Naked City

Glore Case Back in Court

The strange saga of the alleged rape in 2000 of Virginia Glore took a new turn on May 7, when Glore filed suit in civil district court against her former attorney Keith Taniguchi for breach of contract and negligence in connection with his alleged failure to file a civil rights lawsuit on her behalf.

Glore was arrested on Aug. 4, 2000, after she crashed her husband's car outside a South Congress motel. Austin police and the Travis Co. Attorney's Office said Glore wrecked her car because she was drunk. Glore admitted that she'd been drinking but maintains that she was drugged in a Sixth Street bar and then transported to the motel, where she believes she was raped. She said she believes she was fleeing her attackers at the time of the car wreck, but police claimed she was fabricating her rape allegation to evade the DWI charge. As a result, the APD twice denied Glore access to a sexual-assault test kit at two local hospitals – a denial that Glore expected to form the basis of a civil rights suit against the city, the police department, and both Brackenridge and South Austin hospitals.

In early 2002, Taniguchi succeeded in having the state drop the charges against Glore and set about researching whether there was a civil rights case to be made. But no suit was ever filed, the statute of limitations has run out, and now Glore claims Taniguchi and lawyer David Frank failed to "protect" her "civil complaints" and were negligent by failing to communicate effectively with her about the possibility of a suit. Glore "has fully performed all obligations owed to Defendants," the suit reads, and provided them with "valuable consideration" for their services. Glore's new attorney Geoffrey Courtney did not return phone calls requesting comment.

At best, Taniguchi said, he finds Glore's current lawsuit puzzling. He said that he and another lawyer (not Frank) did extensive research to determine whether Glore had a viable civil rights claim but were unable to come up with a solid case. "I looked into it and there weren't any" claims to be made that could stand up to judicial scrutiny, he said – a circumstance he said he clearly shared with Glore.

It appears Glore's suit is in part an attempt to turn back the clock – to circumvent the statute of limitations and gain additional time to file a civil rights suit, if there is indeed a case to be made. Taniguchi said he asked Courtney what case the lawyer thinks Taniguchi failed to file, and Courtney didn't have an answer for him. Unless Courtney is merely playing things close to the chest, the absence of a viable claim could be detrimental to Glore's current case.

Indeed, although the Texas Bar Association isn't renowned for consistent and stringent policing of its members, Taniguchi said that the bar promptly dismissed, without discussion, a recent complaint that Glore filed, making the same allegations as her civil suit. "They dismissed her grievance right away," he said. "There is nothing there." (For more on Glore's case, see "Raped Twice?" Oct. 12, 2001.)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Keith Taniguchi, Virginia Glore, Geoffrey Courtney, APD

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