Report: D.C. settles with law firm over unpaid attorney fees

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 21, 2012, 3:45pm


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The District of Columbia has reportedly settled with a local law firm, which specializes in special education cases, over unpaid attorney fees.

The Blog of Legal Times reported Monday that Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan's office and the District of Columbia Public Schools reached an agreement with James E. Brown and Associates last week.

According to the settlement, which covers several hundred lawsuits the Brown firm filed over unpaid fees, the school system has agreed to pay $1.18 million.

That is far less than $3 million the firm claimed, BLT reported.

"I don't think we're all that happy about it. I'm not sure the city is super happy about it," Nicholas Ostrem, an attorney with the firm, told the legal publication.

"At the end of the day, we decided this was the best for our firm and our clients."

The school system has 30 days from the Aug. 17 settlement to pay the Brown firm.

Also under the deal, the law firm has agreed -- within 10 days of the agreement going into effect -- to dismiss any pending cases against the school system in the District of Columbia Superior Court.

According to the Brown website, the firm has been a "guiding force" in the district, "helping ensure that parents and their children with disabilities are made aware of their rights and advocating on their behalf."

The firm has its own special education department, which is dedicated to obtaining "free, accessible and proper education" for children with special needs.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

More News