Get Outta Town, Oxford Tells Texas Lawyers

     DALLAS (CN) – Oxford University sued a Dallas law firm, claiming that after it fired the attorneys, the firm threatened to intervene in a patent suit.
     Oxford and Invensys Systems sued Shore Chan Bragalone Depumpo LLP, in Dallas County Court.
     The university claims it hired the law firm in January 2011 regarding claims against Emerson Electric Co. and Micro Motion.
     Oxford says the patents at issue are owned by Invensys, and that the technology was co-developed by Oxford under a sponsored research program.
     Oxford claims it fired Shore Chan in October 2011, told it that the contingent fee agreement is void, and hired other counsel.
     Then, “Since at least October 31, 2012, Shore Chan has made several threats to institute legal action against Invensys and its counsel, including repeated threats to intervene in the Emerson case,” the complaint states. “Shore Chan has also made repeated allegations of tortious interference against Invensys.
     “Further, Shore Chan has made several demands, as recently as February 4, 2013, to Invensys for payment of 3.75 percent of any recovery in the Emerson case, despite the fact that Shore Chan and Invensys never entered into any retainer or contingent fee agreement.
     “Shore Chan has also demanded that Invensys pay $547,000 in fees and expenses for alleged legal services that Shore Chan provided, again despite the fact that Invensys never entered into any retainer or fee agreement with Shore Chan. Shore Chan has not provided any accounting for what comprises the $547,000 in fees and expenses.”
     Oxford claims that any claims under its agreement with Shore Chan are subject to arbitration, which it has offered but Shore Chan rejected.
     “Instead, Shore Chan has attempted to make an end-run around the arbitration provision by making multiple demands of Invensys, a nonparty to the attorney retainer agreement,” according to the complaint.
     Oxford and Invensys seeks declaratory relief and costs.
     They are represented by Claudia Frost with DLA Piper in Houston.

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