Plaintiff, a communications law firm with its principal office in Arlington, filed a breach of contract action to recover attorney fees owed by a New York-based business that owns and operates AM radio stations in several states. The plaintiff firm help-ed the defendant with regulatory matters before the Federal Communication Commission and with acquisition of various existing AM radio stations.
Defendant refused to pay all of the invoiced charges, claiming that (1) the written retainer agreement did not cover a New York State transaction, which constituted a large portion of the debt claimed by the law firm; (2) the plaintiff law firm was not qualified to handle the New York transaction; and (3) the work performed by the law firm was of no value because defendant hired another firm to close the transaction.
During the three-day jury trial, plaintiff’s counsel was able to prove that the law firm (which represents radio stations throughout the United States) had provided competent, professional legal services and that the services provided to the defendant ultimately resulted in the purchase of a New York radio station.
The value of the services provided to defendant was proven by testimony of an expert witness. The jury awarded the entire amount requested, as well as attorney fees related to the lawsuit, and interest at the contract rate. Defendant has noted an appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Type of action: Breach of contract
Injuries alleged: Unpaid legal fees
Name of case: Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC v. WIN Radio Broadcasting Inc.
Court: Arlington County Circuit Court
Case no.: 2009-0968
Tried before: Jury
Name of judge: William T. Newman Jr.
Special damages: $21,221.18 – principal amount owed for legal fees
Verdict or Settlement: Verdict
Amount: $21,221 in principal, plus $13,916 pre-judgment interest, plus $55,876 for attorney fees, plus interest on the judgment at the contract rate of 12 percent per annum
Date: July 8, 2010
Demand: $21,221 in principal, plus interest and attorney fees
Highest offer: None
Expert: Alan Rosenblum, attorney’s fees, Alexandria
Insurance carrier: None
Plaintiff’s attorney: Jeffrey S. Romanick, Fairfax