Texas businessman seeks $ 2.9 million in fees from San Antonio lawyer and firm

Texas businessman Graham Weston and the companies he runs have sued San Antonio attorney Jason Davis and Davis and Santos, alleging that they were secretly representing Weston’s wife and ultimately appeared as Elizabeth Weston’s case attorney in their disputed divorce.

“This is a case concerning a lawyer who violated the solemn principles of his professional belief in the name of personal financial gain,” Weston said in a petition filed last Wednesday in Comal County, calling the conflict of “perhaps the most egregious violation and betrayal of the attorney-client relationship in the history of Texas jurisprudence.

From the original petition in Weston v. Davis, Davis & Santos’ attorneys had represented Weston and the companies he led in nine “formal and informal cases” since 2009, and were actively representing him and three of those entities in pending cases “when the accused began their covert investigation and the development of civil, criminal and family law claims against Mr. Weston “on behalf of Elizabeth Weston, the plaintiffs wrote.

In addition to Weston, who lives in New Braunfels, the plaintiffs include Countyline Land Trust, Carowest Land and Kuehler Road LLC. Weston, a seasoned entrepreneur and former billionaire, was a co-founder of Rackspace, where he was CEO for almost two decades before leaving in 2016.

The plaintiffs are suing Davis and his firm for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and constructive fraud, seeking unspecified damages as well as restitution of more than $ 2.9 million in attorney fees.

Davis, a founding partner of Davis & Santos, did not respond to a voicemail or email request for a response to the allegations.

The Comal County lawsuit was filed days after Texas’ Third Court of Appeals in Austin dismissed a mandamus motion to quash a trial judge’s order barring Davis and his cabinet from representing Elizabeth Weston in a divorce action against Graham Weston.

Among the many findings in the lengthy order, 443rd District Judge Dib Waldrip concluded that Davis’ failure to inform Graham Weston that Elizabeth Weston had hired him to “put together a case against Graham for divorce, damages. interests and domestic violence ”constitutes a failure to provide Graham Weston with complete information, and also constitutes a violation of the general duty of trust and loyalty he owed to Graham Weston.

Graham Weston, the plaintiffs allege in Weston v. Davis, had every reason to trust Davis and shared confidential solicitor-client information with him, and “paid generously” for his services. Weston trusted Davis so much that he even changed his will to make Davis the custodian of his children’s estate when he died.

However, the plaintiffs allege that it is “certain” that Davis and his cabinet “actively and deliberately” worked against Graham Weston’s interests for over a year – and were paid at least $ 589,728 for representing Elizabeth Weston – while claiming to work as his council and trusted advisor.

“The blatant betrayal by the defendants of their clients, Mr. Weston and the companies he manages, and the obligations owed to them under both common law and the disciplinary rules of professional conduct in Texas are blatant “, alleges the petition.

But Davis and his company paint a different picture in a motion for proof of authority, special exceptions, original response and motion for penalties for frivolous filing, which was filed in response to the original petition last Thursday.

In this petition and response, Davis and his cabinet argue that the allegations in the lawsuit Graham Weston filed are an attempt to intimidate Elizabeth Weston and Davis “because they dared stand up to him.” They allege that Davis and his firm have represented Elizabeth Weston since 2013, have not represented Graham Weston in years, and had no obligation to inform him of the performance.

They allege that Graham Weston’s “baseless” allegations against Davis are “outright retaliation” against Elizabeth Weston, who recently filed for divorce “after suffering years of psychological, physical and sexual abuse by Graham” .

“Unable to defend his own deviant conduct in the ongoing divorce proceedings, Graham is hoping to gain a strategic advantage in this case by depriving Elizabeth of having Davis by her side – whose lawyer Graham knows to be of great importance and heartwarming. for Elizabeth, ”he added. the defendants allege in Thursday’s oral argument.

The defendants further allege in the motion and response that Graham Weston admitted that they did not represent him and had no obligation to disclose that they represented Elizabeth Weston.

“In the simplest terms, Graham Weston was not a client of our firm in the cases he sued for,” Caroline Small, managing partner of Davis & Santos, wrote in a statement. “We represented various business entities managed by Elizabeth Weston. Graham Weston confirmed this under oath. Elizabeth Weston has authorized every action on behalf of the business entities for which our company has achieved remarkable results.

Davis and his cabinet are also calling for sanctions against Graham Weston for “filing a frivolous and baseless petition.”

“This costume is little more than a billionaire using his money to fuel his own narcissistic rage and retaliation,” say Davis and his company.

“It is unfortunate that a reputable law firm has been caught in the crosshairs of a contentious high stakes divorce,” wrote Robert Valdez, of Valdez & Trevino in San Antonio, who represents Davis and his firm, in a press release. “The cabinet will not be intimidated by Mr. Weston’s actions and will eagerly await the opportunity to present the truth in court.”

Weston’s attorney, Ricardo Cedillo, founder and shareholder of Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza in San Antonio, did not respond to requests for a response to the allegations contained in the motion and response. Weston did not respond to a request for comment submitted by its website.

Denise W. Whigham