Two Richmond-area lawyers say their firm is getting stiffed by Donald Trump and they want out of a lawsuit in Charlottesville federal court. A Trump spokesperson blames the dispute on shoddy work by the Virginia lawyers.
The lawyers from Cook, Heyward, Lee, Hopper & Feehan PC of Glen Allen are asking a federal judge to let them out of the lawsuit pitting the New York financier against the bank that owns the embattled Kluge mansion in Albemarle County.
Two Trump-owned entities – defendants in the case - have “failed to meet their financial obligations” to the lawyers and the firm, wrote David D. Hopper in a motion filed Friday. It would work a hardship on the lawyers and the firm to require them to continue to represent Trump “without being paid,” Hopper said.
Hopper added that Trump has “asserted an adversarial position” toward the firm that would make a continued relationship “unreasonably difficult.”
Hopper said the circumstances constitute good cause to let the firm withdraw.
Trump general counsel Jason Greenblatt acknowledged the dispute with Cook, Heyward. “We were very, very disappointed over their work quality and their billing practices,” he said. “We needed to redo their work multiple times in-house.”
Greenblatt said the Trump companies have not yet hired new counsel.
In the lawsuit, Bank of America is asking Charlottesville federal Judge Norman Moon to declare that the bank-owned Kluge mansion, known as Albemarle House, is not subject to Trump’s claimed right of first refusal.
Trump has filed a counterclaim asking Moon to enforce the purported right of first refusal.
By Peter Vieth