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Civil Rights Attorney Lee Merritt Accused of Practicing without TX Law License

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt is being sued for allegedly practicing without a license in Texas. Merritt has represented high-profile clients like Jacqueline Craig, whose arrest by a Fort Worth police officer went viral, and the family of Jordan Edwards, who was killed by a Balch Springs police officer.

The Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee filed the suit Monday in Tarrant County, seeking a temporary injunction to stop Merritt from practicing in state courts in Texas.

On Tuesday, the committee withdrew its suit in Tarrant County and immediately refiled it in Collin County, where Merritt lives. A Collin County judge granted the temporary injunction Tuesday afternoon.

Under the order, Merritt cannot practice law at the state level in Texas until a February 8th hearing on the issue.

Merritt is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey but can only litigate federal cases in North Texas.

He told NBC 5 Monday night that he always partners with a local attorney who handles criminal work on the state level in his cases here.

On Tuesday morning, he released a statement saying in part:

"The claims levied against me are without merit and have been twice dismissed by previous judicial bodies in Dallas County and before the State Bar's Ethics Committee...

Launching baseless investigations and filing frivolous lawsuits is a common tactic used to prevent civil rights lawyers from disrupting unjust practices in Southern States. The entire purposes of the lawsuit is to prevent outcomes like the indictment of Roy Oliver and Derick Wiley and the removal of former Commerce Chief of Police Kerry Crews and former FWPD officer Kenneth Pierce. I look forward to refuting the false claims alleged in the report and continuing the work of police reform and civil rights activism throughout Texas."

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