'Uppity Bitch' and Strip-Club Outings: Firm Breakup Counterclaim Filed

, Texas Lawyer

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A lawsuit that began with allegations that a lawyer emptied her firm's bank account now involves a counterclaim that one left-behind lawyer used firm funds for strip-club outings.

Two former partners of Houston lawyer Ada Ferrer filed a lawsuit against her earlier this month, alleging that, the day before she resigned from Ferrer, Tu & Payne in November 2013, she "emptied" the firm's bank account and started soliciting clients for her new firm.

Ferrer hits back in an answer and counterclaim filed on Jan. 20. She alleges her former partners have failed to properly wind up Ferrer Tu after the members voted in December 2013 to dissolve it, and she alleges that money she took from the firm was "salary and expenses that were owed to her."

She also alleges in her answer and counterclaim that former partner Warrenson Payne misrepresented his experience and work history before joining the firm in 2011 and failed to act professionally while working at the firm.

Ferrer alleges she "took issue with much of Payne's conduct."

"This included charging of improper expenses to FTP. Payne used FTP funds to pay for strip club outings as well as other expenditures that Ferrer did not approve," Ferrer alleges in the answer and counterclaim. "Payne sexually harassed the female employees of FTP, including requesting sex for favorable treatment."

She also alleges Payne was "not capable" of professionally preparing written correspondence, billing, pleadings or briefs.

"When confronted about his inability to write legal papers Payne called Ferrer an 'uppity bitch' and stated, 'Nobody cares about grammar' and further stated 'grammar is for old people,'" Ferrer alleges in the answer and counterclaim.

Payne, now at Tu, Payne & Associates in Houston, declined comment on Ferrer's allegations, at his attorney's request.

"We will defend this case in court," Payne wrote in an email. "Her allegations are false and a smoke screen from her responding to our theft claim."

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