New Jersey-based Archer & Greiner has sued a Pennsylvania-based client in federal court for more than $1.15 million in alleged unpaid legal fees.
According to the complaint in Archer & Greiner v. Brain-Pad, filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania last week, Brain-Pad owes the law firm $1.15 million in legal fees, which includes interest the firm began charging when it agreed to continue to work for Brain-Pad despite the company’s alleged delinquency in paying its legal bills.
Brain-Pad is a Conshohocken, Pa.-based company that makes mouth guards and other protective products designed to reduce sports injuries, according to the complaint. Archer & Greiner represented the company on multiple matters, including an intellectual property dispute in federal court in Delaware in which the firm successfully defended a patent infringement suit against Brain-Pad. Archer & Greiner also successfully represented the company in the appeal of that matter, according to the complaint.
“Once BPI had fallen behind in making payments to [Archer & Greiner], and failed to pay monthly invoices issued by Archer as they became due and owing, [Archer & Greiner] agreed to continue providing legal services in exchange for the agreement and acknowledgement by BPI that, as of June 30, 2010, there would be interest charges added on all unpaid invoices going forward at a rate of 1 percent per month or 12 percent annually,” the firm said in the complaint.
As of Aug. 14, 2014, the amount owed rose to about $1.15 million, which included the interest, according to the complaint.
As per New Jersey law, Archer & Greiner sent Brain-Pad in May 2013 statements of all the unpaid invoices. The firm also informed its client of its right to elect fee arbitration, but Brain-Pad failed to exercise that right, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit was then filed Aug. 21. Along with Brain-Pad, Archer & Greiner also sued XYZ companies 1-20 and John Does 1-20, which Archer & Greiner said were fictitious names for currently unidentified companies and people who the firm alleges acted in concert with Brain-Pad or who are otherwise liable for the unpaid fees.
Archer & Greiner sued the defendants for breach of contract, quantum meruit and unjust enrichment. It is seeking the unpaid legal fees plus prejudgment interest and attorney fees and costs for filing the suit.
Archer & Greiner attorneys Jeffrey M. Scott and Oleg V. Nudelman are representing their firm in the suit.
Archer & Greiner partner Thomas A. Muccifori said this lawsuit was a last-resort action taken after trying to resolve the dispute amicably. He said the interest portion of the amount owed was growing for the past three to four years.
“We represented them in a successful, contentious patent litigation and unfortunately we weren’t paid for what we thought was a tremendous result,” Muccifori said.
A call to Brain-Pad President Joe Manzo was not returned and there are no attorneys listed for the company on the docket.