Two days after a federal indictment naming Houston plaintiffs lawyer Warren Todd Hoeffner was made public, Hoeffner’s ex-partner Thomas E. Bilek announced in a press release dated June 29 that he and Hoeffner had dissolved their partnership several years ago, even though he continued to operate his firm for several years under the name Hoeffner & Bilek “for continuity reasons.” Bilek said in the statement that Hoeffner had formed a new business entity when they dissolved their partnership “in which I have had no role.” Bilek said Hoeffner had “sole responsibility” at their former firm for the silicosis docket. The indictment alleges that Hoeffner paid more than $3 million in “bribes and kickbacks” to two former claims adjustors for The Hartford Insurance Co. in connection with a $34 million settlement of silica-related suits. Hoeffner pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bilek noted in the release that he and Hoeffner have continued to share office space because they are both parties to a long-term lease. Bilek also noted that neither he nor his firm is a defendant in the federal indictment, and the indictment does not allege he played any role in the alleged acts. Bilek said his firm will now be known as the Bilek Law Firm. “We will also endeavor to maintain the reputation for integrity which I believe that we have earned during the past 20 years of practice in the courts of Texas and the . . . United States,” he wrote. The Hoeffner & Bilek Web site, which was accessible on June 28 and listed both Bilek and Hoeffner on its attorney roster, was password protected on June 29.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys