Texas Lawyer Who Claimed Political Donations Influenced Appeal Faces Possible Discipline
Plaintiffs’ lawyer John McCraw of Dallas is facing possible disciplinary action because he filed a motion asking two appellate court justices to remove themselves from a case, implying that the pair voted to overturn his clients’ $1 million jury verdict because of donations they’d received from two political action committees.
Dallas Observer reports that the justices not only declined to recuse themselves, they and their fellow justices sent McCraw’s name to the general counsel of the State Bar of Texas for possible disciplinary action for insulting the court.
A three-judge panel of the 5th Court of Appeals had overturned a $1 million award to McCraw’s clients, two women who had sued their apartment owner after an intruder entered through a window and violently assaulted both women.
Reporter Nashwa Bawab writes: “McCraw asked the entire 13-member appeals court to reconsider — minus Justices Craig Stoddart and Molly Francis, two of the three judges who unanimously voted to overturn the verdict. Stoddart and Francis each received $2,000 from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas PAC a few days apart from each other and less than a month before they were assigned the case.”