Duggar attorney disqualified in real-estate lawsuit

National News

No word if attorney Travis Story faces any sanctions

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The attorney representing ALB Investments, LLC, in a quiet title case, has been disqualified, according to a court document signed by Benton County Circuit Court Judge John Scott on Monday, March 23.

Travis W. Story and his law firm represented ALB Investments, LLC, a company owned by Josh Duggar. ALB Investments, LLC, acknowledged that its tax filings with the Arkansas Secretary of State from August 24, 2015, to April 11, 2019, lists Story as its registered agent, officer, incorporator/organizer, having the same business manager, and tax contact.

The Judge cited Arkansas Code 16-22-211(a) that in part states that it is unlawful for a corporation “to hold itself out to the public as being entitled to practice law for any person in any of the courts”

The day after ALB Investments, LLC was served with a lawsuit from Carl Echols, the plaintiff, Story filed an amendment with the Arkansas Secretary of States. “Certificate of Amendment of Organization alleging the filing for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 were all in error,” according to the court document.

In the two-page order, the judge begins by stating the difficulty in getting the case completed. “Part of the difficulty has been the failure of ALB Investments, LLC, to comply with the discovery provisions.”

The document then mentions the court’s order of Contempt and for Sanctions on December 17, 2019, against ALB Investments, LLC, and six hearings on the matter:

  • June 11, 2019
  • July 25, 2019
  • September 3, 2019
  • November 12, 2019
  • December 5, 2019
  • December 16, 2019

The court held a phone conference the week of March 16, 2020, because of the courthouse coronavirus closure regarding Echol’s request for a protective order. There’s a pretrial hearing set for April 13, 2020.

Echol’s attorney Kesha Chiappinelli said she tried several times to talk with Story about the conflict of interest, but that he was unresponsive. “He [Story] needed to disqualify himself. If you read the attorney’s rules of ethics it’s clear he needed to bow out.”

BACKGROUND:

The lawsuit was filed on April 3, 2019, by Carl Echols. He said he bought five acres of land for $17,500 cash from his cousin, Edward Lewis in 2006.

In 2016, Josh Duggar bought the property for $1,000. City Title & Closing, LLC, issued a warranty deed which Duggar recorded. However, had the title company done a full title search it would have shown the power of attorney/bill of sale to Echols.

This case is set for trial on April 27, 2020, in Benton County.

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