Attorney gets slap on wrist ; 'Still eligible to practice law'
ELLIS COUNTY - Midlothian Attorney Todd R. Phillippi was found guilty of fraudulent use of identifying information, a state jail felony, by jurors Thursday, Jan. 14.
According to documents obtained from the district clerk’s office, a jury sentenced Phillippi to 730 days in state jail with a $10,000 fine.
Following the jury’s recommendation, Judge Joe Clayton, sitting by assignment in the 40th District Court for Judge Bob Carroll, placed Phillippi on probation for two years and waived the fine.
According to the county, the evidence at trial showed Phillippi forged the signature of an official notary and, without her knowledge, used the notary’s stamp on an affidavit.
The affidavit was presented to Judge Greg Wilhelm, Ellis County Court at Law 1, to obtain a temporary restraining order.
Evidence presented during the punishment phase showed that Phillippi also created a false document and presented that document to the 10th Court of Appeals in Waco and to the Ellis County District Clerk.
The document was related to the appeal of a criminal case in which Phillippi was the defense attorney.
According to Maureen Ray of the Texas State Bar Association, Phillippi is "still eligible to practice law."
Documents show Phillippi had a fully probated suspension in 2003 for one year and was ordered to pay the court $9,519.25.
"There are a number of techniques we can go through, "said Ray answering how to disbar someone.
The early portion of the grievance process is confidential.
Phillippi had "nothing for public posture" shown as of 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan.18 according to Ray.
County and District Attorney Patrick M. Wilson prosecuted the case.
"This type of fraud undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system, and it cannot be tolerated," said Wilson.
Phillippi was previously convicted of driving while under the influence in Ellis County on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.