Texas state Rep. Ron Reynolds accused of unlawful solicitation of business

Ron ReynoldsRon Reynolds

State Rep. Ron Reynolds was released on $5,000 bail early this morning from the Harris County Jail on a charge of barratry.

Yeah, we know. After more than 30 years in the news business, your correspondent had to look up barratry. According to the Texas penal code, it means illegally soliciting business. (See Section 38.12 here.)

For an attorney like Reynolds it means, as KTRK-TV in Houston so delicately put it, “ambulance chasing.” Barratry for an attorney is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Just exactly what prompted the barratry charge and Reynolds’ arrest is unclear. Watchdog left messages seeking comment from Reynolds, 29, this morning with his Bellaire law firm, Brown, Brown & Reynolds, and with his District 27 office in Missouri City.

Reynolds, D-Missouri City, is completing his first term as a state representative for Arcola, Fresno, parts of Houston, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg, Stafford and Sugar Land.

It is also unclear whether Reynolds came across the term barratry during his stints as president of the Houston Lawyers Association and as adjunct professor at his undergraduate alma mater, Texas Southern University.

Reynolds earned his law degree at Texas Tech University.

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Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of ambulance by flickr user Wayan Vota, used via a Creative Commons license.