McClenny Moseley Sanctioned by 3rd Louisiana Judge for Duplicate Filings
Lawyers for McClenny Moseley & Associates appeared in a New Orleans courtroom on Wednesday to explain why they claim to represent a homeowner who says she did not hire the law firm but signed some papers given to her by a restoration company became.
Judge Michael North ordered both MMA founding partner Zach Moseley and Louisiana office manager William R. Huye III to appear before him in person after an insurance defense attorney accused the law firm of working with contractors to recruit new clients. According to a local news report, North on Wednesday ordered the law firm to pay attorneys’ fees to attorneys who were being forced to deal with a double-action lawsuit she had filed. It was the third time a federal judge in Louisiana had sanctioned McClenny Moseley.
In his order scheduling the hearing, North said, “The Court expects Huye and Mosely to be fully briefed and trusted in all important details regarding their representation of Plaintiff both prior to the Complaint and in connection with Case #22-cv-4927 are.”
This case number relates to a lawsuit MMA filed on December 4th on behalf of “Trichia” Franatovich, although another law firm had previously filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tricia Franatovich (correct spelling) for the same hurricane damage.
The U.S. District Court for East Louisiana scheduled the hearing after Matthew Monson, a New Orleans defense attorney representing the insurer named in both lawsuits, filed a lengthy motion accusing MMA of soliciting customers by selling worked with restoration companies going door-to-door in neighborhoods damaged by Hurricane Ida.
Two federal judges for the District of West Louisiana have sanctioned law firm MMA over similar duplicate filings.
Franatovich said in a January 27 letter to the court that she never asked McClenny Moseley to represent her. She said a salesman named Brandon from Apex Roofing Co. knocked on her door last April after spotting a blue tarp on her roof. She said she signed the paperwork authorizing the company to repair the damage after telling Brandon she had already hired a law firm.
Monson said in his filing that MMA uses whatever insurance settlement checks it receives to pay its own fees and then sends the rest to Apex to help cover its costs. MMA drew the wrath of federal judges by filing more than 1,600 hurricane claims in Louisiana’s Western District over a four-day period last year, many of which duplicated other filings or contained obvious errors.
Monson claims the bugs were caused by a mass marketing campaign that uses MMA to recruit clients, using an online marketing company called Velawcity that sends text messages to potential clients.
In a response to Monson’s brief filed Tuesday, Huye acknowledges that “it made some mistakes in this matter since it involves plaintiff’s dual representation,” but also said Monson’s filing was “intentionally misleading.” ‘ and part of a ‘chronic personal pattern’. Attacks.”
Huye attached to his pleading a copy of a LinkedIn post in which Monson announced the Feb. 1 hearing and said he expected “a full courtroom.”
“Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Mr. Monson has attempted to turn a court hearing into a circus to his advantage; and it probably won’t be his last,” the filing said.
The answer doesn’t mention Velawcity or the alleged marketing efforts, instead accusing Monson of participating in a program to help Allied Trust Insurance Co. evade legitimate claims for damages.
However, during the hearing, North asked MMA to pay legal fees to the attorneys representing Franatovich and her insurer Allied Trust, according to a report by nola.com, a local news outlet. This would be the second time a federal judge has ordered MMA to pay Monson’s fees. The judge also ordered MMA to reimburse Franatovich for any hours of work she missed attending the hearing, Nola reported.
As the Claims Journal previously reported, two U.S. District Court judges in the West Louisiana District also ordered MMA to pay attorneys’ fees for Allied Trust and other insurance carriers that were forced to respond to its dual lawsuits.
Photo above: Men cover a roof with tarps, Monday, September 6, 2021, a week after Hurricane Ida swept through the area. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
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