Published January 1, 2012
LEAGUE CITY — A League City lawyer elected as a county court judge lost a libel lawsuit against his then-estranged wife’s attorney, but the attorney’s counter lawsuit accuses the judge of “practically everything evil under the sun.”
The saga of Christopher Dupuy began before he was elected the Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 judge during a 2010 Republican sweep at the polls. Dupuy filed a Feb. 16, 2010, libel lawsuit against Danbury attorney Savannah Robinson, who was his estranged wife’s attorney in a divorce proceeding, according to court documents.
Former County Court No. 1 Judge Mary Nell Crapitto threw out Dupuy’s lawsuit after he failed to appear at a July 2010 hearing. Crapitto granted Robinson a summary judgment because Dupuy filed no response.
Robinson, however, filed a counter lawsuit in April 2010 in opposition to Dupuy’s claim that she defamed his character.
Robinson’s counter lawsuit levels vast criticism against Dupuy, accusing him of engaging in a “perverse, iron-fisted rule of domestic terror.”
In an email to The Daily News, Dupuy declined to comment on the allegations.
‘Incapable Of Being Defamed’
“Christopher Dupuy’s reputation is such that he is simply incapable of being defamed,” Robinson states in the counterclaim. “Any possible damage which could result to such a poor reputation would be of minuscule quantity incapable of being measured.”
Robinson leveled many other accusations against Dupuy in her 22-page counterclaim filed April 10, 2010, in County Court No. 1, including one that accused him of having a long-standing sexual addiction.
It claims Dupuy’s wife, Adrienne Dupuy, fears for the safety of her children during Dupuy’s visitation. She made calls to police, state child protection services and crisis counseling. She also sought psychological counseling for her children, the counterclaim states.
As a defense to Dupuy’s libel lawsuit, the countersuit claims Dupuy is “universally despised within the legal community for his lack of professionalism, his lack of common civility and his unjustified legal posturings. …”
It accuses Dupuy of frequently taking positions contrary to law, says he is seldom prepared and hostile to being corrected.
Dupuy refuses reasonable attempts at communication or courtesy, delays matters, abuses the discovery process and has little grasp of his duties as an officer of the court, the counter claim states.
Dupuy has been frequently reported to the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee and to the Texas Attorney General’s Office by his peers and clients, the lawsuit claims.
When Dupuy filed as a candidate for judge, he was under a six-month probated suspension from the state bar, which found he committed professional misconduct. Dupuy’s websites contained misleading statements, according to documents obtained from the bar’s Grievance Committee.
Dupuy is well-known in the legal community for his extreme degree of hostility, lack of cooperation and intemperance toward his peers and court staff, the countersuit claims.
“His uncalled-for incivility to secretaries, receptionists, clerks and other persons who do not have the opportunity to refuse his bullying is consistent with a narcissistic personality disorder,” the countersuit claims.
In November, Dupuy fired his court reporter, who had been employed with the county since 1996, according to a termination notice document on file with the county. The reporter’s last day was Friday. Dupuy lists poor performance, including absenteeism during trial settings, as a reason for separation of employment.
On Nov. 21, Dupuy listed job openings for his court reporter and court coordinator, but he removed the postings Dec. 16, Jan Piveral, director of the county’s Human Resources Department, said.
Divorce Case Sealed
Dupuy ran for county court judge, forcing the judge in his divorce proceeding to recuse himself, the countersuit claims. The measure was an attempt to delay the divorce proceeding, the counterclaim states.
When Robinson filed her counterclaim, Dupuy’s divorce was pending in Galveston’s 306th District Court. The case was sealed at Dupuy’s request, the counterclaim states. Dupuy wanted the divorce records sealed, not for minimizing effects on his children, the counterclaim states.
“His stated reason, as voiced through his counsel of record during open court, was to ‘prevent Mr. Dupuy’s embarrassment during his political campaign,’” the counterclaim states.
The counterclaim says Dupuy’s libel lawsuit was frivolous, and that he made himself a public figure, for whom public criticism and scrutiny of character was both wanted and constitutionally protected.
The counterclaim also accuses Dupuy of filing more than five frivolous lawsuits, which were as of April 2010 pending after more than two years without resolution.
Law Offices A ‘Storefront Sham’
Dupuy claimed to have not less than six offices, but those, with the exception of one in League City, were nothing more than a storefront sham, the counterclaim states.
In Dupuy’s sworn inventory during his divorce proceeding, he listed no furniture, word processing equipment, phones or other equipment needed to operate an office, the counterclaim states.
Although Dupuy refused to comment on the allegations, he told The Daily News in an email that: “I would prefer to respond to your inquiries in order to prevent what will inevitably be a one-sided article. However, after carefully reviewing the law on judicial ethics, I have determined that I am prohibited from comment.”
Among the questions to Dupuy were whether his divorce was finalized and whether he threatened to fire his court staff. Dupuy didn’t specify what rule prohibits his comment.
In a November filing, however, Dupuy asked the court to grant a protective order, saying Robinson demanded county resources to conduct a deposition. In the motion, Dupuy states Robinson falsely accused him “of practically everything evil under the sun.”
A trial date in County Court No. 1 for the counterclaim has not been set. On Nov. 8, Judge Roberta Lloyd was assigned to hear the case, according to the last paperwork filed with the court Dec. 7.
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