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6/27/2019 5:01 PM

Velva L. Price
District Clerk
Travis County
D-1-GN-19-003698 D-1-GN-19-003698
NO. _____________________ Ruben Tamez

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DGC PHASE 1, LLC, CHAPARRAL § IN THE DISTRICT COURT

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WOODS, LLC, MUSTANG KIMBRO §
ESTATES, LLC and URIEL CASTRO §
Plaintiffs, §

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§ 126TH
V. § _____ JUDICIAL DISTRICT

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BOWIE LAW FIRM, P.C, AUSTIN §

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TITLE COMPANY, MICHELLE §
SOMERS WILLIAMS, P.C. §
Defendants. § TRAVIS COUNTY, TEXAS

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PLAINTIFFS’ ORIGINAL PETITION

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TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT: tri
NOW COME DGC PHASE 1, LLC (“DGC”), CHAPARRAL WOODS, LLC
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(“CWL”), MUSTANG KIMBRO ESTATES, LLC (“MKE”) and URIEL CASTRO


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(“CASTRO”), hereinafter called Plaintiffs, complaining of and about BOWIE LAW FIRM, P.C.
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(“BOWIE FIRM”), AUSTIN TITLE COMPANY (“ATC”), MICHELLE SOMERS

WILLIAMS, P.C. (“WILLIAMS”) hereinafter called Defendants, and for cause of action would
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show the following:


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PARTIES
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1. Plaintiffs are limited liability companies duly formed and existing under the laws
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of the State of Texas and having its principal place of business in Travis County, Texas.
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Plaintiff, Uriel Castro, is a licensed real estate agent residing in Texas.


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2. Defendant, BOWIE LAW FIRM, P.C. may be served through its registered
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agent, KEVIN D. BOWIE, 10809 MAELIN DR. AUSTIN, TX 78739. Service may be delivered
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at the following address or wherever he may be found.


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3. Defendant, AUSTIN TITLE COMPANY, is a Texas Corporation, which may be

served by serving its registered agent: CT Corporation System, 1999 Bryan St., Ste. 900, Dallas,
PLAINTIFFS’ ORIGINAL PETITION
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TX 75201, which is a separate entity that itself may be served by serving: Amber Carrouth, Sharla

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Russell, Tracie Hollywood, Laura Perez, Kailen Johnson, Terri Thongsavat, Beatrice Casarez, or

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Jennifer Duddingham who are all representatives designated to accept service on behalf of CT

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Corporation System. Service as described above can be affected via hand delivery on Amber

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Carrouth, Sharla Russell, Tracie Hollywood, Laura Perez, Kailen Johnson, Terri Thongsavat,

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Beatrice Casarez, or Jennifer Duddingham at the address above, 1999 BRYAN ST., STE. 900,

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DALLAS, TEXAS 75201-3136, or wherever they may be found.

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4. Defendant, MICHELLE SOMERS WILLIAMS, P.C., may be served through its

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registered agent, MICHELLE SOMERS WILLIAMS, 2301 S CAPITAL OF TEXAS HWY.

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BLDG. J-102 AUSTIN, TX 78746. Service may be delivered at the following address or
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wherever she may be found.
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JURISDICTION
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5. The Court has jurisdiction over this lawsuit as all claims pertain to a partnership
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and property located in Texas and all parties are residents of the State of Texas. Furthermore,
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the Court has jurisdiction over Defendants because Defendants purposefully availed themselves
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of the benefits and privileges of conducting business in Texas. The Plaintiffs seek monetary and
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non-monetary relief in an amount in excess of $1,000,000.


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VENUE
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6. Venue is proper in this County because all or part of the acts or omissions
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complained of occurred in this County.


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DISCOVERY
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7. Plaintiffs intend to conduct discovery under Level 2 of the Texas Rules of Civil

Procedure 190.3 but may seek an order entering a docket control plan.

