Law Practice Management

Ex-Associate Tries Again, Wins Ruling He Can Seek $12M in Fees From Former Firm

Dismissing other claims by a former associate of Labaton Sucharow, a New York state judge has nonetheless ruled in his favor concerning what she calls the “big issue.”

Jon Adams, a former assistant New Mexico attorney general, can continue to pursue a contract claim that the firm owes him about $12 million in legal fees concerning some $118 million in New Mexico-related legal work that he allegedly brought it, reports the New York Law Journal in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

Adams says he was told during a job interview that he could expect a 10 percent share of legal fees for work he generated for the class action firm, and contends that the standard fee agreement is also reflected in a firm employment manual. However, Labaton says no such arrangement existed, the article recounts. The firm also contends that Adams wasn’t responsible for bringing in the New Mexico work, which involved pension fund matters.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick also ended a discovery stay in the case and ordered the law firm to answer Adams’ complaint. She dismissed other claims brought by Adams against the firm, including negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and fraud.

Adams sued the firm in New York state court after a federal judge in the Southern District of New York granted the law firm’s motion to dismiss a similar case for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, the legal publication notes. It provides a link to the federal court’s dismissal ruling (PDF) last year, which gave Adams leave to replead his case.

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