A judge issued a temporary protection warrant against TJ Mayes, his former legal partner, to Martin Phipps, a prominent San Antonio lawyer and businessman, Thursday, escalating a high-profile feud that began in January.
Phipps, 51, alleged Mayes threatened him and his children during a month-long media campaign against me, my family, my business associates, my co-workers and several other local officials in San Antonio.
Judge Cathy Stryker of the 224th Civil District Court issued the injunction and scheduled a hearing on Phipps’ motion for a permanent injunction next month. Thursday’s trial was ex parte, which meant Mayes was absent.
Gabe Ortiz and Meagan Talafuse, attorneys at Phipps law firm, told Stryker that Mayes, 35, made threats in a stream of social media statements allegedly damaging Phipps’ business and reputation. The attorneys submitted 191 pages of evidence, including Twitter and Instagram posts attributed to Mayes, as well as discussions from a Mayes podcast.
As examples of threats, the attorneys cited a direct message to the law firm, along with two anonymous letters sent to Phipps ‘house, one before Mayes’ wife filed for a protection warrant against her husband on March 31, and one another over a week later.
“We are calling for the threats to be stopped,” Talafuse told the court. “We have a postmarked envelope from a post office in his community that says, ‘Martin’s day is coming and don’t let the kids know when you’re going to visit the prison.'”
Phipps ‘motion for injunction stated that the public feud on social media had continued since Mayes’ sudden resignation on Jan. 11, and accused Mayes of filing numerous false reports about Phipps with government agencies.
“Through his government contacts, TJ has initiated criminal, civil, and regulatory investigations into me by the San Antonio Police Department, the Bexar District Attorney, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Texas Attorney General and Child Protective Services were performed, ”Phipps said in an affidavit that was attached to the request.
The affidavit did not specifically mention Phipps’ arrest on February 8 on suspicion of telephone harassment, a class B offense. It came from a complaint involving a woman from a previous romantic relationship, sources told Express News.
Martin Phipps, a well-known local attorney and owner of a swanky downtown cocktail lounge, after his arrest on February 8 on suspicion of telephone harassment, a Class B offense involving a woman from a previous romantic relationship . Phipps received a protection warrant against a former legal partner, TJ Mayes, on Thursday in an unrelated case.
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office /
The affidavit from Phipps states that he received a letter in the mail at his house at the beginning of February, “from an” anonymous “person who identified my children by name,” says the partially edited affidavit. He added that the postmark indicated that the letter was sent on Feb.1 from a post office near Mayes’ residence.
Phipps cited a social media post on Mayes ‘Twitter page in which Mayes accused Phipps of threatening the murder of Mayes’ wife.
“To be clear, I never threatened to injure or kill TJ’s wife. I hardly know TJ’s wife. Regardless, TJ took a publicly threatening stance towards me, implying that he had demanded his revenge on me for alleged harm to his wife and that I would never forget him, stated Phipps’ affidavit.
Among the numerous social media posts included in the court documents, Phipps also singled out a tweet and a direct message to a Phipps employee that said, “Tell Martin I have some new Juarez homes. If something happens to me or [name redacted]They know what to do, ”the affidavit reads.
Phipps also cited the protection warrant Mayes’ wife, Laura Mayes, received on March 31 after she alleged her husband threatened her and her young daughter in incidents of domestic violence. More than a week later, according to Phipps’ affidavit, Phipps opened another anonymous letter sent to his home, the details of which were being edited.
Mayes’ family ties and business relationships in San Antonio make it “imperative” that a protection order be issued, argued Phipps.
In issuing the injunction, Stryker made a distinction between freedom of expression under the First Amendment and threats. She said she couldn’t stop Mayes from voicing his opinion, but the examples of threatening speech discussed in her court would be enough for the temporary order to be issued.
It has been stipulated that Mayes should not pursue, physically harm, threaten or contact Phipps or his children or go near their home, children’s schools and Phipps offices.
The public breakdown between the two men has terrified observers. Mayes served on numerous boards of directors, hosted KLRN’s On The Record, and former Bexar County’s Chief of Staff Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Ron Nirenberg when Nirenberg was a councilor. Laura Mayes is a spokeswoman for the city of San Antonio.
Phipps law firm was one of two San Antonio law firms hired by Bexar County in 2017 to sue opioid drug manufacturers and distributors allegedly responsible for their contribution to the city’s addiction epidemic. He owns Paramour, a rooftop river walk bar in the building where his company is located.
In January Mayes and five other company employees gave Phipps a letter demanding “immediate action to remedy the hostile work environment,” according to a copy of the Express News. Days later, Mayes resigned, claiming Phipps was part of a scheme to defraud multiple creditors, according to another letter from the newspaper.
In her application for a protection order dated March 31, Laura Mayes wrote in an affidavit that her husband “has repeatedly asked that I use my professional position for his personal gain, which would result in my breaking city policies and livelihoods endanger me and my daughter ”.
TJ Mayes has pointed out mental health issues in emails sent or copied to the Express News. On Thursday, he sent a reporter a copy of an email to a lawyer describing a recent 10-day stay in two Louisiana psychiatric hospitals.
“I have the doctor’s orders not to work or read emails until June,” the email said.
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