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FACTS

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8. Plaintiff, DGC, was formed on March 17, 2017 by Alan Shied and Uriel Castro for

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the purpose of purchasing and developing real property in Travis County, Texas. One week later,

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DGC purchased a four-acre tract of land in an incorporated portion of Travis County, more properly

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described as Lot 4 of the C.I. Collins Heights, 7709 Dee Gabriel Collins Rd. After obtaining a

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survey of the property, DGC, entered into a contract to sell one “Unit” out of the whole tract. In

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essence, DGC was an unsophisticated purchaser and developer that was attempting to sell the 4-acre

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tract into 4 Units, with each containing one acre in size.

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9. Shortly thereafter, DGC found Buyers for one such Unit, Roger Hernandez and

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Zulma Hernandez (“Hernandez”). DGC was not able to close the cash transaction because of its
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limited experience and ability to do so. As such, DGC employed the assistance of First American
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Title. However, at closing, First American Title was unaware of the extent of the transaction and
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actually conveyed the entire tract to Hernandez. Upon realizing the error, DGC contacted
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Defendant, Williams, to correct the improper conveyance.


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10. At all times, Williams was aware that DGC intended to create a condominium and
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that it intended to sell these subdivided condo lots to consumers. Williams was hired to do each of
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the following: establish the condominium, correct the Hernandez sale, and properly establish the
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sale of one unit of the 4-acre tract. In accordance with the same, Williams did file a correction deed
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and did prepare condominium formation documents.


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11. However, William’s correction deed, which converted the sale of an established Lot
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into the sale of one Unit of an established lot was the first act of subdividing real property in the
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County. Williams did this as agent for DGC without approval from the County, without asking

DGC if approval had been granted, and without doing the necessary research to see if approval had

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ever been obtained. Williams was hired precisely to ensure that the condominium was legally

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formed, and one unit was properly transferred to Hernandez. At no time did Williams ever inform

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DGC that approval from the County was necessary to subdivide the tract. Moreover, even though

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Williams knew that a portion of the tract had been conveyed, she still drafted and instructed DGC to

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record/file condominium declarations with the County. These Declarations purported under oath

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that DGC was the owner of the entire tract, which was not true. Not only was William’s aware that

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the tract was not owned solely by DGC at the time the condominium documents were created and

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recorded, she also failed to instruct DGC to file a corrected declaration with Hernandez’s signature

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and approval. As a result of these errors and omissions, DGC inadvertently created an illegal

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subdivision that resulted in them being sued by Travis County. In addition to the fees and costs
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incurred, DGC has also suffered diminished land value.
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12. Shortly after the formation of DGC, CWL was formed on March 30, 2017. The
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Members and managers consisted of Alan Shield, Stacy Howard, and Jeffery Palmer. As of the date
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of this Petition, Palmer and Howard are no longer part of CWL and it is believed that they have
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sought bankruptcy relief in the U.S. District Court. On the date of formation, CWL purchased a lot
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location at 14811 Chaparral Drive. Fifteen days later, CWL purchased a second lot located at
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14901 Chaparral Drive. These two lots measure a total of 20.035 acres of land. Plaintiff, Castro,
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was the real estate agent in connection with most of the transactions related to the property.
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13. As they had before, Castro and Alan Shield employed Williams to establish the
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condominium for the development of 18 units to be sold to consumers. Although Williams was
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charged with the establishment of the condo, which necessarily required subdividing of the
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property, she failed to: inform CWL that no lots could be sold prior to lawful subdivision; and that
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no lots could be sold prior to the formation and filing/recording of the condominium declaration.

Based upon Williams prior subdivision and sale with DGC, CWL began to sell lots based upon the

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survey conducted.

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14. In order to facilitate the sale of the Units, CWL employed Defendants, Bowie Firm

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and ATC, to create the relevant sales contracts and to close on the sale of each lot. CWL made clear

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to the Bowie Firm and ATC that is sought to sell the Unit as divided from the tract as part of a

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condominium transaction. Again, having no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the transactions,

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CWL relied on professional representation and communication between Williams, the Bowie Firm,

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and ATC to facilitate the lawful sale of these condo lots. Although the Bowie Firm and ATC were

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aware of the kind of transaction the entire process was done poorly, inaccurately, and fatally flawed.

