Zuckerman Spaeder represented Auffenberg in a criminal tax fraud case tried in the District Court for the United States Virgin Islands. After he had been acquitted Auffenberg refused to pay Zuckerman’s last two bills, or approximately $834,000.
Zuckerman sued Auffenberg in the District of Columbia Superior Court to recover the fees plus interest. Auffenberg removed the case to federal court, answered the complaint, and counterclaimed for legal malpractice. In the counterclaim he alleged Zuckerman had agreed to cap its fees at $1.5 million, and the $834,000 it had charged beyond that was unreasonable and actionable under Rule 1.5 of the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct.
One month later Auffenberg moved for leave to amend his counterclaims to include allegations Zuckerman had violated its duties under Rule 1.6 by discussing the dispute with third parties, including former co-counsel and a reporter for the Blog of the Legal Times. Auffenberg also asked for a protective order to prevent Zuckerman from communicating with third parties absent Auffenberg’s prior consent.
Judge(s): Douglas Ginsburg
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
Related Categories: ADR , Civil Remedies , Malpractice , Torts
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|Thomas Duckenfield, III|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|