That morning of the

10   deposition I got a call from my court reporter saying
11   that the defendant is here, what do we do; he wants to

12   make a statement on the record.       And so, as you might

13   imagine, I'm very upset about the fact that these games
14   are being played with myself and my client and my staff,

15   and so I basically indicate on the record that we

16   disagree with how this was happening and we are going to
17   seek sanctions, etc.     So I filed a Motion for Sanctions.

18                    And if you can imagine what's going to

19   happen at the deposition, Judge, based upon what's going
20   on in this case, I can't imagine a situation where the

21   defendant is going to answer my questions correctly,

22   properly, according to the rules.       So I asked for the
23   appointment of a special master.       I asked for fees, a

24   Motion to Compel, appointment of a special master, and I

25   set that hearing.

 1                   In response -- what are we on, Exhibit 7?
 2   I've got Exhibit 7 here which is actually a timeline,

 3   Judge, that I took from the docket sheet.      In response

 4   to my Motion to Compel and for Sanctions that was set
 5   for November the 8th, 2011, I show up at this courthouse

 6   for a hearing and we receive a Motion to Recuse.       We

 7   don't receive a response, we receive a Motion to Recuse.
 8                   As you know, we appeared for the hearing

 9   on that Motion to Recuse and the defendant failed to

10   show up.   I filed a response.     We were here.   You denied
11   that motion.    Then I filed a Motion to Show Authority.

12                   By the way, Exhibit 7, I'll offer

13   Exhibit 7, which is the summary of the relevant events
14   in this case.

15                   THE COURT:    7 is admitted.

16                   MR. BRYANT:    I also filed a Motion to Show
17   Authority because what the defendant in this case has

18   been doing, even though he's a sitting judge and is not

19   allowed to practice law by statute, he has been filing
20   documents, motions, signing with permission as if he is

21   acting on behalf of his counsel when, in fact, he's just

22   practicing law.    So I filed a Motion to Show Authority
23   and asked for a standing order that each time he does

24   that, he has to pay a $500 fine, because I'm entitled to

25   know who the counsel is so I can communicate with him.

 1                  Well, all these motions get set again, and
 2   now we have this, Exhibit 8, which is the Second -- what

 3   I call -- it's not a First Amended, it's a Second Motion

 4   to Recuse because it states a different basis.        This is
 5   Exhibit 8.   And I know the court has seen this, Exhibit

 6   8.   I'd offer it into evidence.

 7                  THE COURT:    Exhibit 8 is admitted.
 8                  MR. BRYANT:    The only difference in the

 9   first motion and the second motion, Judge, is that Judge

10   Dupuy claims that he has filed a complaint against Judge
11   Smith with the judicial committee because he hasn't

12   acted however Judge Dupuy wants him to act.      I don't

13   know what the basis of it is.      I have never seen it.    I
14   don't even know if it's really been filed.      I have no

15   clue.   So, fine, I filed my response and I asked for

16   sanctions because under Rule 18a if you determine that
17   these motions have been filed for the purpose of delay

18   and there is no substantial or significant cause for the

19   motions, you can grant sanctions under Rule 250.
20                  I have Greg Hughes here, and I would like

21   to ask him a couple questions, if I could, Judge.

22                  THE COURT:    That's fine.
23                  MR. BRYANT:    I don't know if you want to

24   swear him or not.   He's an officer of the court.

25                  THE COURT:    Do you mind?

 1                  (Witness sworn)
 2                  MR. BRYANT:    The purpose of this

 3   testimony, Judge, is so -- I think you need to hear how

 4   our defendant views recusals, because in this case he
 5   has filed two frivolous Motions to Recuse, didn't show

 6   up for either one of them.     In the Mayville case, which

 7   you have also been assigned to hear, in gathering
 8   information about my client's case, I did some research

 9   and found this case that was sealed so I filed my Motion

10   to Unseal the Record and on the day of the hearing,
11   Judge Trapp travels from Coldspring, Texas, all the way

12   down here only to receive another Motion to Recuse,

13   supposedly because he had spoken with the other attorney
14   or something and said, Well, you don't have to come to

15   some hearing, some kind of supposed ex parte

16   communication that would violate the ethical rules,
17   which he didn't.   So you can see a pattern here, I

18   think.   Now Mr. Hughes has a personal experience as well

19   that I wanted to share with the court.
20                          GREG HUGHES,

21   having been first duly sworn, testified as follows:

22                       DIRECT EXAMINATION
23       Q.    (BY MR. BRYANT)    Greg, you can tell the court a

24   little bit about your practice, what you do here in

25   Galveston or in Friendswood.     I guess you're in

 1   Friendswood?
 2       A.    I practice in Friendswood.    I have a general

 3   practice, solo, primarily family law.      I have been doing

 4   that for about 21 years.
 5       Q.    Are you familiar with Judge Dupuy --

 6       A.    Yes.

 7       Q.    -- who is in County Court 3 here in Galveston
 8   County?

 9       A.    Yes.

10       Q.    How are you familiar with him?
11       A.    Well, I first really got to know him, I had a

12   case that was in his court.    I went to mediation, and

13   someone told me that the -- my opposing counsel was
14   dating him and I might want to look into a recusal.

15       Q.    Who was that opposing counsel?

16       A.    It's Kathleen Collins.
17       Q.    That's the same lawyer that's representing

18   Judge Dupuy in this case, right?

19       A.    I believe so.
20       Q.    Okay.   So what did you do?   Did you --

21       A.    Well, first, I spoke with Kathleen a little bit

22   on a break at the mediation.    She asked me if I was
23   going to try to recuse him; and I said, Do I need to?

24   And she said, Well, we don't have a relationship.        Okay.

25   So I went ahead with the mediation.     I didn't think

 1   anything more about it.     I heard later from other people
 2   more persistent rumors and started looking into it and

 3   believed that they probably did have a relationship.           So

 4   that case was set for hearing and I prepared a Motion to
 5   Recuse but I got there first and told Kathleen, Look, I

 6   want to go talk to the Judge about the recusal.        She

 7   said, You don't need to do that.        He's already heard a
 8   bunch of cases.     He's already turned them down.     He's

 9   already told me he's not going to recuse himself

10   anymore.
11       Q.      He told her that?

12       A.      Told her that, yeah.   I insisted that she come

13   back with me because I didn't want to talk to him
14   ex parte.     It's actually the first time I'd ever spoken

15   to him.     Finally she agreed to go.     We went back in his

16   chambers; and I told him before I went on the record, I
17   asked him if he would like to recuse himself because we

18   perceived that there was a relationship between them.

19   He said, No, file your motion.     So I went and filed my
20   motion, brought him a courtesy copy and waited in the

21   courtroom for a while.     He came out for our hearing.        He

22   announced that he read the motion, it had no basis in
23   law or fact or we were going to go forward with the

24   hearing.    And then I reminded him that he couldn't do

25   anything after I filed the motion, and so he said fine.

 1       Q.   Did he do something?
 2       A.   He --

 3       Q.   Did he enter any orders at that point?

 4       A.   No, he didn't enter an official order, but
 5   Kathleen reminded him that the TRO in the case was

 6   expiring that day and she wanted to renew it.

 7       Q.   The temporary orders on the child support?
 8       A.   Yes.     He said, I will do that.   I reminded him

 9   that he could not do that, that he didn't have authority

10   to do that.     He got very angry, started talking to my
11   client and told the client that the orders were expiring

12   that day, but he had better continue following them and

13   if he found out that he wasn't following them, that he
14   would have problems when he came back to his courtroom.

15                    So we went on.   Eventually I had the

16   recusal hearing in front of Judge Underwood; and in the
17   meantime, I had found Mr. Dupuy's ex-wife, Adrienne

18   Viterna, who was the first witness that was able to

19   specifically testify that he did have a relationship
20   with Kathleen because Kathleen had been picking their

21   children up from school.     They had been -- she had been

22   keeping the children at her house.      They were visiting
23   back and forth.     I mean, they were, you know, buddies

24   everywhere, not just in the courtroom.

25                    That was on a Thursday which was, I

 1   believe, August the 3rd.     The next morning I get a call
 2   from Judge Dupuy who is in San Antonio at the Advanced

 3   Family Law Conference, and he's very angry.      He

 4   identifies himself.
 5       Q.     Do you know what day that was?

 6       A.     That was August 4th, 2011, at 11:58 a.m.    I

 7   wrote notes down as he called me.      He identified
 8   himself.   He asked me how I had gotten his ex-wife to

 9   testify.

10       Q.     Did you recognize his voice?
11       A.     Oh, absolutely.   I told him that I had heard

12   his ex-wife knew information and I called her and

13   eventually subpoenaed her.      He was very mad, told me it
14   was a very sleezy thing to do to get his ex-wife

15   involved and went on and on about how inappropriate it

16   was, what a sleezy attorney I was, one thing or another.
17   And then he wanted to know who had told me about his

18   ex-wife and who knew this information.      And, of course,

19   I told him I didn't think those people would want me to
20   share that, so I didn't tell him that.

21                   And then in closing, he told me that I was

22   a sleezy attorney and reminded me that I would have to
23   appear in his court again one day and that he would

24   remember me when I did.      I very, very clearly took that

25   as a clear implication that he intended to punish me for

 1   filing the motion and involving his ex-wife.           And since
 2   the newspaper articles have come out about that, I have

 3   heard from many, many other people similar stories.

