One year ago, we published a post called Texas law firm does HUGE disservice to registrants. Teri Estes-Hightower, a Texas lawyer, saw registrants as a business opportunity. She used their state’s public registry as a marketing list to solicit clients at $5,000 +/- a pop for a lawsuit to challenge the registry. That lawsuit was total garbage, as we mentioned in the post “While the firm did file lawsuits, in the opinion of attorneys familiar with the issues and the pleadings, the cases were very rough from the get go. With respect to the TX case we were told, “existing precedent in the Fifth Circuit was already in place that rendered each and every one of Estes-Hightower’s claims frivolous.”
The District Court case in Texas was dismissed, but not leaving well enough alone (and likely to grab more cash), she appealed to the 5th Circuit, where to nobody’s surprise, she lost and created bad binding precedent for everyone in the 5th Circuit and bad persuasive precedent for everyone in the Country.
At the same time, realizing she had burned out her credibility in Texas, she started using Florida’s registry to solicit more unsuspecting targets. Apparently, she found 69 people who were likely vulnerable and desperate enough to pay her to be part of a similar Florida challenge that was similarly horrible. We have spoken to many who were part of this group and feel horribly for them. We tried our best to warn others.
In April of this year, we reported that her case was dismissed. We wrote, “while we never want a challenge to sex offender laws to be unsuccessful, we are relieved to see a case brought by Estes-Hightower in the Northern District of Florida was dismissed last week.” We were relieved because we didn’t want her grievous mistakes to impact the Ex Post Facto Plus case. We concluded by saying, “While the Court gave Ms. Estes-Hightower leave to Amend, it is our sincere hope that she will seriously consider the options and entertain our invitation to reach out for some guidance and help from those who have offered it to her.”
Well guess what… she didn’t. She disregarded what we believe to be the best interest of her clients and the registrant population and filed an amendment (which was just as bad). Fortunately for some, 22 of her clients dropped out of her lawsuit. Unfortunately for the 47 who didn’t, they received their final nail in the coffin when the case was dismissed against them WITH PREJUDICE. You can read the order here: Estes-Hightower Final Order