Former law partners agree to split $559k Big Sky settlement fee, lawsuit continues

Amelia Flood Oct. 25, 2010, 6:34am


Attorneys Glenn Bradford and John Barberis have agreed to divvy up a more than $500,000 fee Bradford won when a long-standing class action settled earlier this year. But, a lawsuit that arose from the end of their partnership remains active.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth signed an order Oct. 18 denying a move by Bradford that would have put the $559,333.33 in the hands of the Madison County Circuit Clerk's office until the suit he filed against Barberis ended.

In the same order, Ruth ordered the ex-partners to mediation and the two announced they had agreed on a way to split the fee Bradford won when the Big Sky class action suit settled in July.

The order does not detail how the money will be split.

The case file does not offer details either.

The class action at issue was brought by lead plaintiff Big Sky Excavating on behalf of small business owners who claimed that AT&T botched a refund mandated by the Illinois state legislature.

Bradford was part of the legal team that netted more than $7 million in legal fees, walking away with $559,333.33.

The other claims the two have pending against one another include breach of partnership and other accusation, but they were not resolved according to the order.

Bradford filed suit against Barberis last month claiming Barberis did not hold up his end of their law partnership.

The partnership that formed in 2001 dissolved in August.

In his suit, Bradford claims that Barberis did not bill the hours the two agreed upon when they formed the partnership.

Bradford contends that Barberis seldom showed up at the pair's office, was rude to clients and did not complete timely work on his case files.

Barberis denies the claims and asserts counterclaims against Bradford.

In his answer and counterclaim filed Oct. 6, Barberis contends that Bradford did not comply with the terms set out to nix their partnership and that breached the partnership contract when he did not deposit the Big Sky fee into the pair's account.

Barberis seeks the dissolution of the partnership, damages of at least $50,000 and other relief.

His former partner moved to dismiss the counter claims Oct. 14.

The case was originally assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

Stack bowed out of the case Sept. 20, citing his friendship with both men and his past work on Bradford's behalf.

D. Jeffrey Ezra represents Bradford.

John McCracken represents Barberis.

The case is Madison case number 10-L-939.

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