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DLA Piper Issues Internal Memo on “That Bill Shall Know No Limits,” E-Mail
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On Tuesday, the leaders of law firm DLA Piper /a>issued an internal memo saying that a series of emails written by former lawyers of the firm between themselves had been “an unfortunate attempt at humor” by the concerned lawyers who had been colleagues at the law firm.

The emails were part of the evidence of counterclaims in a lawsuit brought by DLA Piper against the CEO of TransGas Development Systems. The TransGas CEO has refused to pay the law firm’s fees claiming it has overbilled. To support their claims, TransGas lawyers put on record three emails written between three DLA Piper lawyers at the time.

In one of the emails, one DLA Piper lawyer on the case observes to another with reference to a third, “Now Vince has random people working full time on random research projects in standard ‘churn that bill, baby!’ mode … That bill shall know no limits.”

  
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Another lawyer sent a mail to a colleague, “I hear we are already 200K over our estimate – that’s Team DLA Piper!”

The New York Times got hold of the documents and reported it, causing DLA Piper co-chairmen Roger Meltzer and Jay Rains, and co-managing partners for the Americas, Michael Poulos and Anastasia Kelly go into damage control and issue the internal memo on Tuesday.

The memo observed, “It is unfortunate that the unprofessional behavior of these lawyers by writing those emails has distracted attention away from the fact that a client refused to pay his bills, and is now being exploited by a party in litigation for their own advantage.”

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DLA Piper had sued the CEO of TransGas for failing to pay $675,000 for what it claims genuine work performed by the firm. But in a counterclaim, Adam Victor, the CEO of TransGas, produced the three emails among other evidence claiming he had been overbilled.

The three lawyers who had such unfortunate sense of humor and emailed each other about firm billing practices are no more working at DLA Piper.





 

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