United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE UMTED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim, Doc. 9, filed by Defendants Law Firm of Abernathy,
Roeder, Boyd and Hullett, and Richard Abernathy (collectively
“Abernathy”). For the following reasons, the
Court GRANTS Abernathy's motion.
2017, pro se Plaintiff Michael Williams filed this lawsuit in
the 298th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas.
See Doc. 1-1, Pl.'s Original Pet., 11. His
complaint contains several causes of action against Abernathy
including defamation per se and per quod, civil
conspiracy, racketeering, intentional infliction of emotional
distress, mental anguish, and negligence. See Id. at
20-28. About a month later, Defendant City of Frisco (Frisco)
removed the case to this Court. Doc. 1. On September 6, 2017,
Abernathy, Frisco's city attorney, filed a motion to
dismiss, arguing that Williams's claims are barred by the
attorney-immunity doctrine. Doc. 9, Defs.' Mot. to
Dismiss, 4. Williams did not respond to Abernathy's
Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes
the Court to dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Id. 12(b)(6). In considering a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “[t]he court accepts all
well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.” In re Katrina Canal
Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007). The
Court will “not look beyond the face of the pleadings
to determine whether relief should be granted based on the
alleged facts.” Spivey v. Robertson, 197 F.3d
772, 774 (5th Cir. 1999).
survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. “The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. When well-pleaded facts fail to achieve this
plausibility standard, “the complaint has alleged - but
it has not shown - that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks
and alterations omitted).
is suing Abernathy for defamation per se and per
quod, civil conspiracy, racketeering, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, mental anguish, and
negligence. See Doc. 1-1, Pl.'s Original Pet.,
20-28. In his motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
Abernathy argues the attorney-immunity doctrine bars
Williams's claims because they arise from Abernathy's
representation of Frisco. Doc. 9. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss,
in Texas are not liable to third parties for damages that
arise from advising their clients or practicing their
profession. Cantey Hanger, LLP v. Byrd, 467 S.W.3d
477, 481 (Tex. 2015). “This attorney-immunity defense
is intended to ensure ‘loyal, faithful, and aggressive
representation by attorneys employed as
advocates.'” Id. (quoting Mitchell v.
Chapman, 10 S.W.3d 810, 812 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2000, pet.
denied)). The attorney-immunity defense only applies to
actions attorneys take to “discharge [their] duties to
[their] client[s].” Dixon Fin. Servs., Ltd. v.
Greenberg, Peden, Siegmyer & Oshman, P.C., No.
01-06-00696-CV, 2008 WL 746548, at *9 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st
Dist] Mar. 20, 2008, pet. denied).
claims in his motion to dismiss that the attorney-immunity
doctrine bars Williams's claims against him because they
are based on Abernathy's representation of Frisco. Doc.
9. Defs.' Mot. to ...