After a bench trial on Dec. 3, 2012, 98th District Court Judge Rhonda Hurley awarded Michael Victor Baumer (pictured) actual damages and issued a permanent injunction barring Scott Alexander Morris from publishing two websites and “making false statements” about Baumer, his business and his reputation, according to a Jan. 22 Permanent Injunction and Final Judgment in Michael Victor Baumer v. Scott Alexander Morris.
Hurley found for Baumer on his three causes of action—tortious interference with prospective business relations, business disparagement and defamation—and ordered that Morris take nothing by his counterclaims.
“I’m happy about it in the sense we got the permanent injunction. That was more than anything the real goal. . . . I don’t think I’ll ever see a penny from him, but at least the website is down,” Baumer says.
Morris says in representing himself pro se, he made a mistake in “being emotional rather than being a lawyer.” Morris says he may hire an attorney for an appeal and he thinks there’s “enough cause to have a retrial.”
Morris adds, “I’m going to fight back, and I expect to win the second time around.”
The Feb. 21, 2012, Original Petition and Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary Injunction in Baumer v. Morris, filed in Travis County's 419th District Court, alleges that Morris hired Baumer in 2007 to represent him in a bankruptcy. The petition states that Morris "did not have enough cash" to pay Baumer and offered to pay Baumer $800 and give him the watch, worth $2,500.
A dispute ensued about the watch. [See, “Lawyer Gets Temporary Injunction Against Ex-Client's Websites,” Texas Lawyer, March 26, 2012, page 1].
Baumer alleged in his petition that Morris launched websites that said, among other things, "If you have lost everything like I had, the last thing you need is a lawyer who steals your family heirlooms and kicks you while you are down."
Morris’s March 5 Defendant's Cross Counterclaim brought causes of action against Baumer including breach of contract, fraud and deceptive trade practices.
— Angela Morris