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“The price for this Freedom at times has been high”

Posted by irahetaj on May 28,

This Memorial Day, take a minute to pause and ponder on the true meaning of Memorial Day.  As of this Memorial Day, nearly three million U.S. military personnel have been killed, or wounded, and more than 40,000 missing.

As you enjoy today’s festivities, pause and think on the price that has been paid for the freedoms we enjoy today.  President Reagan once said that the “price for this Freedom at times has been high”; indeed it has.  For each servicemember killed, or wounded, their families also pay a price.   “But we have never been unwilling to pay that price” (President Ronald Reagan).

Memorial Day Video


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Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson…The Appeal, reading the fine print

Posted by irahetaj on August 18,

This week I got caught off-guard…as they say, the devil is in the details!!!

On August 11, 2017, I mailed to the Appeals Court a motion to allow e-filing of case documents.  On August 14, 2017, the Appeals Court received my motion, entered it in the docket, and determined the motion to be deficient because it did not include a Certificate of Compliance.

I had reviewed the Court’s Rules and the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and knew about the Certificate of Compliance requirements for the Appellant’s Brief…but overlooked the certificate’s requirements for the Motions.  Even though the motion is less than 300 words (out of 5K words allowed for the motion), the lack of the certificate made the motion deficient and an amended motion was required.  Guess I didn’t pay attention to the fine print.  Small mistake… lesson learned.

See court’s docket and amended motion via links below.

Appeal Docket_17-20505_18Aug2017


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Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson…the Docket Reports

Posted by irahetaj on August 15,

What is like going against a major law firm such as Linebarger?  It’s intensive, can be tiresome, thick skin is a must, and you have to realize that unlike most other law firms that will treat you with respect, that it not a particular treatment you will receive from the Linebarger attorneys.  Be prepared for them to employ every trick, and every action available at their disposal to impede you in every way possible so that legal maneuvering supersedes fact.

You can get an idea of the intensity by looking at the docket reports in the Federal and State court cases.

District Court Docket Report_Aug2017


State Court Docket Report


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Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson…the Motion to E-file

Posted by irahetaj on August 15,

As previously mentioned, my decade-long fight against the law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson has reached the appellate level.   The case was docketed in the U.S. Appeals Court, Fifth Circuit.

As a pro se party (not represented by an attorney) I am not allowed to electronically file case documents.  However, Fifth Circuit Rule 25.2.1 allows a pro se party to request for permission to register as a Filing User is made pursuant to Fifth Circuit Rule 25.2.1.

Note, and a lesson I’m learning the hard way.  Double check the documents… I made a mistake and wrote “DISTRICT” instead of “CIRCUIT”.  By the time I realized the error, I had already mailed the documents.  Brain muscle memory can work against you sometimes.




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Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson…the fight continues at the appellate level

Posted by irahetaj on August 11,

On July 6, 2017, the Court ordered a Final Judgment dismissing my case against Linebarger, Goggan, Blair, & Sampson.  Though highly disappointed, a decision point had been reached in the 10 years of litigation against the law firm for violating Texas, and federal, laws regarding property taxes against military personnel.

223-Final Judgment

Thus I had to decide whether accept the Court’s opinion and allow Linebarger to get off the hook on technicalities and legal maneuverings, or seek an appeal, and let the Appeals Court decide if the District Court was correct on its rulings and findings and Linebarger can violate military personnel’s rights at will , or whether Linebarger will be held accountable and it military personnel’s rights will be protected.

I decided for Option 2, and filed my Notice of Appeal on August 7, 2017.

224-Notice of Appeal Final Judgment

The case has now been docketed in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Case No. 17-20505.  The District Court case in Houston is styled  Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair, LLP, et al: USDC No. 4:15-CV-3227

Appeal Docket_17-20505_10Aug2017

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the decade long battle against Linebarger Goggan Blair, LLP.

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Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP: The Pre-Trial Order

Posted by irahetaj on June 22,

A pretrial conference has been set for July 12, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Hittner in Houston, Texas.  In preparation for that a Joint Pre-Trial Order (“JPO”) has to be prepared and submitted by midnight next Monday, June 26, 2017.  Judge Hittner requires that the JPO include various other documents, including the following:

  • Witness Lists;
  • Expert Witness Qualifications;
  • Exhibit Lists
  • proposed JOINT Jury Instructions and Interrogatories;
  • proposed Voir Dire Questions (even though counsel will often conduct voir dire);
  • proposed Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law

A JPO that includes all of the above is a daunting task, particularly for those of us that are not attorney (proceeding pro se).  Combine that with an opponent attorney, such as Mr. Edward “Nick” Nicholas, who is also a Linebarger employee, and it makes the JPO the most challenging document I have had to prepare.

Mr. Nicholas and I have been facing off in both state and federal Court in my two suits against Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, et al., who is both a Defendant and Mr. Nicholas employer.  When you’ve spent 10 years of litigation against the Linebarger lawfirm, who believes it can steamroll an opponent, though it is exhausting, the actions of Linebarger and Mr. Nicholas are a reminder of why I’ve committed so much to this case and a motivation to see it to the end.

