June 23, 2021

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equality opinion

Weinstein sues lawyer Jose Baez, seeks return of $1M in fees

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein wishes his dollars again.

The convicted rapist is suing his one particular-time attorney Jose Baez for breach of contract and is in search of a refund on $1 million in authorized fees he states he paid the high-profile attorney for a limited stint on his legal staff.

Weinstein alleges Baez was regularly preoccupied with other issues, pawned off critical operate on other legal professionals, was typically unavailable to converse with him about his New York Metropolis rape circumstance and afterwards offered fraudulent billing data.

Baez, a Florida-based law firm finest recognised for representing Casey Anthony, joined Weinstein’s defense in January 2019 and left six months later, indicating the former movie mogul experienced tarnished their partnership by speaking only by other lawyers and by failing to abide by a rate arrangement.

Weinstein, in the lawsuit filed Tuesday, promises he agreed to shell out Baez and yet another attorney $2 million in $200,000 every month payments for their protection operate on the landmark #MeToo situation but that Baez violated New York law by stating in his arrangement that his retainer was non-refundable and non-negotiable.

Messages trying to get remark ended up left for Baez.

Weinstein, 69, was convicted in February 2020 of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 and forcibly executing oral sex on a output assistant in 2006. He is serving a 23-calendar year sentence in state prison. Previous month, his attorneys filed attractiveness paperwork demanding a new demo.

Weinstein also faces a probable extradition to California, wherever he is charged with assaulting five females in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013.

Information of Weinstein’s lawsuit versus Baez were being reported by Law 360.

Weinstein hired Baez, Harvard Law professor Ronald Sullivan and two other legal professionals just after splitting with Benjamin Brafman, the pugnacious New York Town protection attorney who’d been with him given that his arrest in 2018.

Baez initially received fame for symbolizing Anthony, the Florida mother whose televised trial in 2011 finished in an acquittal on rates accusing her of killing her youthful daughter. Baez and Sullivan correctly defended New England Patriots tight stop Aaron Hernandez in opposition to murder charges in 2017. Hernandez, in jail for a 2015 murder conviction, killed himself 5 times afterwards.

Sullivan still left Weinstein’s case in May perhaps amid backlash about his involvement.

Weinstein then requested Baez for an accounting of his function but Baez refused and threatened to leave the circumstance except he was immediately compensated $1 million to address the remainder of the agreed upon fee, according to Weinstein’s lawsuit.

A couple of weeks later on, Baez wrote the decide presiding more than the situation that Weinstein created representing him “unreasonably difficult” and insisted on having steps “with which I have essential disagreements.”

In July 2019, Judge James Burke accepted Baez’s departure from the situation. As he left the courtroom, Baez explained: “I truly feel like I won the lottery. Just kidding.”

Weinstein continued to press the issue of authorized expenses with Baez, and very last September his lawyer demanded a comprehensive accounting of Baez’s get the job done on the circumstance.

Baez’s workplace responded with a spreadsheet tallying $1,028,227 in charges, the lawsuit mentioned.

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Observe Michael Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak