A federal district judge in Washington has denied a Reston-based law firm’s motion for summary judgment in a legal fee dispute with one of its clients.
U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Colleen Kollar-Kotelly also ruled Monday to not dismiss the counterclaims of Bernard J. Carl against Marbury Law Group.
The dispute began in Fairfax County Circuit Court, when the law firm sought to collect unpaid fees for the legal services it provided to Carl.
In 2009, Marbury brought suit to collect more than $134,000 in legal fee damages, plus interest. Carl countersued, accusing Marbury of breach of contract and legal malpractice and later amended the motion to include five additional counterclaims.
In November 2009, Marbury filed a motion to dismiss its own complaint for lack of “subject matter jurisdiction” and to dismiss Carl’s counterclaims. The court obliged and granted both motions after receiving no response from Carl.
In September 2010, Carl filed a narrowed, amended counterclaim. The following month, Marbury filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that “Carl’s counterclaims should be dismissed because they are barred by the doctrine of res judicata and fail on the merits." In December, Carl filed a motion seeking relief from the default judgment of the Fairfax County Circuit Court.
“The court has considered the remaining arguments tendered by the parties and has concluded that they are without merit,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her opinion.
Carl was not available for comment and Marbury did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.