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Jones Day Sues Former Client Over $6M in Unpaid Attorney Fees

December 5, 2012 | Posted in : Fee Dispute, Fee Dispute Litigation / ADR, Unpaid Fees

A recent BLT Blog post “Jones Day Sues Former Client Vizio for $6 Million in Fees” reports that Jones Day is suing former client Vizio Inc. in Washington federal court, claiming that the consumer electronics corporation owes the law firm more than $6 million in attorney fees.  According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Jones Day did intellectual property work for Vizio from May 2008 to October 2012.  The firm alleged that Vizio, proportedly unhappy with how a patent prosecution had played out, refused to pay invoices from June through November of this year.

Jones Day is seeking $6,725,981 in fees, plus interest.  According to the suit, about $1.7 million of those fees were for work unrelated to the patent matters.  According to the complaint, Vizio hired Jones Day in May 2011 to bring complaints for patent violations against nine entities before the International Trade Commission.  After filing the ITC action, some respondents settled with Vizio, but others did not.  Two respondents filed a countersuit against Vizio; Jones Day said in the complaint that firm lawyers warned Vizio of the possibility of a countersuit.

Before Vizio’s case and the countersuit were suppose to go to trial, Jones Day said that it negotiated a settlement that would pay $4 million Renesas Electronics Corporation and Renesas Electronics America, which had pursued the countersuit.  Vizio was unhappy about having to pay Renesas and argued that Jones Day should have to cover the cost of the settlement.  Jones Day says that Vizio claimed they were never told that Renesas would be named in the original complaint, an allegation that Jones Day denied. 

“This excuse for not paying has no basis in fact.  Jones Day lawyers who worked on the ITC action and the Renesas countersuit recall clearly and specifically informing Vizio management on more than one occasion who would be named as respondents in the ITC action and why,” the firm claimed in its suit.