Attorney Threatening ADA Lawsuits Fined, Sued, and Suspended
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 07:19 AM

The State Bar of Texas sued attorney Omar Weaver Rosales for professional misconduct, after Rosales peppered healthcare providers across Texas in late 2016 and early 2017 with letters demanding $2,000 to settle unfiled lawsuits. Those lawsuits claimed the providers’ websites violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The State Bar was prompted to file the lawsuit after looking into several grievances it received about the litigation threats, including several from the Texas Chiropractic Association, according to the bar.

Three chiropractic businesses received demand letters from Omar W. Rosales under letterhead from The Rosales Law Firm, PLLC. Four others got demand letters from “O. Rosales” under letterhead for the “Center for Veterans Access,” which had the same address and phone number as the other demand letters. 

Several of the demand letters concluded: “Should you refuse to enter settlement negotiations, I will … contact DHHS and discuss the possibility of a separate civil suit under Qui Tam doctrine to obtain reimbursement of Federal Tax dollars that you improperly obtained from the government,” according to the lawsuit.

The Disciplinary Commission also seeks to recover all of its court costs, the lawsuit states.

This is just the latest in a series of problems Rosales has faced related to his ADA litigation in federal court.  In December of 2016, Federal District Judge Mark Lane fined Rosales with more than $176,000 in sanctions. Lane said Rosales behaved in “embarrassing and shocking” ways during the course of litigation. Among the issues noted in Lane’s order, Rosales “used the system to create strife and perpetuate lies. He defamed opposing counsel with a false and abusive statement.” Rosales has appealed the sanctions.

Shortly after the sanctions, Rosales began sending letters to small health care businesses throughout the state, alleging their websites were not ADA compliant. Concerned business owners said they had received letters from Rosales indicating their website had failed an ADA compliance test.  “Our initial Demand to settle this unfiled lawsuit is $2,000… should you refuse to enter into settlement negotiations, I will have no choice but to file the attached lawsuit against your company,” said a letter written by Rosales and obtained by KXAN. 

In July, 2017, Rosales was suspended from practicing law in the U.S. Western District Court for three years.  If Omar Rosales wishes to seek readmission to the court following the suspension, he first must undergo ethics training and anger management courses, according to an 86-page ruling signed by U.S. District Judge David Ezra. The ban prevents Rosales from accepting federal cases in much of the state, including Austin, San Antonio, Waco and Midland. He must also give the order to the chief disciplinary counsel of the State Bar of Texas and each of his clients, the order states. The state bar will receive the ruling and has the option to dole out further punishment.

According to the latest court order: “There is ‘clear and convincing’ evidence that Rosales has committed several disbarment offenses in bad faith, ... that – while in the singular might not have been sufficient to merit disbarment – in their totality, frequency, and severity, they lead the court to firmly believe that, at the very least, serious sanctions must be imposed to mirror the severity of Rosales’ bad faith misconduct.”

The final disciplinary report recommended Rosales be disbarred, but the court decided that based on the “entire record, including [Rosales’] PTSD from his time in the military – that a three year suspension, with the possibility to reapply for readmission” would suffice.

The court found Rosales acted in bad faith, when he filed a restraining order and fabricated an email he entered into the federal court’s record.