Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lawyers to client: Show us the money!

Ahhh, nothing will sour you on a client like working really hard and not getting paid.

Apparently that is what happened at San Francisco-based Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, a firm with more than 1,100 attorneys.

Lawyers at Orrick, which helped win an $88.5 million jury verdict for MGA Entertainment Inc. in a dispute over the rights to the highly profitable Bratz doll line, have asked for permission to fire the firm's client in a related dispute on the ground that the company owes more than $1.2 million in attorney fees, according to the National Law Journal.

Orrick filed a motion to withdraw from the second case on May 27, several days after its lawyers argued in California that MGA should be awarded $129 million in attorney fees after winning the verdict against Mattel Inc., maker of the Barbie doll. Mattel’s attorneys disputed that amount, the legal newspaper reported.

U.S. District Judge David Carter, who is hearing the Mattel matter in Santa Ana, Calif., has not yet ruled on the fees.

Orrick lawyer Annette Hurst, who was co-lead trial counsel in the Mattel matter, wrote that she advised MGA General Counsel Jeanine Pisoni on May 12 that Orrick would move to withdraw from the New York case due to MGA’s failure to meet its financial obligations, the National Law Journal reported. She wrote that MGA has paid the firm for only two months of work since the case was filed in October 2009.

By Eric Young, San Francisco Business Times


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