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Attorneys’ Fee Fight Lands in Court

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) - The Freed & Weiss law firm withheld attorney's fees for a series of class actions and failed to disclose a secret agreement in those cases to other firms working the cases, two law firms claim in St. Clair County Court.

Edward T. Joyce & Associates and The Patchett Law Office say most of the class actions - filed against insurance companies for vehicle accident claims and car manufacturers for defective paint jobs - were filed in St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois.

The plaintiffs were considered co-counsel with Chicago-based Freed & Weiss, but say they were not treated the same as other co-counsel partners.

The plaintiffs claim Freed & Weiss entered into a secret agreement with the Lakin Law Firm that gave Lakin a bigger cut of attorney's fees in the class actions.

The plaintiffs say the agreement with Lakin shows that Freed & Weiss deliberately intended to withhold attorney's fees from them. The plaintiffs found out about the agreement when Freed & Weiss filed a separate lawsuit against Lakin in 2007 as part of the fight over those same attorney's fees, the suit states.

The plaintiffs seek accounting and fees owed and are represented by Robert Sprague. Paul Weiss, the principal owner of Freed & Weiss, is also named as a defendant.

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