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A difference of opinion prompted the split between former Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. in-house attorney Dimitrios Biller and the attorneys he hired to sue his ex-employer, according to Biller. Jeff Allen and Joseph Wohrle, both partners in Allen + Wohrle of Santa Monica, Calif., moved to withdraw on April 22, citing a “breakdown in the attorney-client relationship” that made it “unreasonably difficult” to represent Biller. Biller, now owner of LDT Consulting, a litigation consulting firm in Los Angeles, said the trouble began after an arbitration judge upheld the validity of his severance agreement, which releases Toyota from any wrongful termination claims. His attorneys wanted to settle the case, Biller said. He insists on going to trial. “I’m interested in getting a verdict and proving my case and clearing my name,” he said. Allen did not return a call for comment. In his suit, Biller alleged that his supervisors at Toyota regularly ordered him to hide and destroy evidence in rollover cases. He was national managing counsel in charge of Toyota’s rollover program from 2003 to 2007, when he resigned with a $3.7 million severance. In court documents, Biller claims he suffered a mental breakdown while at Toyota. Biller’s suit was ordered into arbitration last fall. Biller said he has already deposed a lawyer at San Francisco’s Littler Mendelson, Toyota’s outside employment law firm, and expects to depose an attorney at Atlanta’s King & Spalding in coming weeks who has been representing Toyota in its affairs with Congress. Various in-house attorneys at Toyota, including Christopher Reynolds, the general counsel of the legal services group of Toyota Motor Sales who is a defendant in Biller’s suit, are slated to be deposed in coming weeks as well, he said. Boxes of internal Toyota documents in Biller’s suit were reviewed last month by U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., both members of the congressional panel that is investigating massive recalls prompted by out-of-control acceleration in Toyota vehicles. Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at [email protected].

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