Goldenberg firm's move to dismiss suit over Hartford fees to be heard

Amelia Flood Aug. 16, 2010, 10:10am


An Edwardsville law firm is moving to dismiss a suit brought by a fellow attorney over fees from cases related to an oil plume found under the town of Hartford.

A hearing on a motion to dismiss a second amended complaint filed by attorney D. Jeannine Kelly has been moved several times since Goldenberg Heller Antognoli Rowland & Short first moved for the dismissal last year.

Kelly is suing for more than $1 million in damages.

She claims the Goldenberg firm gypped her out of fees she should have received as part of a team of attorneys who worked on cases related to the Hartford oil plume.

The firm claims that Kelly bowed out of the Harford suits on her own accord and is not entitled to fees as a result.

The hearing is set for 9 a.m. Friday.

Kelly claims that she worked with Goldenberg firm on the Hartford cases until July 2006.

Although she admits she voluntarily withdrew from the cases, she claims the firm breached its contract with her.

She alleges that the Goldenberg firm received more than $2 million in fees after settling a number of the Hartford cases. Kelly claims she is entitled to more than $1 million in fees.

The firm moved to dismiss Kelly's second amended complaint in December 2009.

It argues that Illinois law does not provide for fees to be paid to attorneys who walk away from litigation.

The firm additionally argues that Kelly would not be entitled to fees in the cases because she worked on them on a contingency fee basis.

The defense contends that there was no attorney-client relationship that allows her to claim fees.

Ruth previously dismissed Kelly's suit in January of this year but allowed her to amend it.

Kelly is represented by Michael Downey of St. Louis.

The law firm is represented by John Papa of Granite City.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-794.

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