Lawyers involved in the high-profile black farmers discrimination litigation defeated a lawsuit brought by an advocate for the farmers who claimed he was promised fees but never paid.
The National Black Farmers Association and its president, John Boyd Jr., sued lawyers Andrew Marks and James Scott Farrin, accusing them of refusing to pay him after repeatedly promising to do so, and of trying to claim fees for work Boyd did advocating on behalf of the farmers.
The government reached a settlement with the farmers in excess of $1 billion and, earlier this summer, a federal judge awarded $90.8 million to plaintiffs lawyers. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled yesterday that Boyd and the association lacked standing to sue, since he didn't have a legal interest in the settlement or fee award, and failed to state a claim.
Boyd couldn't be reached for comment. His lawyer, Alexander Pires Jr. of Washington's Pires Cooley, declined to comment.
Marks, who was represented by Keith Harrison and Michael Kuppersmith of Crowell & Moring, said today that he "was pleased that Judge Leon recognized that there were no facts to support any claim." Marks is a partner at Coffey Burlington in Miami and also runs a solo practice in Washington.
Farrin, who runs the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in North Carolina, was represented by Bradley Risinger of Smith Moore Leatherwood in Raleigh, N.C. Risinger said today that Leon reached "the right decision" and said that the "real winners" were the claimants in the class action.