SATURDAY,MAY 3, 2008
LAREDO MORNING TIMES | 5A
CRIME & MORE
Salinas wins major battle in this courtroom
By TRICIA CORTEZ
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
District Judge David Peeples
ruled Friday that Fernando A.
“Chito” Salinas can take his for-
mer attorney, George J. Person, to
court May 19.
Peeples, a visiting judge from
San Antonio, denied Person’s mo-
tion for summary judgment, in
which Person sought to have
Peeples dismiss the case, and or-
dered the two parties to trial in
“We’re pleased that the judge
denied the motion, and will move
forward with trial on May 19,”
said Salinas’ attorney, Carlos M.
A jury is ex-
pected to hear
in Salinas’s law-
breach of fidu-
ciary duty, vio-
lation of the
Trade Practices Act and legal mal-
The judge did drop one count,
however, in which Salinas argues
that Person and his law firm, Per-
son, Whitworth, Borchers &
Morales, conspired with Salinas’
cousins, Jose and Eduardo Bar-
rera, to defraud Salinas.
George H. Spencer Jr., the San
Antonio-based attorney repre-
senting Person and his law firm,
said overall he was also pleased
with the judge’s ruling, and said
his clients are ready for trial.
No discussions of a settlement
have taken place, Spencer said.
“We were very pleased that the
judge threw out the claim that
George Person conspired with Mr.
Salinas’ cousins to defraud him,”
“It’s clear now that the only
thing the case is about is an at-
tempt to get the legal fees paid to
Carlos Zaffirini,” Spencer said.
At stake with Salinas’ lawsuit
is nearly $4 million in damages
and attorneys’ fees that Salinas,
an octogenarian who established
a charitable trust three years ago,
is seeking to recover from Person
and his law firm.
Peeples’ ruling showed the
judge “finds merit in our case,”
Zaffirini said Friday.
Salinas filed suit against Per-
son in February 2007 in response
to the restructuring of a family
land partnership, El Ebanito, that
Salinas states caused him finan-