Appeal from the 288th District Court of Bexar County. Trial Court No. 91-CI-13765. Honorable Michael Peden, Judge Presiding
For Appellant: Kevin James Veschi (Pro Se), TDCJ-ID No. 472650 - Pack Unit II, Rt. 1, Box 1000, Navasota, TX 77868.
For Appellee: Cathy J. Sheehan, Nancy L. Farrer, PLUNKETT, GIBSON & ALLEN, INC., P.O. Box BH002, San Antonio, TX 78201.
Sitting: Blair Reeves, Chief Justice, Orlando Garcia, Justice, Preston H. Dial, Jr., Justice*fn1
Opinion by Preston H. Dial, Jr., Justice
This is a suit for legal malpractice. Kevin Veschi, a convicted criminal defendant, sued Mark Stevens, his appointed appellate counsel. The trial court granted summary judgment for attorney Stevens. We will affirm.
Veschi was convicted of burglary of a habitation. Punishment was assessed at ninety-nine years' confinement and a $10,000.00 fine. The conviction was affirmed by this court in an unpublished opinion. In the opinion the State's evidence was summarized thusly:
The evidence connecting appellant to the Wolff burglary was substantial and persuasive. [An accomplice] described the episode in great detail. Witnesses placed the Wolff piggy-bank and large-screen television in appellant's hands either immediately or shortly after the theft. Concerning punishment, appellant had five prior felony convictions for the jury to consider in addition to his brazen commission of the Wolff burglary using two stolen cars in broad daylight.
Veschi had both appointed counsel and retained counsel defending him in the burglary trial. Stevens was appointed to represent Veschi on the appeal of his conviction. Stevens filed a forty-eight page brief urging sixteen points of error and argued orally before the court of appeals. Stevens also filed a petition for discretionary review in the court of criminal appeals. Review was denied.
Veschi then filed this suit against Stevens asserting seven allegations of negligence. Four involved points of error that Veschi contended should have been included in the appellant's brief. These four points of error are not carried forward as issues in this appeal. The other three alleged negligence in failing to obtain a complete statement of facts on appeal.
Stevens filed a motion for summary judgment and a supplementary motion for summary judgment. Each was accompanied by affidavit evidence of expert witnesses attesting to Stevens's adherence to the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonably prudent attorney. The affidavits also included opinions that none of the alleged acts of negligence was causally connected to Veschi's damages. Veschi did not file a response to Stevens's motions for summary judgment. Instead, Veschi filed his own motion for partial summary judgment. It did not contain summary judgment proof that factually disputed Stevens's evidence.
The trial court granted Stevens's motion for summary judgment and supplemental motion for summary judgment. It ordered that Veschi take nothing and that Stevens recover his court costs. The ...