Local attorney disciplined for professional misconduct

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Nov. 13, 2013 at 5:13 a.m.

A Victoria attorney accepted a public reprimand from the Commission for Lawyer Discipline for not returning an unearned fee.

Attorney Mark Davis paid restitution to the man who filed the grievance when the judgment was issued Sept. 11. It was unclear in the ruling how much was paid.

The Advocate attempted to reach Davis daily beginning Nov. 7. He did not return phone calls.

Raja Hugh Belleth hired Davis in June 2011 to represent him in a divorce case filed in Harris County. He agreed to pay an advance fee of $5,000 and $200 per hour for other legal services.

After Belleth's wife filed the divorce petition in June 2011, she took no further action. Belleth tried to terminate Davis' representation as well as request a refund Nov. 2, 2011, according to the grievance petition.

When Belleth did not hear back, he hired another attorney, who emailed Davis on Nov. 16, 2011 to request the unused funds.

Davis replied that he was finalizing an invoice and would return the unused retainer, but it never arrived in the mail, according to the petition.

On Jan. 2, Belleth emailed Davis about the matter again. He received no response.

Court documents also show Davis did not respond to the Aug. 29 grievance in a timely manner.

Claire Mock, the State Bar's public affairs administrator, said attorneys must reply to a grievance within 30 days.

Davis graduated from the South Texas College of Law in 1999.

He became a founding partner of Rogers Davis LLP in Victoria in 2008. He focuses on personal injury, family and business law, according to his website.



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