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05/09/14

Former Client Sues John Quinn's Law Firm for $100 Million



A former client is suing John M. Quinn and Associates, the law firm founded by celebrity lawyer John Quinn, who died in an auto accident in 2009, for $100 million in damages. The matter highlights how things can fall apart in a small law firm after a founder dies suddenly.

O'Quinn, the son of an auto mechanic, had shot to fame as a trial lawyer with his success in breast implant and tobacco related lawsuits, and had been held in high esteem by the legal community. His former client's lawsuit against his law firm alleges that after six months of O'Quinns death, his law firm persuaded Rodney Young and his company Eagletech Communications Inc., to accept a settlement in one-of-three lawsuits filed against large financial firms, without disclosing that the law firm intended to withdraw from the other two lawsuits.

In the three lawsuits, Eagletech sued Bryn Mawr Investment Group in 2001, Christopher Flannery in 2003 and Citigroup in 2007. After O'Quinn's death, the law firm asked Young to settle for $525,000 in the lawsuit against Bryn Mawr. However, without his knowledge, alleges Young, the law firm withdrew from the other two suits causing him financial damage.

Even the Bryn Mawr settlement was off balance, as from the $5,25,000 the law firm took $490,000, and the plaintiff received $35,000, only. Young states that he would not have agreed to such a settlement, if he had any indication that the law firm had planned to withdraw itself from the other lawsuits.

In 2010, a week after the settlement in the Bryn Mawr case was reached, and one day after the end of the settlement grace period, the law firm informed Young that they would be ending their attorney-client relationship with him.

Young claims that the unilateral withdrawal of the law firm is contrary to the promises made by it at the time of taking up representation. Young claims that consequent to the law firm's arbitrary actions he not only lost $490,000 in settlement money, but also lost more than $100 million because O'Quinn's law firm failed to pursue recovery in the other lawsuits. He is seeking compensatory damages along with court costs and attorney's fees.

The lawsuit cites a press release made by O'Quinn at the time of the first of the lawsuits, which stated, "Our firm is committed to litigate this matter to a successful conclusion, regardless of the number of parties ultimately named, the time involved or the expenses we must incur or advance, for our clients."

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