In August, the Law Offices of Windle Turley felt the sting of a $1.4 million verdict — the result of the Dallas plaintiffs firm attempting to recover a contingent fee from a former client. But on Oct. 2, Judge Len Wade of the 141st District Court in Tarrant County, Texas, soothed that wound by erasing the damages portion of the verdict. “The judge did the right thing in setting this verdict aside,” says Windle Turley, founder of the firm, of the damage award.

A Feb. 6, 2003, decision from Fort Worth’s 2nd Court of Appeals concerning a summary judgment motion in the case — Law Offices of Windle Turley v. Robert L. French, et al. — sets out the background of the complicated fee dispute: In 1997, Mike Sawicki — who worked at the Turley firm at the time — filed a medical-malpractice suit on behalf of Robert L. French and his children. Sawicki served as lead counsel in the med-mal suit — Robert L. French, et al. v. Michael W. Dotti, M.D., et al. — until he left the Turley firm in 2000.