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Fee Fight Leads to Nearly Tenfold Increase in Amount Attorney Owed


— August 27, 2007

Refusing to pay $28,000 in attorney fees a decade ago has turned into a more than $250,000 headache for Houston attorney Robert S. “Bob” Bennett.

In an Aug. 16 memorandum opinion in Bennett v. Coghlan, a three-justice panel of Houston’s 1st Court of Appeals affirmed an award of tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees that lawyer Kelly Coghlan says he had to run up trying to collect attorney fees Bennett owed him.

The 1st Court’s opinion laid out the following: In 1996, Bennett and Coghlan represented parties in an antitrust suit, identified in a footnote as Piggly Wiggly Clarksville Inc., et al. v. Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries/Johnny B. Tucker d/b/a/ H&M Grocery, et al. v. Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Paris Division. After the litigation in Mrs. Baird’s, Coghlan sent Bennett a bill for $28,000, which Bennett refused to pay.

Coghlan, principal in Houston’s Coghlan & Associates, says he and Bennett had a verbal agreement that Bennett would pay Coghlan a percentage of the attorney fees for his work on the Mrs. Baird’s litigation, a class action involving numerous plaintiffs and attorneys.

Details here from Texas Lawyer via Law.com.


Refusing to pay $28,000 in attorney fees a decade ago has turned into a more than $250,000 headache for Houston attorney Robert S. “Bob” Bennett.

In an Aug. 16 memorandum opinion in Bennett v. Coghlan, a three-justice panel of Houston’s 1st Court of Appeals affirmed an award of tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees that lawyer Kelly Coghlan says he had to run up trying to collect attorney fees Bennett owed him.

The 1st Court’s opinion laid out the following: In 1996, Bennett and Coghlan represented parties in an antitrust suit, identified in a footnote as Piggly Wiggly Clarksville Inc., et al. v. Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries/Johnny B. Tucker d/b/a/ H&M Grocery, et al. v. Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Paris Division. After the litigation in Mrs. Baird’s, Coghlan sent Bennett a bill for $28,000, which Bennett refused to pay.

Coghlan, principal in Houston’s Coghlan & Associates, says he and Bennett had a verbal agreement that Bennett would pay Coghlan a percentage of the attorney fees for his work on the Mrs. Baird’s litigation, a class action involving numerous plaintiffs and attorneys.

Details here from Texas Lawyer via Law.com.

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