Gary DeFrancesco Being Sued By His Own Attorney

Arguments

The individually named defendant (“DeFrancesco”) is the principal of the corporate defendant (“Funding”). Plaintiff contends that beginning in 2001 through January 2006, she rendered legal services to both defendants. She alleges that although she did not have a written retainer agreement with either of them, DeFrancesco retained her on behalf of the corporate defendant and individually. Plaintiff alleges further that DeFrancesco orally agreed to be responsible for all the fees, regardless of whether the services were rendered to him in his personal capacity, or to the corporate defendant.

Plaintiff contends that she sent the defendants bills which they initially paid. Then, in January 2006, the defendants stopped making payments, retained the bills, but did not object them. According to plaintiff, the defendants owe her more than $40,000 in unpaid legal fees. She has asserted a breach of contract claim against them (1st cause of action), as well as a claim for an account stated (2nd cause of action). Her third cause of action is for fraudulent inducement, based upon claims that she  provided services based upon defendants’ misrepresentation that they would pay them.

In support of plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, she provides her affirmation as an attorney of what her hourly rate is, the services she provided, and the number of hours she billed the defendants for. She also provides an invoice dated April 30, 2007 showing entries for the years 2006 and 2007. Plaintiff also relies upon some electronic correspondence she had with DeFrancesco in which different projects are referenced, and payments are discussed. In one message from DeFrancesco dated October 11, 2006, he states that he has sent plaintiff “a personal check for 5000.” In the same message, however, DeFrancesco states that the check is being sent in case another check that was expected from a client is late in arriving.

Plaintiff contends that the foregoing proves she is entitled to legal fees from both defendants and that none of the defenses asserted are effective against her claims.

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