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Marshall Davis Brown Jr: March 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
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.
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
Marshall Davis Brown in Celebrity Cases
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.
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
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.
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 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.