 4         Q.     Have you filed a complaint with the judicial
 5   committee?

 6         A.     I have.

 7         Q.     With the State Bar?
 8         A.     Yes.    Actually, no, I don't think I have with

 9   the State Bar, just with the judicial committee.

10                       MR. BRYANT:   I don't have anything further
11   from him.      I wanted you to hear how this defendant views

12   recusals and his obligations under the law in the broad

13   scheme of things because I think what we have here is a
14   defendant who's never going to comply with anything this

15   court orders and the only way to make them comply is to

16   hit them in the pocketbook.           It's the only thing we can
17   do.     I don't think under National Tank I can ask you to

18   strike the pleadings.         I don't think I ask you to strike

19   the pleadings.         Maybe I can.    But you might feel
20   uncomfortable doing that, and I don't want you to feel

21   uncomfortable.

22                       I researched some of the case law you have
23   been involved with, and I know that you know all about

24   this.      You know all about sanctions and how that works.

25   I'm asking for $7,500 which I don't think is too much to

 1   enforce the law in this courtroom, and so that's what
 2   I'm asking for.    I want you to see -- here is something

 3   else that's very telling, very telling about the purpose

 4   of this motion.    And I think the court is very clear the
 5   purpose of this motion is for the purpose of Judge

 6   Dupuy's motions.    I don't know if the court knows, but

 7   there is another mandamus that was filed a couple days
 8   ago in the First Court of Appeals.     I have two more

 9   exhibits.

10                 THE COURT:     Is it on this case?
11                 MR. BRYANT:     Yes, ma'am.     I'm going to

12   mark Exhibit 9, 10 and 11.     If I could, Judge, I would

13   like to show you, Exhibit 9 is an order from Judge
14   Shearn Smith dated October the 7th denying defendant's

15   request for a stay of proceedings.     I'd offer Exhibit 9.

16                 THE COURT:     9 is admitted.
17                 MR. BRYANT:     Here is -- and this is in

18   response to their first mandamus.     In that mandamus,

19   Your Honor, they ask the Court of Appeals to force Judge
20   Smith to grant their summary judgment.        Not to make a

21   ruling, to grant the summary judgment.        They summarily

22   denied it, and here is the order, Exhibit 10.        I would
23   offer it into evidence, dated October 28, 2011.

24                 THE COURT:     10 is admitted.

25                 MR. BRYANT:     That very clearly indicates

 1   that the Court of Appeals, on its own motion, without
 2   any response by myself or Judge Smith, denied that

 3   motion.   Now we have the defendant filing the Motion to

 4   Recuse asking this court to prevent Judge Smith from
 5   doing anything else in this case.         Two days ago I

 6   receive another mandamus.      It's Exhibit 10, Your Honor.

 7   I'll offer Exhibit 10 -- 11.      Excuse me.
 8                  THE COURT:     Admitted.

 9                  MR. BRYANT:     Not only is that mandamus not

10   a proper mandamus because it has no official transcript
11   from this court or the district clerk, it's just merely

12   pages out of someone's file at their office, that

13   mandamus also seeks to have Judge Smith do something.             I
14   don't think they can have it both ways.         I think it

15   makes it very clear, Judge, that this Motion to Recuse,

16   the sole purpose of it is to delay the inevitable, which
17   is the deposition of Judge Dupuy.

18                  Now, I think I've shown what I need to

19   show under Rule 18a.     I have spent many hours dealing
20   with this case, Judge.      In my motion I indicate that my

21   time dealing with just the recusal -- I'm not asking for

22   fees on the whole case, which maybe I should, and I will
23   at some point -- but I have -- and I'll represent to the

24   court as an officer of the court -- I don't know if you

25   need to swear me or not, Your Honor -- but I can tell

 1   you that I have spent at least 15 hours and my normal
 2   hourly rate is $350 an hour.     I have been practicing law

 3   for 18 years.    I have tried a lot of cases, and I think

 4   that's a reasonable rate for me in this community and
 5   that these services were necessary because of what's

 6   been happening in this case.     In order for me to get

 7   compliance with the Rules of Procedure, I've had to go
 8   through these hoops created solely by the defendant, not

 9   created by me.    That doesn't include the time -- and

10   that total would be $5,250.     That does not include the
11   time of my associate lawyer, Jessica Juren, who is here

12   today.   It doesn't include the time of my paralegal

13   which I normally bill at a hundred dollars an hour.
14   Ms. Juren, I normally bill at $200 an hour.       So there is

15   a lot more time involved in this.     I think my estimate

16   here is low.
17                    Judge, I'm not getting paid for this case.

