Lawsuit Against Law Firm Over Law Work Outsourcing

Lawsuit Against Law Firm Over Law Work Outsourcing 2

Outsourcing legal work – or any work – is something law firms are doing with increasing frequency. The biggest firms – think Clifford Chance in India – are doing it and now Jacoby & Meyers are facing a lawsuit over billing work handled by “support companies” owned by some of the current or former partners in the firm.

The lawsuit relates to personal injury settlements using a company called Total Trial Solutions.

That company is allegedly owned by Andrew Finkelstein, who is a partner of both Jacoby & Meyers and Finkelstein & Partners, and Kenneth Oliver, a former partner of both firms.

The suit brings claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract against Jacoby & Meyers, Finkelstein & Partners, Finkelstein and Oliver. The suit also brings an unjust enrichment claim against Total Trial Solutions, Finkelstein and Oliver. The suit seeks actual and punitive damages, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and fees collected by the defendants as a result of their alleged fiduciary breaches and conflicted transactions.

The named plaintiffs are Nancy Harding, who lives in Rockland County, N.Y., and her son, Jeffrey Harding, who lives in Mahwah, N.J. According to the complaint, both Hardings retained Finkelstein & Partners in connection with separate slip-and-fall injuries and each received a settlement. In both cases, the clients signed retainer agreements giving Finkelstein & Partners a one-third share of the litigation proceeds, and stating that some services related to the case might be provided by companies owned by Finkelstein and Oliver.

The suit was filed on behalf of clients of Jacoby & Meyers or Finkelstein & Partners who were billed for litigation services provided by Total Trial Services or two other companies allegedly owned by Finkelstein and Oliver—MedTrial Solutions and CineTrial Solutions.

The Hardings did not have any dealings with Jacoby & Meyers but that firm shares an office in Newburgh, N.Y., with Finkelstein & Partners, and many of the attorneys listed on Jacoby & Meyers’ website are also listed on the site of Finkelstein & Partners, according to Joseph Santoli, the Ridgewood, N.J., attorney representing the plaintiffs. Jacoby & Meyers is believed to make use of Total Trial and the other companies owned by Finkelstein and Oliver, Santoli said.

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