In one of the largest spats over attorney fees allegedly owed to the Girardi Keese estate, a judge refused to allow a Southern California plaintiffs law firm to transfer $1.87 million in attorney fees to the trustee, citing contingencies he found “troubling.”

In 2021, the trustee sued The Mandell Law Firm in Woodland Hills, California, to turn over fees she claimed was owed to Tom Girardi’s Los Angeles law firm, now in Chapter 7 filing proceedings. The fees stem from $11 million in settlements reached on behalf of hundreds of residents of Vernon, California, who were claimed they were exposed to toxic chemicals from a former recycling plant operated by bankrupt Exide Technologies.