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July 29, 2008 11:37 AM

Texas Plaintiffs Heavy Richard Laminack Charged with Sexual Harassment, Fraud

Posted by Zach Lowe

Wow.

That's really the only possible reaction after reading paralegal Angela Robinson's complaint against Texas plaintiffs giant Richard Laminack filed in trial court this month.

The lawsuit, which seeks $55,000 for wrongful termination and other causes, accuses Laminack of demanding sexual favors from male and female employees, encouraging Robinson to perform sex acts on a witness who was not "doing well" during a deposition, and hatching a scheme to defraud plaintiffs in fen-phen cases.

The suit also names O'Quinn's firm, where Laminack used to practice, though O'Quinn is not a named defendant.

Laminack referred calls to Dale Jefferson of Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom in Houston. Jefferson calls Robinson's complaint "salacious and outlandish," and says Robinson's actions--especially following Laminack to his new firm in 2002--shed doubt on her accusations.

"Her actions completely refute the veracity of her claims," says Jefferson, who has repped the O'Quinn firm before. Jefferson says he will likely not end up representing Laminack in this case, though Laminack reached out to him today to handle press calls.

Robinson, who was fired in April, claims Laminack behaved this way during his days with partner John O'Quinn and after establishing his own firm of Laminack, Pirtle & Martines in 2002.

"Laminack's trysts are both a well-known and established part of the firm's 'lore,'" the complaint says.

Robinson, who claims she was fired after threatening to blow the whistle on her boss, says Laminack forced her to work overtime without pay in preparing for work on the famous fen-phen litigation. Perhaps more damning, Robinson says Laminack ordered checks on nonexistent medical records for fen-phen clients and then docked the cost of the records checks from the clients' settlement shares--settlements that usually weren't as big as the plaintiffs bar had hoped.

Jefferson also denies that claim.

Laminack and O'Quinn, of course, are not strangers to controversy; a federal judge once accused the firm of faking diagnoses among possible plaintiffs who supposedly inhaled silica dust to build a class action case. O'Quinn's been convicted for drunken driving and was found to have overcharged clients to the tune of $41.5 million in a breast implant settlement.

Spencer Markle and Andrew McKinney of McKinney & Cooper are representing Robinson.

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I have known Laminack for 45 years. A lot of nonsense. A very competitive but sober person.

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