Texas: Swimsuit, Las Vegas photos spearhead request for judges’ removal from water drainage case

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Texas: Swimsuit, Las Vegas photos spearhead request for judges’ removal from water drainage case

In one picture, the women are on a sandy beach in swimsuits smiling for a selfie. A second photo shows them in a setting with what appears to be the Las Vegas Bellagio Hotel in the background. And a third photo has been scrubbed from a popular Houston social scene website.

These and additional photos obtained through public records and social media show the Judge and Attorney in settings not typically related to the professional environments where judges and attorneys commonly meet on an informal basis.

Then there’s the matter of a minimum of $188,646.49 in ad litem appointment fees paid to the attorney.

And the almost $4000.00 in alleged campaign contributions paid by the attorney to the Judge.

Documents pertaining to travel-related purchases, retail purchases and records supporting any campaign contributions paid by attorney Marilyn Vilandos to Judge Alexandra Smoots-Thomas were included in a Witness and Document Subpoena filed May 30, 2018 commanding Ms. Vilandos to appear before Judge Susan Brown on June 25, 2018 and are related to a motion filed May 8 requesting Smoots -Thomas remove herself from the water-drainage claims case.

Attorneys for the furniture company with litigation against Ms. Vilandos client claim the photos demonstrate the Court and newly-appeared opposing counsel Vilandos have a personal friendship the existence or extent of which was never disclosed to Plaintiffs’ counsel.

“Attached to this Motion are no fewer than fifteen photographs of the Court and Ms. Vilandos, obtained publicly through Google searches of from social media sites”, the court documents state, showing” the Court is not impartial and is biased.”

An Internet search turned up two Instagram pages marked “private” and a search of this Houston social scene website revealed evidence a 2013 photo taken at an opening night party has been scrubbed from view.


(photo credit: publicly accessed website June 3, 2018)

Harris County District Clerk public records reveal the June 25 court appearance is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on the 12th floor of 201 Caroline Avenue in Houston, Texas.

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