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First, the initial CWL transactions were done prior to the filing/recording of the condo declaration.

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As such, it would not have been possible for the Bowie Firm or ATC to provide the relevant rules
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and restrictions prior to closing. At a minimum, said Defendants should have researched and caught
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this omission and directed CWL that the sale could not occur. Specifically, said Defendant’s should
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have notified CWL that without a valid condominium, none of the Buyers would be bound to the
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rules and restrictions.


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15. Additionally, the Bowie Firm and ATC caused to be signed an invalid and erroneous
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condo information sheet. CWL was directed to sign a condo information sheet that indicated that
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there were no liens or encumbrances on the property. CWL signed these at the direction of their
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counsel, even though both the Bowie Firm and ATC knew the contents to be untrue. In fact, the
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Warranty Deeds drafted by the Bowie Firm and executed through ATC explicitly reference a

“wraparound note.” Even more damning was the form of the Deeds issued. Although the Bowie
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Firm and ATC were well aware of the CWL’s intent to convey condo lots, the final executed
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documents were fee simple deeds indicating that the only reservations to title were those found in
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the County Clerk’s records. However, even a cursory review of the same would show that the

Bowie Firm and ATC had executed deeds before the document at issue, which necessarily

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destroyed any such conveyance as a condominium. The Bowie Firm and ATC had an obligation to

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ensure the what was sought to be conveyed was, lawfully conveyed.

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16. With regard to CWL, all Defendants knew or should have known that the property

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could not be sold as it has not been lawfully subdivided. Defendant, William’s, contract with CWL

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was to establish a condominium that subdivided the land into 18 unit. That subdivision cannot be

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lawful without County approval. Williams knew or should have known that on both DGC and

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CWL that approval had not been obtained for a number of reasons. First, at the time she drafted and

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finalized the condo declarations, DGC and CWL was only owned the property for two to three

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months. There simply was not enough time to survey, site plan, and take all actions to finalize the

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necessary steps. Second, even a cursory review of the County Clerk’s records or the relevant deed
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restrictions would show that no subdivision approval has been obtained. As to Williams, the Bowie
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Firm, and ATC the lack of approval should have made itself clear when the property descriptions
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were sought to be included in the final deeds. Certainly, if the subdivision were approved by the
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County, then some final, legal description would have been attached and not the survey description
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ultimately decided upon.


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17. However, neither Defendant took any action to ensure that the Units could be sold,
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nor did they do any research to determine the proper way to finalize the conveyance. The
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Defendants were employed directly for the purpose of creating and conveying condo Units. At no
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time did they ever ask CWL if it had approval from the County. As a result, the CWL was
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ultimately left with an illegal subdivision and multiple claims and lawsuits against it. In fact, CWL
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attempted to contact the Defendants about allegations made by Travis County. Defendant,
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Williams, continued to assure CWL that it/she was correct, and the County was wrong. As to the
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Bowie Firm, CWL spoke with Sofie who continued to intimate that the deeds were done correctly

and the condo regime and had been properly formed and conveyed.

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18. In June of 2017, Alan Shield, Uriel Castro, and John Prior formed MKE. MKE

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purchased two lots in Travis County, Lots 4 and 5 of the Kimbro Road Estates, measuring

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approximately 23.75 acres. Again, MKE employed Williams to handle the formation and the

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Bowie Firm and ATC to perfect and finalize the conveyance. As with CWL, the Bowie Firm and

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ATC were notified that MKE intended to sell the lots as condo units. In fact, this intent is also

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evident from the face of the Deeds, which indicate that each property was sold as a separate unit.

