In December 1998, appellant, Ben Still, and his wife, Allison Still, hired Samuel Perroni of the Perroni and James Law Firm2 to provide legal services in connection with an investigation being conducted by the United States Department of Transportation and the United States Attorney’s Office pertaining to allegations involving the sale and titling of crashtest vehicles. On December 2, 1998, a contract for legal services was signed by Still3 and Perroni, wherein Still agreed to pay Perroni $25,000 for work done prior to an indictment being filed. Additionally, a provision was included in the contract that would require a new and separate contract, if legal proceedings in the nature of defending an indictment occurred.
On December 15, 1999, the United States Attorney filed a twelve-count indictment against the Stills for wire fraud, conspiracy, and mail fraud. The government alleged that the Stills obtained unrestricted titles for crash-test vehicles, which had been sold for salvage only, by means of false documents and representations and that these vehicles were then resold to consumers. Perroni and Still met at Perroni’s office on December 16, 1999, to discuss Perroni’s representation of Still subsequent to the indictment. Perroni sent a letter to Still on December 21, 1999, confirming his representation in the matter. In his letter, Perroni agreed to represent Still for a fee of $65,000.00 and to give Still “credit for the $25,000.00 retainer,” leaving Still with a “balance due of $40,000.00.” Perroni added that he “would appreciate it if [Still] would pay that fee as expeditiously as possible.” The letter also informed Still that he would be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses, which Perroni estimated at about $35,000.00. He stated that he would bill Still on a monthly basis for those expenses.
Judge(s): Robert L. Brown
Jurisdiction: Arkansas Supreme Court
Related Categories: Contracts
|Supreme Court Judge(s)|
|Courtney Hudson Henry|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|