For the second time this year, Patton Boggs is suing a former client in District of Columbia Superior Court over allegedly unpaid fees.
The firm initially sued former client Keystone Global Co. Ltd. on June 24, accusing the South Korea-based energy and mineral resource company of refusing to pay more than $900,000 in fees. A judge dismissed the case without prejudice August 28, citing court rules requiring plaintiffs to serve defendants within 60 days of filing.
On September 27, the firm filed a new lawsuit against Keystone, alleging the same breach of contract claims. Lead counsel for the firm, Charles Talisman, a partner who serves as Patton Boggs' general counsel, could not immediately be reached for comment. A Keystone representative also could not be reached.
Keystone hired the firm in April 2012, according to the complaint. The firm didn’t explain what work it did for Keystone, except to say that it "performed extensive work requested by Keystone on an expedited basis." The firm said it finished the bulk of its work for Keystone by October 2012, and did some "minimal" work through January 2013.
The firm claims Keystone owed $913,331 in legal fees and $11,456 in costs. According to the complaint, Keystone paid an initial retainer and made another partial payment, but the firm didn't specify the amounts in its complaint. "After promising to pay Patton Boggs on several occasions, Keystone eventually stopped responding to Patton Boggs' requests for payments," the firm alleged.
The firm said Keystone never complained about the legal services provided by the firm "and in fact, was complimentary of its work." The firm said Keystone also never questioned the firm's invoices.
When Patton Boggs filed its first complaint in June, the firm unsuccessfully tried to have the case placed under seal. The firm argued in its request that it wanted to prevent the "inadvertent disclosure of any perceived client confidences, secrets, or other confidential information."
Senior Judge Curtis von Kann denied the request, writing that Patton Boggs failed to demonstrate "good cause" for sealing the case. The firm has not filed a similar motion to seal in the new case.
The case is assigned to Judge Michael O'Keefe. A scheduling conference is scheduled for January 10.