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19. MKE began selling lots shortly after it was formed. Castro, as agent for and

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member of MKE, contacted Sofie who works for the Bowie Firm and ATC about the proper sales

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contract to use. Sofie directed Castro to use the TREC unimproved sales contract, despite the

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warning at the top directing that said contract was not to be used in connection with a condominium
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transaction. When asked about the warning, Sofie indicated that it could be used if the transaction
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was for unimproved property. Thereafter, the Bowie Firm and ATC executed a number of sales
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transactions despite never having an actual copy of the Condo Declaration, Rule, etc., and never
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requesting any information from MKE. Ultimately the units were sold as fee simple lots with no
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mention of community ownership or the intent to form a condo.


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20. These omissions and errors are particularly damning for Castro and MKE because
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although the verbal conversations with the Buyers included mention of the intent to sell condos,
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none of the documents indicated the same. Therefore, the Buyers took title not subject to any
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specific reservations, and the Warranty Deeds reflect the same. MKE as seller had the right to
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believe that it need not specify the exact definition of condo ownership or the condo rules provided
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that those matters were later resolved and commemorated to some disclaimer provided to the Buyer
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by the Bowie Firm or ATC.


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21. Although the documents utilized in the CWL transactions contained errors, for some

reason, the Bowie Firm and ATC decided to enlist a new plan. Rather than provide the sale of

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condo lots or provide any notice concerning the existence of joint ownership, Sofie indicated that

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they would hold the deeds and not record them. The stated purpose of which was to provide MKE

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an opportunity to finalize the final form of the condo declarations. Sofie indicated that as long as

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the deeds were not recorded, the transaction was not consummated. Even more troubling, when

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Sofie was contacted about the status of funding, she indicated that MKE could take out loans on the

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property because the deeds had not been recorded. MKE and its members were somewhat critical

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of this position but given the Bowie Firm was acting as their lawyer, they believed they could rely

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upon the advice. As such, they borrowed $300,000 and caused a lien to be placed upon the property.

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MKE did not realize that they were being advised to commit fraud against the Lender. Once they

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discovered the impropriety of these actions, they immediately paid the Note and obtained a release
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of lien on the same. Ultimately Travis County discovered these actions and filed suit. Similarly,
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MKE faces numerous claims against other Buyers that they were defrauded into purchasing units in
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an illegal subdivision.
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22. MKE avers that Defendant, Williams, was also aware of the sale of these lots and
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that the Bowie Firm and ATC contacted her about obtaining legal descriptions for the property.
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Although Williams was put on notice that the units were being sold, she never advised MKE that
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the sale was improper. Moreover, Williams knew that the final condo declarations had not been
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filed as she continued to fix and amended them up an until just a few months ago. Williams never
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advised MKE not to sell the lots and never disclosed to MKE that no lots should be sold until final
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approval was given.


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CAUSES OF ACTION
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NEGLIGENCE – ATTORNEY MALPRACTICE


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23. The Plaintiffs would show the Defendants, Williams and Bowie, owed a duty to

the Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs avers that an attorney-client relationship existed between them and

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Defendants, which consisted of both oral representations and written agreement, and as such

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privity existed between the parties. Plaintiffs aver that as to Defendant, Williams, held herself

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out as a specialist with regard to the formation of condominiums. Her website indicates she is a

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licensed agent and broker. Williams also holds out that she has over 35 years of real estate

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experience and almost 25 years of legal training. Defendant, Bowie Firm, claims to have over 20

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years of legal training with a primary focus “on Real Estate.” Principal, Kevin Bowie, is an

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attorney who is also a fee attorney for Austin Title. Plaintiffs aver that based upon the extensive

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experience in real estate transactions as lawyers and real estate professionals, the Court should

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impose a higher duty of care upon them. Defendant, Williams and Bowie, breached their duty of

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care to the Plaintiffs by committing acts an ordinarily prudent lawyer would not have done, and
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failing to take certain action an ordinarily prudent lawyer would have done – under the same or
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similar circumstances.
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24. Defendants’, Bowie Firm and Williams, negligence proximately caused the
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Plaintiffs’ damages. The result obtained—and illegal subdivision with improperly sold lots
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resulting numerous lawsuit—is far different and far worse than the result that would have been
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obtained but for the Defendant’s Negligence. The attenuated damages are more fully spelled out
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hereinbelow.
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CAUSES OF ACTION AS TO AUSTIN TITLE


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VICARIOUS LIABILITY
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25. The Plaintiffs aver that at all times both Sofie Nader and Kevin Bowie
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represented themselves as agents and representatives for Austin Title Company. In fact, the
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office under which said Defendants do business bear little distinction between the two offices.
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As such, ATC is jointly and equally responsible for all bad acts and negligence committed by

said Defendants.

