CARLTON E. BRANTNER, Appellant
GEORGE M. ROBINSON, Appellee
the 87th District Court Freestone County, Texas Trial Court
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Neill (Chief
Justice Gray concurring)
E. NEILL, JUSTICE
appeal, appellant, Carlton E. Brantner, advancing pro se,
challenges the trial court's granting of a summary
judgment in favor of appellee, George M. Robinson. In what we
construe as two issues, Brantner argues that the trial court
erred by granting summary judgment in favor of Robinson on
limitations grounds as to claims Brantner brought in his
original petition. Brantner further asserts that the trial
court erred by failing to consider his remaining causes of
action. We reverse and remand.
indicated in his original petition, Brantner's claims all
pertain to Robinson's actions as Brantner's trial
counsel in a criminal matter. Specifically, Brantner contends
On Feb. 9, 2015 George M. Robinson (hereinafter referred to
as "Defendant" or "Robinson") wrote a
letter to Carlton E. Brantner "Petitioner" in
regards to a plea agreement presented to petitioner by
defendant and County Attorney Chris Martin on Jan. 22, 2015.
Defendant recommended that petitioner accept the plea
agreement as it was presented affording a chance for parole
at (50%) or when half of sentence was complete. Petitioner
accepted and signed the agreement based on the chance for
parole and petitioner[']s concerns over the effectiveness
of defendant in an actual trial. Defendant continues to
explain that as he and County Attorney, in their discussion
of the offer prior to presenting it to petitioner, understood
the charge to provide parole. Apon [sic] further research,
defendant admits that he and County Attorney had a
misunderstanding of the law and through miscommunication,
erroneously advised petitioner his chance for parole.
a motion for new trial and an 11.07 writ were filed based on
this purported error on behalf of Brantner. However,
according to Brantner, the motion for new trial and 11.07
writ were denied.
on March 2, 2017, Brantner filed his original petition in the
trial court, requesting the following:
A declaration that the acts and omissions described herein
violated Plaintiff's [Brantner] rights under the
Constitution and laws of the United States.
A preliminary and permanent injuction [sic] ordering
defendant; George Robinson to stop causing harm by slander,
libel, or in any other form of retaliation.
. . .
Compensatory damages in the amount of $15, 000 for each act,
violation, or omission as discribed [sic] herein and as
1. Damages for deficient performance as trial counsel,
providing erroneous advise [sic], and miscommunication
leading to ineffective assistance of counsel.
2. Damages for deficient performance in filing the Motion for
New Trial in not utilizing all available argument in strategy
3. Damages for deficient performance in keeping Plaintiff up
to date and current in regards to the Motion being overruled
and deadline on filing an appeal.
4. For committing perjury on the Aug. 15, 2016 affidavit for
falsely stating as fact what evidence state had (videos from
computer, letters to victim), and what department
5. For not reviewing the discovery and other available
evidence, for basing his affidavit to reflect that of County
Attorney's with the intent to do harm.
6. For violating Attorney-Client Priviledge [sic], and for
stating as fact an opinion on said affidavit in violation of
the Rules of Texas Jurisprudence Forms: Pleading and Practice
filed an answer, asserting special exceptions, a general
denial, and the affirmative defenses of statute of
limitations and waiver. Robinson also filed a traditional
motion for summary judgment, arguing that Brantner did not
plead any cognizable cause of action other than claims of
"Negligence-Legal Malpractice" and that the statute
of limitations had run by the time Brantner filed his March
2, 2017 original petition.
a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor
of Robinson on his affirmative defense of statute of
limitations. Specifically, in its summary-judgment order, the
trial court stated:
The Court finds Defendant is entitled to summary judgment as
a matter of law because Plaintiff's claims are solely for
Negligence-Legal Malpractice. A two year statute of
limitations period applies pursuant to TEX.CIV.PRAC. &
REM.CODE ANN. §16.003(a). Plaintiff was aware of his
injury on February 12, 2015 and further finds that
Plaintiff's petition was not filed until March 2, 2017,