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TribBlog: It's Over, Says HillCo

HillCo Partners dropped its lawsuit against Brandon Aghamalian and Snapper Carr this afternoon — the surprise result of a hearing scheduled today to address HillCo's request for a temporary restraining order.

Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas.

HillCo Partners dropped its lawsuit against Brandon Aghamalian and Snapper Carr this afternoon — the surprise result of a hearing scheduled today to address HillCo's request for a temporary restraining order.

The powerhouse lobby firm sued its former partners after they quit in January and took a stable of clients along with them.

When the parties gathered in the courtroom of District Judge Scott Jenkins, he "implored everyone before the process started to try and settle and offered them an opportunity to do so," said lobbyist Lawrence Collins, who attended the hearing.

HillCo attorney Hamp Skelton would not discuss the details of the deal, saying only "it's been dismissed" — but a source with knowledge of the suit says there was no settlement involved. Both Aghamalian and Carr will remain with Focused Advocacy, a firm started by former lawmaker Curt Seidlits that was also named in the HillCo lawsuit.

"We're writing the agreement now and neither side is going to be saying or releasing anything," said HillCo lobbyist Bill Miller. A call to Focused Advocacy attorney Mike Slack was not immediately returned.

It's still unclear where the clients will end up. With the lawsuit dropped, details of the discussion won't likely become public. Sources close to Aghamalian and Carr say they're pleased this has come to a quick end. It seems the other side feels the same way. When we attempted to speak with HillCo founder Buddy Jones and his attorneys after the hearing, they simply smiled and said, "It's over."

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