Attorney Fees

Bratz Doll Maker Drops Malpractice Claim Against O’Melveny

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Bratz doll maker MGA has dropped a malpractice claim against O’Melveny & Myers, filed after the law firm sued for $10.2 million in unpaid fees allegedly owed in MGA’s copyright litigation with Barbie maker Mattel.

MGA announced it was dropping the claim last Thursday, less than a week before a hearing on O’Melveny’s request for discovery sanctions, the National Law Journal reports. The company still contends it has “serious questions” about O’Melveny’s billing and staffing decisions.

MGA said it was dropping the malpractice claim so it could focus “more on business, and less on litigation.” But a lawyer representing O’Melveny, Kevin Rosen of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, says MGA acted because of the sanctions request.

“Forced by court order to produce evidence of its malpractice claims, MGA has elected instead to walk away from those claims, confirming their lack of merit,” he said in a statement quoted by the NLJ. “The claims were an obvious pretext to avoid paying O’Melveny $10 million in fees, which MGA admitted in federal court were ‘necessarily and reasonably incurred.’ “

Mattel had been awarded $100 million in an initial trial in 2008 based on a claim that MGA’s Bratz doll designer had thought of the concept while working at Mattel. After the verdict was overturned on appeal, MGA won $310 million in the second trial based on its counterclaim alleging a toy-spying conspiracy by Mattel.

O’Melveny had represented MGA from 2004 to 2007.

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