Bad Faith Lawsuit: How a Wedding Photographer’s Groundless Suit Led to Atty’s Malpractice

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In his original case filed in Texas state court in 2014, photographer Jerry Hayes, co-owner of Champion Printing & Copying LLC, sued two local wedding photographers he claimed had conspired to block him from taking pictures at weddings. Gammon took up the case, alleging that the photographers violated Texas antitrust laws.

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The state court granted summary judgment in favor of the photographers and ordered sanctions against Champion Printing, which totaled $41,518.75. Champion Printing was unable to pay, landing in bankruptcy court where the issue was taken up by trustee John Patrick Lowe. Lowe sued Gammon, arguing that he committed legal malpractice and “‘knew or should have known’ that the initial filing was groundless,” according to court documents.

On Friday, the Fifth Circuit sharply disagreed, suggesting that “a cursory inquiry into Texas Law” should have made clear the antitrust claim would not pass muster. The court pointed out that the lawyer should have known better and that the photographer’s social media posts blasting the other photographers were used to indicate his suit was “in bad faith.”