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A federal judge in Texas has ordered Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith to pay attorney placement firm CB Legal Search LLC $353,150 in recruiting fees. The firm on Feb. 25 filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. “The firm has filed an appeal to challenge the judgment as it believes the matter was wrongly decided,” said Elizabeth Alvarado, an attorney with Houston-based Shannon, Martin, Finkelstein & Alvarado who is representing Lewis Brisbois. “Because the litigation is pending, the firm will not comment further.” Muhammad Aziz, an attorney with Houston firm Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend who is representing CB Legal Search, said that the judge reached the right decision. “I don’t think they have grounds for appeal,” Aziz said. “The judge found that some of their witnesses weren’t credible.” CB Legal Search filed suit against Lewis Brisbois in a Texas state trial court in 2009, but quickly moved the case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The lawsuit claimed that CB Legal Search helped orchestrate an insurance practice group’s move in July of 2009 from Chicago firm Bollinger, Ruberry & Garvey to Lewis Brisbois. Eight partners and four associates made the move. The law firm never paid CB Legal search a recruiting fee, the lawsuit claimed, and committed fraud by promising to sign a recruiting agreement when it did not intend to do so. A two-day bench trial began on Nov. 29, and U.S. Magistrate Mary Milloy issued her ruling on Feb. 9. In addition to $353,150 in damages, the law firm must pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees. Karen Sloan can be contacted at [email protected].

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