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When Hartford, Conn.’s John I. Haymond and Philadelphia’s Marvin Lundy teamed up to launch a five-state personal injury practice in 1997, they envisioned a steady stream of legal fees. With Haymond’s multi-state TV marketing expertise and Lundy’s reputation as a trial lawyer, there would be plenty of legal work. What they didn’t foresee was how much of that work would come from suing each other. So far, says Haymond, it’s been hundreds of hours. There’s been a year-long battle in federal and state courts over the firm’s break-up. Lundy launched fusillades of fraud, ethics and RICO charges, and the old partnership’s assets are now frozen. While Haymond has been cleared of Lundy’s serious allegations, Lundy refuses to authorize payment to a bank under a $650,000 line of credit extended to Haymond & Lundy — on which all but $30,000 is owed — on grounds that he was fraudulently induced to get into the partnership. A federal judge has rejected Lundy’s fraud argument as preposterous, but the bank remains unpaid. As a result, Haymond is personally facing double-barrel debt collection techniques — among Pennsylvania’s and Connecticut’s worst. The former firm had offices in Connecticut and Philadelphia. Pennsylvania law allows banks to require borrowers to appoint the bank as their agent, empowered to go into court and confess to the borrower’s default. This “confession of judgment” remedy sounds Dickensian, but it’s a Pennsylvania commonplace, and allowed Haymond to get stuck with a $620,000 judgment on the firm’s line of credit. Connecticut has a similar due process artifact — the pre-judgment remedy (PJR). The PJR is a lien placed on realty at the early stage of litigation to ensure a source of funds for an eventual judgment. In Haymond’s case, his own home and four other West Hartford residential properties have been placed under a First Union National Bank PJR by lawyers at Connecticut’s largest firm, Day, Berry & Howard. The Philadelphia federal court has escrowed Haymond & Lundy’s assets, and First Union National Bank is first in line to recoup from those funds, says Haymond, adding that the frozen funds easily cover the debt owed. Nevertheless, he’s retained Hartford sole practitioner Mark H. Dean, a commercial specialist, to defend against the PJR action, seeking a stay for arbitration. Ironically, Haymond has never contested First Union’s right to be paid from the Haymond & Lundy assets. He says, “The bank deserves to get its money.” And the telegenic lawyer adds that while First Union’s lien on his home interferes with its marketability, “I wasn’t planning on moving anyway.” Lundy’s federal action against Haymond, filed in Oct. 1999, charged that Haymond and his original partner, Robert A. Hochberg, totally duped him, downplaying Hochberg’s troubles with Massachusetts bar authorities that led to his temporary disbarment for defrauding a financial institution. In Philadelphia, Senior U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro ruled in July that Lundy and his lawyer for the firm merger, Robert Fiebach, couldn’t claim they were defrauded if they acted gullible. “Whether or not Lundy ever knew personally of Hochberg’s indictment and eventual disbarment and suspension, a person (and of course, a lawyer) of ordinary prudence and comprehension such as Lundy or Fiebach could not rely on Hochberg’s representations that ‘it would be speedily resolved, and with no consequence to Mr. Hochberg of any substance.’” Since there was news of Hochberg’s disbarment and sentencing in The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Herald, the judge found that Lundy, through his lawyer, could and should have known there were problems. Lundy, according to his lawyer Bruce L. Thall, viewed the partnership agreement with Haymond and Hochberg void from its inception on Oct. 13, 1997, due to nondisclosure and fraud. Thall, a partner with Philadelphia’s Spector, Gadon & Rosen, is pursuing state court claims against Haymond. Although Hochberg was recently grieved in Connecticut for the unauthorized practice of law in Philadelphia during the Connecticut suspension that he received as part of his Massachusetts troubles, the Statewide Grievance Committee held that there was insufficient evidence to sanction him. According to Haymond, Hochberg’s Connecticut license has been reinstated for more than a month, although he remains unlicensed in Massachusetts. In Lundy’s actions, he claims that Haymond obtained more than $7 million in fees that Lundy generated, but that Lundy has not been paid any of it. Haymond, in an interview, said his own claims against Lundy, still pending in Philadelphia state court, may exceed $7 million. Thall, Lundy’s lawyer, had no comment. After Haymond and Lundy split in Oct. 1999, eight of their 10 Philadelphia associates voted with their feet to join Haymond, in a new firm of Haymond, Napoli & Diamond. For the moment, Haymond says he is not advertising on television. His Hartford headquarters at 999 Asylum Street has 12 lawyers, with another three in Bridgeport. Ten lawyers, including office manager Hochberg, work in Philadelphia. The firm has additional offices in White Plains, N.Y.; Cherry Hill, N.J.; and Springfield, Mass. Haymond, who is 53, attributes his and Lundy’s differences to a generation gap and the fragility of a 50-50 partnership. “He’s about 70, considerably older than me, and he believed you could still play with the same old deck, just reshuffling things,” said Haymond. Lundy was positioned to enjoy a comfortable senior role, and Haymond was specifically charged with handling the management and marketing responsibilities, Haymond said. Friction arose when Lundy objected to Haymond’s telemarketing plans in summer 1999. Thereafter, the firm was polarized by mounting strife and recriminations. With dry understatement, Haymond commented, “This has not been what I would call a happy May-December marriage.”

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