Alex Jones’ Lawyer Could Face Legal Consequences for Release of Phone Records

The lawyer who defended conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in a Texas trial has drawn his own national headlines for accidentally handing over highly sensitive data to his adversaries, exposing him to potential legal consequences.

Houston attorney Federico Andino Reynal acknowledged that Jones’s legal team had provided attorneys for the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting with a digital copy of the contents of the Infowars founder’s phone. which included text messages and medical records.

The revelation was made public by an attorney for the parents in a dramatic exchange with Jones as the trial neared its end.

The revelation may have exposed Reynal to sanctions in a different case, as well as the possibility of malpractice lawsuits by Jones, according to court documents and attorneys who followed the trial. Jones could bring a malpractice lawsuit against his attorneys, but he would have to show that he would have had a better outcome in the Texas trial if the phone information had not been released, said Randy Johnston, a legal malpractice attorney. in Dallas.

“Any complaint I would make is essentially ‘if it hadn’t been for my attorneys, I would have been a successful liar,'” Johnston said.

Reynal told Reuters on Friday that his focus “was always on the jury and making the best case for Alex.” He said the sanctions requested against him may be due to a “tactical advantage” of his opponents.

Jones could not be immediately reached for comment. An Austin jury on Friday awarded the parents $45.2 million in punitive damages against Jones for falsely calling the 2012 massacre a hoax, in addition to a $4.1 million compensatory damages verdict the day before.

A judge in Austin rejected an offer by Reynal on Thursday to protect the phone records and denied his request for a mistrial over the disclosure.

A Connecticut state judge overseeing another Sandy Hook libel case against Jones ordered Thursday that Reynal and another Jones attorney, Norm Pattis, appear later this month for hearings to consider penalties or other disciplinary action for their “alleged “Unauthorized Release of Sandy Hook Plaintiffs’ Physicians. records.

Pattis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The small Houston law firm of Reynal primarily handles criminal defense cases in state and federal courts.

He successfully defended Carmen María Montiel, a former Miss Venezuela, from an assault charge against a flight attendant in 2013. A jury acquitted her in 2015.

Montiel, now a Republican candidate for Congress, said her daughter, who wants to be a lawyer, interned with Reynal. Montiel said that she “always does what’s best for her clients.”

Reynal also represented Cody Wilson, who ran a 3D-printed weapons company. Wilson was charged with sexual assault in 2018 and later pleaded guilty to lesser charges. Wilson told Reuters on Friday that Reynal had “an impossible task” in the Jones case, but he represented Jones “to the best of his ability.”

Prior to starting his firm, Reynal was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. He previously practiced at the Baker Botts law firm, according to his LinkedIn profile. Texas State Bar records do not list public disciplinary proceedings against her.

Johnston said information about Jones’s phone relevant to the Sandy Hook claims should have been provided to the plaintiffs before trial, as part of a court-supervised process known as discovery. Once Jones’ attorneys discovered they had accidentally shared phone records, they should have at least warned Jones before he was on the stand, he said.

Johnston said the Sandy Hook parents could seek sanctions against the lawyers and possibly Jones for failing to share relevant parts of the phone data earlier, and there could be a judicial investigation into whether other information was not properly disclosed.

Following Friday’s verdict, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Mark Bankston, told Judge Maya Guerra Gamble that they would seek sanctions against Jones’ attorneys on three matters, including telling the jury that their verdict would affect the legal and protected speech of others. people.

Toward the end of Friday’s proceedings, Reynal told Gamble that he became aware of the inadvertent telephone disclosure while Jones was testifying Wednesday.

“That’s not true,” the judge replied, telling Reynal that he had given her an email showing that he had been aware 12 days earlier. “That’s our position,” Reynal insisted, eliciting a laugh from the judge.

Reporting from Jacqueline Thomsen in Washington; edited by David Bario, Amy Stevens and Kim Coghill

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