Though Gruber Hurst Johansen & Hail probably didn’t want to make a federal case out of a nonpayment-of-fees dispute with a client, a suit that the Dallas-based firm recently filed just might become one.

On Aug. 15, the defendants in Gruber Hurst Johansen & Hail v. Hackard & Hold, et al. moved to have the fee dispute suit removed from Dallas County Court-at-Law No. 4 to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. In its July 6 petition, Gruber Hurst alleges the defendants — California-based Hackard & Holt and its two attorneys, Michael Hackard and Theodore J. Holt — owe it just under $74,755.74 in fees associated with defending Hackard & Holt in two breach-of-contract suits filed in Texas and Missouri in which the firm was accused of nonpayment of legal and expert witness fees associated with fen-phen litigation.

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