A District Court judge in Minnesota has ordered a plaintiff’s attorney to pay $12,133.35 to cover the attorney’s fees incurred by the defendant in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case, bringing an end to a case where the attorney admitted to acting “petty” and was accused of prolonging the litigation to augment his recovery.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Ricketson v. Advantage Collection Professionals can be accessed by clicking here.
You may remember that I wrote about this case back in August, when the judge granted the defendant’s motion for attorney’s fees and costs. The underlying case was settled and the plaintiff’s attorney sought to try and recover more than the $2,200 in fees that he had incurred up to that point.
At this point, the plaintiff’s attorney engaged in conduct that he would later describe to be “petty,” such as declining to provide an outline of his time and expenses when requested and requiring that production of his records be made in writing, not via email. The plaintiff’s attorney then offered to settle the attorney fees portion for $10,000. After being offered $1,447.50 by the defendant, the plaintiff’s attorney responded with an offer of $9,001.
Ultimately, Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright of the District Court for the District of Minnesota granted the defendant’s request to be compensated for nearly 46 hours of work performed by the defendant’s attorneys on the prior cross-motions for attorney’s fees and costs and the present motion for attorney’s fees and costs.
The plaintiff’s attorney “abused legal procedure,” Judge Wright wrote. “Moreover, his improper conduct persisted and worsened throughout the course of the proceedings.”