DALLAS (CN) – Exonerated of 10 rapes through DNA testing and released after 24 years in prison, a man has sued his former attorney, claiming his $1 million bill was unconscionable. Steven Phillips claims that Lubbock-based attorney Kevin Glasheen knew that state law entitled Phillips to $50,000 for every year of his wrongful imprisonment, even without filing a lawsuit.
In his complaint in Dallas County Court, Phillips says Glasheen flew to Springfield, Mo., where Phillips was stranded after his Dec. 28, 2007 release from prison. Phillips says Glasheen presented him with a contingency fee agreement, which he signed.
Under terms of the contract, Glasheen and his firm, Glasheen, Valles, Inderman and DeHoyos, agreed to “investigate, evaluate, and pursue settlement of judgment all claims” Phillips may have resulting from his wrongful imprisonment, according to the complaint.
Phillips says the law office knew or should have known that he was entitled to $50,000 for each year of his wrongful imprisonment. But he says the lawyers failed to inform him of this, and have performed no meaningful legal services on his behalf.
Phillips says he fired them on Sept. 16 this year.
Phillips says he expects to receive more than $4.09 million in compensation upon filing his request with the state comptroller: a form he says he completed with no assistance or advice from the defendants or any other lawyer or law firm.
He seeks a declaration that the fee agreement is unenforceable and that the defendants are not entitled to any attorney’s fees or to any portion of his compensation for wrongful imprisonment.
Phillips is represented by Randall Turner with Turner & McKenzie of Hurst, Texas.