Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt is facing fresh legal troubles. He's well known in North Texas for taking on high-profile clients, often over police misconduct allegations.
Now a committee of the Supreme Court of Texas is again accusing Merritt of practicing state law without a Texas law license.
This stems from a complaint originally filed in January. To resolve it, Merritt signed an agreement not to practice law in any state cases in Texas. He is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but can only practice federal law in Texas.
The Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee said Merritt has since broken their agreement. They're seeking to hold him in contempt and asked for "six months imprisonment" for each alleged violation plus a $500 fine for each instance.
Merritt disputed the allegations. He said that in each case the motion for contempt cited, he acted as an advocate for a family while he prepared to file a federal civil rights claim, and that he always worked with a licensed Texas attorney who handled the criminal side of any state case.
Merritt called the allegations an attempt to silence and discredit him for pursuing civil rights cases.