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DLA Settles Fee Suit After Release of Emails
New York Law Journal
DLA Piper's public feud with an ex-client who alleged the firm overbilled him has been quietly resolved, a month after the client released headline-grabbing internal emails by DLA attorneys who discussed a "churn that bill, baby" approach to billing.
Adam Victor reached a settlement with the firm this week, said Larry Hutcher, a partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron who represents Victor. Hutcher declined to discuss the terms of the settlement. Attorneys for the parties filed a stipulation of discontinuance today.
Victor exposed the emails obtained in discovery in response to a lawsuit brought by DLA claiming Victor owed the firm $679,000 in legal fees. DLA was hired in April 2010 by Project Orange Associates, which was owned by Victor, to handle its bankruptcy. The firm was later disqualified due to a conflict, but DLA said Victor requested that the firm represent him personally. Victor claimed the emails, in which one attorney writes "That bill shall know no limits," were evidence of overbilling (NYLJ, March 26). DLA, in a statement released after the emails became public, said the emails "were in fact an offensive and inexcusable effort at humor, but in no way reflect actual excessive billing" (NYLJ, March 27).
A DLA representative did not respond to a request for comment on the settlement. Jeffrey Schreiber, a partner at Meister Seelig & Fein, and James Ulwick, a principal at Baltimore firm Kramon & Graham, who represent DLA in the fee matter, also did not return calls for comment.
This article originally appeared in the New York Law Journal.