Delta Fuel, Inc. and Others Ordered to Pay DC Firm
D.C. law firm Bode & Grenier, LLP and some long-time clients became embroiled in a lengthy dispute over unpaid legal fees. At trial in federal court, the firm won an award of $70,000 in unpaid legal fees and $269,585.19 in attorneys' fees spent litigating over the unpaid legal fees. The clients appealed, and, last Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the trial court's decision. The case is Bode & Grenier, LLP v. Knight,_F.3d, No. 14-7104 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 24, 2015).
Carroll Knight owns and manages three Michigan-based companies [including Delta Fuel] "offer[ing] petroleum fueling products and services, ranging from service stations to large-scale petroleum storage." Bode & Grenier represented the companies from 1994 to 2008, providing advice "on taxation, gasoline contracts, petroleum futures and various regulatory enforcement and litigation matters." In November 2005, 100,000 gallons of petroleum leaked from holding tanks the companies owned in Ohio, and the firm agreed to represent the companies in regulatory proceedings and a federal lawsuit. As with their previous dealings, the firm undertook the representation without a formal contract between the parties. . .