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NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION AND TRAINING

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26. ATC either employed or held out that Sofia Nader was an employee of ATC. In

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fact, Sofie Nader’s email list her as an “escrow agent” for ATC. Moreover, in her

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communications with the Plaintiffs, she held herself out as an escrow and closing officer,

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responsible for closing said deals. However, Ms. Nader did far more than that. She gave legal

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advice to the Plaintiffs, rendering opinions on the legal effect of title as well as the effect of not

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recording documents. Sofia also repeatedly fielded questions for the Plaintiffs for which she was

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not capable of answering and should not have answered on behalf of ATC. ATC is liable for

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failing to proper supervise and train Nader and ensure that she did not commit criminal acts

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and/or civil torts. tri
DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES ACT
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27. Plaintiff would show that Defendant, ATC, engaged in certain false, misleading
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and deceptive acts, practices and/or omissions actionable under the Texas Deceptive Trade
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Practices – Consumer Protection Act (Texas Business and Commerce Code, Chapter 17.41, et
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seq.), as alleged herein below. Plaintiffs are consumers who sought goods and/or services from
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ATC.
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28. Specific violations. Defendant, ATC, violated multiple Sections of 17.46(a) by


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making misleading statements to the Plaintiff that were untrue and that Defendant intended them
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to rely upon as indicated in Sections 17.46:


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a) 17.46(b)(2): causing confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship,


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approval, or certification of goods or services;


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b) 17.46(b)(5): representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval,


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characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have or that a

person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection which the person

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does not.

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c) 17.46(b)(12): representing that an agreement confers or involves rights, remedies, or

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obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law

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Plaintiff would also show that actual damages resulted from said misrepresentations.

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ECONOMIC AND ACTUAL DAMAGES

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29. Plaintiffs sustained the following economic and consequential damages as a result

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of the actions and/or omissions of Defendants described hereinabove:

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(a) Expenses, including but not limited to costs to retain an attorney to defend the

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multiple lawsuits;

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(b) Damages recoverable to the plaintiffs in the lawsuits filed against Plaintiffs in
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this action;
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(c) Refund of all professional fees paid upon closings and for documents;
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(d) Increased costs related to property taxes due to the illegal subdivision that cannot
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be sold;
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(e) Any fees or civil penalties assessed by the County;


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(f) Increased costs to correct the conveyance; and


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(g) Decreased land value and loss of use of the property, including delay and
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disruption costs.
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ATTORNEY'S FEES
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30. Request is made for all costs and reasonable and necessary attorney's fees incurred
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by or on behalf of Plaintiffs herein, including all fees necessary in the event of an appeal of this

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cause to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Texas, as the Court deems equitable and

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just, as provided by the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

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PRAYER

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WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiffs respectfully pray that the

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Defendants be cited to appear and answer herein, and that upon a final hearing of the cause,

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judgment be entered for the Plaintiffs against Defendants for the damages and declaratory relief

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requested hereinabove in an amount within the jurisdictional limits of the Court, together with

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prejudgment and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, attorney's fees, costs

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of court, and such other and further relief to which the Plaintiff may be entitled at law or in equity,
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whether pled or unpled.
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Respectfully Submitted,
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TRENZ LAW FIRM


5710 West Interstate 10
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San Antonio, Texas 78201


Telephone: 210/299-1300
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BY: /s/Brian J. Trenz_______


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BRIAN J. TRENZ
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State Bar No. 24067911


ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFFS
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Trenzlawfirm@gmail.com
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