Court Orders Mediation in Houston Lawyer Disbarment Dispute
An Appeals Court in Houston, Texas, has ordered mediation in the disbarment case of attorney Robert Bennett, who was disbarred from the State Bar of Texas in March. Bennett is also being sued over financial improprieties at his former law firm The Bennett Law Firm, which Bennett lost control of during bankruptcy proceedings in 2010. The firm’s new owners sued Bennett, alleging he diverted funds illegally from the firm into his own pockets.
Bennett’s disbarment had nothing to do with the finances at his former firm, however; he was disbarred over violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct in a case Bennett was involved with. Bennett requested the disbarment be delayed and that he be granted an appeal. When the State Bar failed to respond, Bennett sought relief from the courts, which granted him mediation on the matter with the Commission for Lawyer Discipline as requested. The mediation must take place within 60 days of the ruling. The Commission has refused to comment on the mediation order.
However, even if he regains his license to practice law in the state of Texas, Bennett faces damages of up to $1 million in the lawsuit filed by his former firm. Bennett, now president of Bob Bennett Licensing Services for Professionals, has also launched several other businesses that are the subjects of the lawsuit, including Bob Bennett & Associates, Bennett Nguyen & Associates, and the Bennett-Nguyen Joint Venture. He has denied all charges.