As seen on:

Channel 2 / Houston KPRC
Channel 11/ KHOU

Marshall Davis Brown Jr: March 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Legal Dispute over Hilary Duff's Birthday Gift

Buzz about the Duff parents' divorce – the mother and father of Hollywood queens Hilary and Haylie – was all over the tabloids. No fan went unaware of the bitter breakup of the parents, and how mother Susan took the girls and moved to L.A., leaving their father, Bob, in Houston.

But what might not have gotten quite so much attention is the fact that there was not only a dense legal case over the divorce, but also over Hilary's birthday gift.

For Haylie's 21st birthday party in 2006, her parents – namely, her father – dropped some $25,000 to throw her a party and buy her a lavish gift: an expensive ring. In 2008, as Hilary's 21st approached, Susan wanted to do the same for Hilary. She was "emotionally upset by the abandonment of her father," claimed Susan, and deserved "to have some kind of recognition for a young life well-lived." Thus, Susan thought Bob should contribute funds for Hilary's birthday that were equal to the ones he spent on Haylie's to avoid her feeling left out.

Marshall Davis Brown, Jr, who was representing Susan in the case, asked Bob if he wanted Hilary to have a comparable gift and celebration for her birthday, to which he responded that he did. Bob was paying $10,000 per month in interim support to Susan, so the girls had no question of whether the requested sum would be practical.

After a heated hearing, Judge Thomas Stansbury finally ordered Bob to pay $12,500 to Susan to spend on Hilary's birthday – half of what was initially requested.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Marshall Davis Brown in Celebrity Cases

Marshall Davis Brown, TX divorce lawyer, is well-known in the area for his work on cases of family law. He's been practicing law for over thirty years, since graduating the South Texas College of Law in 1980. He specializes in cases involving divorce, child custody, paternity, and family violence, and has helped many families mediate their issues over the years.

But he's more than just a hometown lawyer. What helped to gain him his recognition, in part, was a case in which he represented Sharon Bush, the wife of Neil Bush, in their divorce case. Neil, the brother of former president George, had a sketchy work history to begin with. But when it was revealed that he was cheating on his wife, Brown helped Sharon get the financial and legal justice she deserved.

He was also involved, in 2008, in a famous case involving the parents of Hilary and Haylie Duff. Their father, Bob Duff, was proven to be extremely wealthy and had previously shelled out some $25,000 for a party and a gift for his eldest daughter. When the time came to celebrate the younger daughter's birthday, and her mother Susan asked for monetary assistance, Bob refused. He was living in Texas while the girls had all moved to LA after the bitter divorce, and Susan found it unfair that the father was trying to deny the younger of the two an equal celebration. Brown, representing Sharon, helped set that case straight as well, helping Sharon to the award of half the $25,000 that was intended to be spent on their daughter's birthday.

Marshall Davis Brown is still in practice and still continues to work on family law cases of such social magnitude.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Divorce and the Recession

For the past five or six years it's been no secret that the American economy has taken a hit. The word 'recession' makes its way into the headlines of nearly every US newspaper, not to mention the talk of jobs, budget cuts, et cetera. Nearly every facet of the American lifestyle is suffering – and divorce law is no exception.

Take, for example, Irene Georgakis, a housewife who, in 2007, discovered that her husband was having an affair and she'd have to file for divorce. In the midst of the lawsuit, her husband, who owns five companies in New York, is claiming poverty in an attempt to avoid paying support. Irene is just one spouse out of the many couples that are fighting both their divorce cases and the economy. While some are avoiding the situation ever, choosing their lives in their bad marriages over the potential bankruptcy that could come with divorce, others are taking their cases back to court.

According to Cynthia Hartwell, a divorce attorney, it's a good time for breadwinners to get divorced. "They can come to the court with a compelling argument that they can no longer earn what they used to earn," she says. "The court is not going to impose an order on someone whose job situation has changed dramatically."

When both spouses are out of work, it's particularly vexing for courts to order support demands. Take, for example, one of attorney Steve Eisman's clients, who was a mortgage broker. She no longer has income, and her husband, who was a banker, got laid off. They've got no income to speak of now – how can support be agreed upon? Those who once owned assets are now writing checks that represent them at their lowest value – and happily.

Or how about in Houston, where a horse-breeder, who was represented by attorney Marshall Davis Brown of TX, and his spouse, a web-designer, decided to split. The wife was originally entitled to $100,000 of the $300,000 shared investment account, but when the economy nosedived, it became apparent to the wife's misfortune that those gains were not going to happen.

These are a just a few cases in which money is making divorce an even more unpleasant experience, if that's possible. While some may have once repressed their negative feelings toward their ex-spouses due to receiving alimony, there's now nothing to quell the animosity.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shoving Match turns into Fatal Stabbing of Rice University Athlete

What started as a few shoves in a College Station bar ended as the death of a twenty-two-year-old basketball player from Rice University and the stabbing of his twin brother.

Ronald Johnson of College Station and Michael Fuller were both Marines who had returned from Iraq shortly after the incident, which took place in April of 2007. Both men admitted to pulling out pocket knives in the middle of the scuffle; Johnson acknowledges that his made contact with a person or people, while Fuller did not believe that he was responsible for any injuries.

The incident began in the V Bar in College Station, TX, when the aforementioned twin brothers were celebrating their birthday. An intoxicated Janson Bailey was touching and irritating Fuller, who then shoved and punched him. All four men were asked to leave the bar, but the fight did not stop there.

There were several fights between the two pairs of men in various locations, which finally culminated in both twin brothers being stabbed. At 1:46 a.m., there was a report of aggravated assault, and notice that someone had been stabbed. When the police arrived, they found Jonathan Bailey bleeding on a sidewalk. By this point, both Johnson and Fuller had fled.

According to Marshall Davis Brown, Fuller's attorney, he had been punched twice while still inside the bar, and somewhere in the scuffle he had been beaten to the point of a swollen face. One of the twins also allegedly attempted to take his wallet. It is believed that Johnson saw his friend being beaten and came to his aid; the stabbing was a result of self-defense.

Johnson was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but found not guilty of the murder.

Pavlas, Brown & York L.L.P.

3040 Post Oak Blvd. Ste. 1020

Houston, TX 77056

Ph (713) 222.2500

Contact Us

Pavlas, Brown & York acts for clients throughout Houston, Texas and its counties, including but not limited to Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County and Liberty County. Our Staff is expert in navigating divorce and family law proceedings, and the rules of each of the county courthouses.

Copyright 2010 Pavlas Brown & York L.L.P. Attorneys at Law. All Rights Reserved

The information contained in the Pavlas, Brown & York website is provided solely for information purposes. All information contained herein should not be construed as legal advice in any manner. No viewer, recipient, or any person accessing this website, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information or content included in the website.

Individuals should always seek appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state.

Pavlas, Brown & York, L.L.P. expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken baed on any or all the contents on this website.