BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Legal Newsline) — An Alabama personal injury law firm has filed a declaratory judgment request against a California law practice over an alleged fee agreement that stems from a group of settled cases.
According to the March 8 court filing, Hollis, Wright, Clay & Vail, PC (Hollis Wright) is asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Southern Division for a declaratory judgment against Audet & Partners LLP, a San Fransisco law firm for which Hollis Wright partnered in 2010 for pharmaceutical drug litigation.
The two law firms had reached a non-written agreement to do a joint advertising campaign and to share fees generated from the cases the firms acquired and agreed to share "pro rata" on litigation costs and expenses and share in the case work load, the suit claims.
Hollis Wright alleges Audet & Partners refused to provide any manpower or resources toward the cases but, more than a year after the cases had been settled, have claimed a percentage of the fee for the cases from Hollis Wright. The plaintiff also argues Audet & Partners has "demonstrated a pattern" of inventing fee agreements with other firms.
Hollis and Wright seeks the court to enter judgment against Audit & Partners and seeks a claim of relief for "non-existence of a contract" and "breach of contract."
The plaintiff is represented by attorney C. Carter Clay.