Friday, June 19, 2009

El Defenzor Moves Forward with Investigation While Albert Huerta Fights For His Life What about the Legal Wars?

El Defenzor continues its investigation of the Legal Wars that are taking place as Albert "The Healer" Huerta, the spiritual leader, fights for his life. Our prayers at El Defenzor go out to he and his family. However, the critical injury to his health has created a vacuum. After 3 decades of controlling personal injury cases in South Texas who is going to step up to straddle the powerful and profitable personal injury field in South Texas.

Through its 72 hour initial investigation El Defenzor has received confidential information from "Legal Assistant X" who has recently relocated who has intimate knowledge of the way cases are run in South Texas and nationwide. Under total confidentiality Legal Assistant X agreed to speak with us on the subject. We encountered Legal Assistant X in Victoria, Texas at an agreed upon meeting place and shall be a part of a 3 part series on how cases are run in South Texas:

E.D.: (EL DEFENZOR): Thank you for meeting with us. I wanted to first ask how long you have been in the legal field and under what circumstances that cases are obtained in South Texas.

LAX (Legal Assistant X): Since I was in my late teens I started helping attorneys get cases. Everyone knows that you simply cannot go "ambulance chase" to get cases but there are ways.

E.D.: Such as?

LAX: Such as having a network of families consisting of funeral home directors, policeman, fireman, government officials and case runners in a structure that is similar to a legal mafia or Soprano like structure. At the top you have men like Mr. Huerta, formerly Dan Alfaro and many others who obtained the cases through the system and who then funnel them to individuals like prominent white lawyers throughout the state. This happens especially in the good venues like Starr, Duval, and in the golden triangle near Beaumont.

E.D. Is it legal to do this.

LAX: The lawyers insulate themselves so they don't get caught by having someone run down the case not with the firm, they then contact the firm for money or other incentives through the "legal assistant" which is basically a runner who gets cases, they then have the runner go and sign the case and if they are smart the contract says that they have not been solicited in any way. Solicited means the case has not been "run" or "ambulance chased". The structure then has the kIngpin attorney (often a hispanic attorney) send the case to a white prominent trial lawyer who then gets a clean referral and they split the fee sometimes as high as 50/50 on it just for sending it.

E.D. What kind of money are we looking at?

LAX: Tire and rollover cases are very good and profitable as well as death cases or burn cases. These cases have made the runners who reportedly can get 10 or 15% of the case through "investigator fees" and often make more money than the lawyers out there who can't get the cases because they don't have the cops, fireman, politicians and families in their pocket to help with the cases. Some of these runners use police scanners and are very aggressive to get the cases. We are talking millions upon millions of dollars. Medical malpractice used to be good but that dried up and so did workmans compensation. Now the big cases are also being threatened because companies like Ford and Chrysler are either bankrupt or threatening bankruptcy.

E.D. How will Mr. Huerta being hospitalized and possibly retire affect the cases?

LAX: Mr. Huerta has controlled getting cases for years. I am not saying he has done so illegally or anyhing like that but definitely he has a network and has legal assistants that run the cases and are notorious for being aggressive. Many lawyers are not happy with this situation because they have the market cornered any time there is an accident. Some lawyers are also not happy because they have not been paid their fees. Now lawyers are suing other lawyers to get the fee back for clients if their case was ambulance chased or run. These are scary times for lawyers and for those legal assistants, many who would tell people they were lawyers and now are scared because of Mauricio Celis. If Celis ever talks I would start praying if I were those runners.


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