18   I told my client a long time ago, it's not fair for me

19   to charge him any more.     He can't afford it.    And based
20   upon how this case has been handled, I said, You know

21   what, I'm going to do this.     I'm just going to do it.

22   But that doesn't mean I shouldn't get my fees for what I
23   have had to go through.     Just so the court knows, my

24   client doesn't owe me this money, but I think the court

25   should sanction the defendant for what I have had to do

 1   and what my staff has had to do needlessly and in clear
 2   violation of the rules.

 3                    THE COURT:    Counsel, I have read your

 4   motion.     I don't have it in front of me -- or I do have
 5   it in front of me, but you can tell me faster than I can

 6   find it.     Is the sanction that you have asked for -- is

 7   the only sanction that you have asked for is the payment
 8   of this $7,500?

 9                    MR. BRYANT:    Yes.    Your Honor, to you,

10   that's all I'm asking for.       When I go back -- when this
11   case goes back to Judge Smith, I will be asking to reset

12   all those other motions where I'm asking for a lot more.

13                    THE COURT:    My recollection from our last
14   hearing was that you had not reset the deposition of

15   Judge Dupuy?     You were --

16                    MR. BRYANT:    We are still trying to get
17   that.     That was part of my motion that got reset in

18   response to which we received these Motions to Recuse.

19                    THE COURT:    The case had been -- my
20   recollection, the case had been moved to maybe a July

21   trial setting?

22                    MR. BRYANT:    That was an error.    I don't
23   know how that happened, but it's been set to April.

24                    THE COURT:    April?

25                    MR. BRYANT:    Yes, ma'am.    April the 16th,

 1   I think, is the docket call and then the 23rd.        She
 2   might know.

 3                    THE COURT:    And the next hearing that's

 4   set for this case for any matter, is there one set?
 5                    MR. BRYANT:    There is not because this

 6   stopped the works.

 7                    I have an order, Judge, if you care to
 8   look at it.   I would ask this court to enter the order

 9   for sanctions jointly and severally against counsel and

10   the defendant because it's clear that either Ms. Collins
11   is allowing her client to use her bar number and sign

12   her name with permission or vice vera.        I don't know

13   what they are doing.     But they are both creating this
14   problem in the case, and I think it should be jointly

15   and severally.

16                    THE COURT:    Okay.   The court grants your
17   motion.

18                    MR. BRYANT:    Thank you.

19                    THE COURT:    And awards $7,500 jointly and
20   severally against both Judge Dupuy and his counsel to

21   cover attorney's fees and costs.

22                    This payment is to be made within 10 days
23   of this date, which I believe to be the 26th of January.

24   Am I right, or is it the 25th?

25                    MR. BRYANT:    The 26th.

 1                  THE COURT:    So 10 days from today with the
 2   possibility of non-payment may result in, depending on

 3   what Judge Smith decides to do, but it may result in a

 4   complete striking of the pleadings and other appropriate
 5   sanctions.   So I put that on the record just to make

 6   sure that the record is clear that this is an interim

 7   step, but there could be more to come depending on Judge
 8   Smith's rulings --

 9                  MR. BRYANT:    Thank you very much.

10                  THE COURT:    -- for sanctions.
11                  So I have signed that order.      Again, the

12   Motion to Recuse is denied.     The court considers that to

13   be a second motion, not an amended motion, and that
14   motion is hereby denied.

15                  MR. BRYANT:    Thank you very much.

16                  THE COURT:    You're welcome.









 4       I, Tamra M. Parks, Deputy Official Court Reporter in
 5   and for the 405th District Court of Galveston, State of

 6   Texas, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing

 7   contains a true and correct transcription of all
 8   portions of evidence and other proceedings requested in

 9   writing by counsel for the parties to be included in

10   this volume of the Reporter's Record in the above-styled
11   and numbered cause, all of which occurred in open court

12   or in chambers and were reported by me.

13       I further certify that this Reporter's Record of the
14   proceedings truly and correctly reflects the exhibits,

15   if any, offered by the respective parties.

16       I further certify that the total cost for the
17   preparation of this Reporter's Record is ________ and

18   was paid/will be paid by ___________________.

20                            Tamra M. Parks, CSR
                              Texas CSR 167
21                            Deputy Official Court Reporter
                              405th District Court
22                            Galveston County, Texas
                              600 59th Street
23                            Galveston, Texas 77550
                              Telephone: 713-502-6833
24                            Expiration: 12/31/2012


To top