San Antonio Litigator Facing Malpractice Suit Over Ex-Client’s Eviction
A woman who hired San Antonio litigator Matthew Obermeier in a landlord-tenant dispute claimed he committed legal malpractice that led to her eviction and homelessness, but Obermeier denies the allegations and claims the lawsuit is frivolous and meant to harass him and his firm.
A San Antonio attorney and firm denied all allegations in a client’s lawsuit that claimed they committed legal malpractice in a landlord-tenant dispute, causing the client’s eviction and homelessness.
Matthew Obermeier, member of Oliva, Saks, Garcia & Curiel, has filed discovery responses saying ex-client Pamela Popejoy, a paralegal who’s representing herself pro se, has sued them frivolously because she wants to harass them.
But Popejoy alleges Obermeier had a romantic relationship with opposing counsel, which created a conflict of interest.
“Certainly, I deny all of the allegations,” Obermeier added.
The case, Popejoy v. Obermeier, concerns Obermeier’s representation of Popejoy in an appeal from a landlord-tenant dispute in which Popejoy lost a ruling in a small claims court.
“With my case, it’s been a nightmare,” Popejoy said.
The Oct. 4 petition said that Obermeier neglected to file key court documents in her case. It alleges he tried repeatedly to get Popejoy to accept a settlement agreement, although doing so would have left her homeless, and she didn’t agree to the terms.
“Defendant Obermeier unprofessionally and unethically told plaintiff Popejoy she had to take the then-plaintiffs ‘deal’ because he ‘really, really liked their attorney,’” alleged the petition, which suggests that Obermeier was in a relationship with opposing counsel that created a conflict of interest with his representation of Popejoy.
Obermeier neglected to prepare for a March 2017 trial, Popejoy alleged. He didn’t perform discovery diligently. He hadn’t even read her full lease agreement, according to the plaintiff’s petition. The morning of trial, he told Popejoy the apartment complex had violated the lease by failing to give 30 days to move out, but then he demanded a $300 payment in order to tell the judge that information. Although Popejoy had told Obermeier that she wanted a jury trial, he instead filed a motion for a bench trial, she claimed. He also revealed her confidential information to opposing parties without her permission, the petition alleged.
“Due to defendant Obermeier’s negligence, plaintiff Popejoy’s case was ultimately gravely damaged, which caused injuries and damages to his client, plaintiff Popejoy,” the petition said.
Popejoy’s filing alleged Obermeier was abusive and threatening when she resisted him trying to convince her to settle her dispute. It claimed she eventually agreed to negotiate with the apartment complex, because Obermeier had told her she’d have a chance to appeal if she wasn’t happy with the outcome. But then she alleged he missed the deadline to appeal the agreement, which had not listed her requirements to settle. When she asked for those changes again, he abruptly withdrew as her attorney but failed to return her full file, she alleged.
In the end, Popejoy was evicted and became homeless, the petition said.
Obermeier has filed discovery requests that ask for Popejoy to admit or deny, among other things, that she doesn’t have personal information about any relationship between Obermeier and the apartment complex’s attorney, nor about how long he prepared for trial. He’s asked her to admit or deny that she’s been a defendant in two other eviction suits by other apartment complexes, and that she’s posted critical comments and reviews online about Obermeier and the opposing counsel and two judges in the underlying lawsuit.