Yesterday, Judge Gale entered summary judgment against a
North Carolina lawyer who claimed he was entitled to a greater share of a $3
million fee award to a group of plaintiffs' counsel in a series of settled
class actions. The opinion was in the case brought by the lawyer seeking
an enhancement of his fee, Donald Dunn, against the lawyers who were his
co-counsel, Henry Dart and Robert Zaytoun, in
Dunn v. Dart.
The lawyers represented members of the communities living
near an industrial plant in Apex, North Carolina at the time of an explosion
there. Those families who were forced to evacuate their homes as a result of
the explosion settled
several class actions for payments of close to a total of $8 million.
A federal judge approving the settlement in the Eastern
District also approved the $2.9 million fee award, which allocated $75,000 to
Dunn. Dunn then filed a separate action in North Carolina asserting that
he had a side arrangement with his co-counsel to split one third of the fee
50/50 with them. Dart walked from the fee award with $975,000 and Zaytoun
with $670,000, aggrieving Dunn, who received only a paltry $75,000 for his work
on the case.
Read this article in
its entirety on North
Carolina Business Litigation Report, a blog for lawyers focusing on issues
of North Carolina business law and the day-to-day practice of business
litigation in North Carolina courts.
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