Alleging he has been cheated out of class action legal fees, attorney Rex Carr is seeking $40 million from his former law partner Stephen Tillery and $10 million from IBM Personal Pension Plan in a suit filed April 9 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Carr claims he has been deprived of a portion of $5,842,274.36 in attorneys' fees paid by IBM in settlement of Cooper v. IBM, a St. Clair County case. He says it is a "sham" that the court entered an order on April 2 to hold his share of fees that had been deposited into a "phony" escrow account.

The suit claims that some time after the firm Carr Korein Tillery dissolved on March 10, 2003, Tillery entered into a conspiracy to fraudulently deprive him of his rightful share of fees generated from class action cases, including Dunn v. BOC, Miller v. Hutchins, Berger v. Xerox and Prather v. Pfizer.

Representing himself, Carr seeks $20 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages from Tillery.

Carr is seeking $10 million from "co-conspirator" IBM for dishonoring a contractual lien in Cooper v. IBM. Carr also claims Tillery and IBM "induced the federal court to dismiss the contractual lien by misleading the court into believing that Carr was attempting to enforce an attorney's lien, both IBM and co-conspirators well-knowing that said lien was not an attorney's lien but was a conctractual lien based solely upon a contract between Carr and the other signatories..."

He claims Tillery engaged in "secret dealings" with other members of the firm, including Steven Katz and Douglas Sprong, to exclude him for the purpose of enhancing their share of fees.

According to the complaint, Carr and the partners agreed on Oct. 7, 2003, that Carr Korein Tillery would continue for the purpose of winding up the partnership's affairs and receiving fees from cases assigned to each dissolving member of the firm.

Carr claims that from 1988 through March 10, 2003, he and Tillery were members of various partnerships including Carr Korein Tillery LLC.

According to Carr, beginning on June 14, 2001, until April 21, 2004, members of the firm entered into agreements which required the parties to act in the "utmost good faith and honesty in all dealings between them."

Carr claims to further the conspiracy Tilley performed, among other things, the following overt acts:

  • Caused the firm to pass a motion made by Tillery changing the origination date of a case captioned Berger v. Xerox;

  • Passed a motion declaring Carr had retired;

  • Passed a motion declaring Carr had violated a covenant of good faith by dissolving the firm rather than retiring;

  • Entered into a "Memorandum of Understanding" for the purpose of inducing Carr to believe that fees in five cases would be recalculated to allocate Carr his share of the fees; and

  • Induced the Madison County Circuit Court to wrongfully take jurisdiction of the dispute between the parties while knowing the court did not have jurisdiction which resulted in the reversal of all the courts orders.

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