Millar's new employer 'disavows' conduct in Sprint case

By Steve Korris | Apr 24, 2009


NEWARK, New Jersey – According to Jeff Millar's former employer Brad Lakin, his new employer Brent Coon has disavowed his conduct.

LakinChapman client Jessica Hall of Pontoon Beach excused Coon's firm in Beaumont, Texas, from a motion she filed on April 20 seeking sanctions against Millar.

"Hall does not seek sanctions against Millar's employer, Brent Coon and Associates," wrote Anthony Coviello of Bloomfield, N.J.

"Said firm, communicating with Hall's counsel by and through James Kelly, the managing partner of its St. Louis office, has disavowed any knowledge of, or involvement or acquiescence in, Millar's attempted filings in this action," he wrote.

Coviello asked U.S. District Judge Jose Linares to sanction Millar "by means sufficient to deter repetition of his conduct."

"Millar's filings in this action are unreasonable, false, unauthorized, and without a proper purpose," Coviello wrote.

"Hall and her undersigned counsel have been, and still are, plagued by the prejudice of Millar's conduct."

Millar left the Lakin firm in December, after securing letters from Hall and another class action client discharging the firm and retaining him.

Hall represents Sprint telephone customers in a dispute over early termination fees that former circuit judge Nicholas Byron certified as a class action in 2005.

Instead of delivering Hall to Millar, Lakin sent Coviello to federal court in Newark to plead for Hall's intervention in a Sprint suit before Linares.

In that case, former Lakin lawyer Richard Burke and former Lakin class action teammate Paul Weiss reached a settlement agreement with Sprint last fall.

Lakin stalled approval of the settlement by accusing Burke and Weiss of running a "reverse auction."

A reverse auction happens when a business defending different suits over the same conduct settles with the weakest team of lawyers at the lowest possible price.

Millar mixed himself into the conflict on Feb. 2, by filing papers on Hall's behalf.

"These submissions by Millar were not filed and, as such, they are not part of the formal record in this case," Coviello wrote.

On March 3, he wrote, Hall executed a declaration that Phil Bock of Chicago was her attorney and she agreed with him in objecting to the New Jersey settlement.

Millar didn't tell Hall he believed the settlement was fair or that he would file papers on her behalf endorsing it, he wrote.

"At no time did Hall consent to the filing of such papers on her behalf," he wrote.

He asked Linares to exercise his inherent power to sanction willful abuse of judicial process or bad faith conduct.

In March, Linares held a hearing on the settlement. He has not reached a decision.

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