So, back to the JPO.  Should you ever be in a position that trial is within two months, and you have to do a JPO, be prepared to spend many, many, (let me say it again) many hours…several dozen hours to be exact.  Here is my first draft of the JPO which includes Jury Instructions, Voir Dire, Verdict Form, and Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law.  The JPO relates to my claims against Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson which includes violations of the Servicemember Civil Relief Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Texas Property Tax Code, as well as for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, and tortuous interference.

Pre-Trial Order Package

Case titled: Jose D. Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, et al. (Case No 4:15-cv-03227, S.D. Texas),

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The law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP to face federal trial “July/August, 2017” for violating military personnel’s rights

Posted by irahetaj on June 16,

In the matter of Jose D. Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, et al. (Case No 4:15-cv-03227, S.D. Texas), a decade long legal battle between me, a pro se Plaintiff, and the law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP, will finally be brought before a jury trial in “July/August, 2017” in Houston, Texas.

The Linebarger law firm, “The debt collector that runs Texas” as cited in an investigative report by CNNMoney (, is a Texas based national debt collection law firm. The legal battle between me, Linebarger, and Harris County started in April 2007 in a state Court in Harris County, Texas.  My claims arose from the Linebarger law firm’s, and among others, Harris County’s violations of my property tax rights under the Servicemember Civil Relief Act and the Texas Property Tax Code. The state court action is still pending.

In November 2015, I filed a federal suit against the Linebarger law firm, and various entities to include Harris County, and Bank of America, due to Linebarger’s fraud and violations of my property tax rights, as well as Bank of America, then CountryWide, negligence and disregard for my property tax rights.

On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, United States District Judge David Hittner, ordered the parties in the case, which includes the Linebarger law firm, Harris County, and Bank of America, to “exchange all trial exhibits on or before the 26th day of June, 2017”. Judge Hittner also issued an Order that my case will be tried in the “Trial Term: July/August, 2017”. Additionally, a “pretrial conference” has been set for July 12, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Hittner.

The Linebarger law firm is no stranger to litigation, as it files thousands of lawsuits across the nation and has been sued several dozen times. However every suit against the Linebarger lawfirm has been dismissed given its “immunity” or has been settled.  My case will be the first time a lawsuit against the Linebarger law firm will be argued in a federal trial. A major milestone, specially given the fact that as a pro se Plaintiff, I have been waging the decade long legal battle against the, 100+ lawyers strong, Linebarger law firm without an attorney.

Iraheta v. Linebarger


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Be Thankful…“We owe them a debt we can never repay, all we can do is remember them”

Posted by irahetaj on May 29,

This Memorial Day… before you fire that grill; before you head for the beach; before you embark in your favorite activity, please take a moment to pause and truly ponder the meaning of Memorial Day. Our rights, liberties, and freedom have a price and “the price for this freedom at times has been high”. While we continue with our lives, the cook-outs, and the beach, “[t]hey gave up everything for our country, for us”. We should remember their sacrifice every day, though may I suggest you start this Memorial Day and remember, as [t]hey gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived”. Be thankful of the ultimate sacrifice made by the men and women who have made it possible for us to enjoy today’s rights, liberties, and freedom. To them, and their families, I am forever grateful for their sacrifice. Are you?

(Quote texts are excerpts from various speeches by President Ronald Reagan). See one of the best Memorial Day tributes I have seen.

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Remember and Honor

Posted by irahetaj on November 11,

veterans Today is Veterans Day.  Pause to Remember those who served and Honor those who serve today.  It doesn’t matter what party affiliation you identify with, from the battles of Lexington and Concord, Massachussets on April 19, 1775 to the current battles against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq, Veteran’s have secured  and protected our Nation’s freedom.  Today, thank a Veteran…thank his/her family for their service and sacrifices.

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Iraheta v. Linebarger; Who is Right?

Posted by irahetaj on September 18,

As many of you may be aware, almost a year ago, I  filed a federal suit in Houston, Texas, against the law firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair, and Sampson LLP “Linebarger”: Iraheta v. Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP et al.; Cause No. 4:15-cv-03227 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

On June 30, Judge David Hittner issued an ORDER that “no party shall serve any new motions until further order of the court” given that the Court “currently has 6 pending dispositive motions. The court believes that a time−out is needed in the case for filing motions.” The six pending dispositive motions include Linebarger’s Motion to Dismiss, First Motion for Summary Judgment, and Second Motion for Summary Judgment.  It also includes my Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.

Though I must say, during the past 9 years litigating against Linebarger, I have learnt that in the legal world, specially in dealing with Linebarger, you have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  My consolation is that unlike in the State Courts where Linebarger’s money may be of influence (see CNN’s investigation into Linebarger, The Debt Collector that Runs Texas;, in the Federal Courts, Linebarger’s money will have ZERO influence on Judge Hittner’s rulings.  Thus, on any given day in the near future, we will find out who is right.  Are my claims against Linebarger without merit (not just deficient due to technicality) as Linebarger claims?  Will Judge Hittner rule that Linebarger and Harris County violated a servicemember’s rights, to include his civil rights?  Judge Hittner’s rulings on those six pending motions will bring us one step closer to a final showdown in Court.  The opportunity will finally arrive for a jury to hear the facts and hold Linebarger accountable.

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