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Law firm settles case against Trump companies

A Richmond law firm that crossed swords with Donald Trump’s lawyers says it has resolved the protracted federal court dispute involving unpaid fees and alleged defamation.

The firm of Cook, Heyward, Lee, Hopper & Feehan PC was hired to represent Trump-owned companies in a dispute in Charlottesville federal court. When the firm’s bill went unpaid, the firm moved to withdraw from the case.

Asked to comment on the fee dispute, a Trump lawyer said his organization had been disappointed with the firm’s work quality and had to redo the firm’s work. Those statements were published in Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

The firm sued the Trump organization in Richmond federal court, adding a claim for defamation to its demands for payment. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson tossed the defamation claim, saying the comments were mere expressions of opinion.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear an appeal of the defamation decision while the contract claims remained unresolved. Hudson held a settlement conference with the parties on Dec. 23. The parties submitted a dismissal order on Jan. 10.

“The statements that appeared in Virginia Lawyers Weekly and other court filings were not intended to be a negative reflection on the business practices or quality of services performed by Cook, Heyward, Lee, Hopper & Feehan and Mr. Hopper,” read a joint statement released by the firm.

“The firm’s claim for legal fees has been satisfied and the legal services rendered by Mr. Hopper and his firm are appreciated,” the statement said.

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