Embattled San Antonio lawyer Phipps wants Bexar DA off his case, citing conflict of interest

Martin Phipps, an embattled San Antonio lawyer who is helping symbolize Bexar County in its ongoing lawsuit versus opioid suppliers and distributors, desires the District Attorney’s Business office to recuse by itself from his misdemeanor harassment situation, citing conflicts of fascination due to the fact of its own involvement in the litigation.

The movement states that mainly because the DA’s Business office “has not voluntarily recused alone, Phipps is still left with no choice” but to seek a judge’s orders disqualifying the business office from prosecuting him and appointing an lawyer professional tem rather.

“Here, there exists a scenario in which Phipps represents Bexar County in a massively substantial and advanced pending civil litigation,” although the DA’s Place of work advises Bexar County commissioners on the lawsuit and assists determine Phipps’ job in it and how it will be settled, the motion states.

The document also argued that the D.A.’s workplace is entangled with present and previous employees of Phipps, such as his former law husband or wife, T.J. Mayes. In a ask for for exculpatory evidence, Phipps questioned for copies of any communications the D.A.’s workplace had with the workers, and any communications about the lawsuit and Phipps’ job in it, including the office’s dealings with the information media.

Phipps and Mayes had a bitter falling out in January, when Mayes give up immediately after doing the job on the lawsuit all through the prior year.

Phipps was arrested Feb. 8 on a Class B misdemeanor charge, accused of harassing a previous worker, Brenda Vega, a lawful assistant he had wed in December. The relationship was annulled a month later on.

An arrest affidavit states that Vega, times after marrying Phipps in mid-December, called law enforcement to report he confronted her in “an aggressive and agitated condition,” quite possibly beneath the influence of medications. Authorities gave no facts about the confrontation. The document states that Vega feared for her existence, still left her personalized belongings and caught a flight to Mexico as Phipps tried to make contact with her at least 40 times, typically by means of text messages.

“Mayes obviously was integrally included with authorities relative to the investigation” that led to the arrest, Phipps’s attorney, Michael McCrum, argued in the motion, which was submitted Tuesday.

“Presently, there is no case submitted by the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office towards Mr. Phipps,” District Legal professional Joe D. Gonzales reported Wednesday in an e-mail. “We can make no additional remark on this subject.”

McCrum said the DA’s Office “is being prudent in keeping off” on submitting the circumstance and explained he hopes prosecutors dismiss it.

“I absolutely assume T.J. Mayes is behind this harassment cost,” McCrum stated. “There’s no telephone harassment listed here. … This was a spouse venting on texts for two days with his wife, and (he) did not at any time make contact with her yet again.”

In 2017 Bexar County employed Phipps’ then-company, Phipps Anderson Deacon LLP, as a person of two legislation firms to sue opioid drug manufacturers and distributors that the county alleged were being dependable for “causing and contributing” to neighborhood dependancy challenges. They filed the lawsuit in 2018.

The working day after the arrest, soon after currently being explained to that McCrum would characterize Phipps in the criminal situation, the DA’s office environment notified McCrum that he was “not authorized to appear on behalf of Bexar County in any capability in pending litigation,” McCrum’s movement states. The DA’s office environment knew that McCrum experienced been an advisor to Phipps on the lawsuit for months and had not objected to it, the movement states.

Mikal Watts, a substantial profile plaintiffs’ legal professional, was appointed by the Commissioners Court docket on Feb. 23 to supersede Phipps as lead counsel for Bexar County in the lawsuit. Watts had advised that Bexar County accept a point out-brokered settlement in 2020 that Phipps thought of too smaller — an believed $7 million payout for damages to the county that Phipps imagined could be proved to be in the hundreds of tens of millions of pounds, his movement in the prison scenario states.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff declined remark Wednesday.

Phipps’ arrest adopted the resignations of several staff at his regulation business, most notably Mayes, a previous main of team to Wolff and to Mayor Ron Nirenberg when he was a City Council member.

In Tuesday’s motion, McCrum offered a lengthy chronology that tried to display Mayes worked with a San Antonio Law enforcement Office detective and Vega herself in producing the criminal situation towards Phipps. Mayes tweeted about the arrest minutes right after it happened, the document states.

McCrum wrote that Mayes labored on the lawsuit and on 6 instances in 2020 described to county commissioners “in beneficial conditions the Phipps’ legislation firm’s function and approach on behalf of Bexar County.” He did so yet again on Jan. 4, but days afterwards commenced approaching staff members at the organization to signal a letter urging improvements in doing work problems, then made the letter general public immediately after promising signers that it would only be despatched to Phipps, in accordance to the movement.