CINCINNATI (CN) - Jimmy Flynt failed to prove an attorney-client relationship with legal counsel of his porn king brother Larry, a federal judge found, killing his malpractice claims.
In one of two suits he filed in 2011, Jimmy Flynt alleged that Paul Cambria Jr. and several other Lipsitz Green attorneys misrepresented him in several business deals.
Despite the fact that Cambria represented Flynt in several obscenity cases dating as far back as 1977, U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman granted the defendants summary judgment Tuesday after determining that Flynt failed to establish an attorney-client relationship for the matters in question.
"The attorney-client relationship can automatically terminate when the attorney completes the discrete task for which he was retained," the judge wrote. "Thus, Cambria's representation of Jimmy in certain criminal matters does not mean Cambria also represented Jimmy for all of his legal needs into the future."
Bertelsman added: "Further, there are no bills from Lipsitz Green to HCI or Jimmy, there is no engagement letter, and there was no oral retainer agreement between Jimmy/HCI and anyone at Lipsitz Green. Thus, there is no evidence from which a reasonable juror could conclude that there was an express attorney-client relationship between the plaintiffs and defendants."
While the judge allowed for the possibility that an attorney-client relationship can be "implied" based on the submission of confidential information by the client, Bertelsman said the facts of the case did not facilitate this theory.
"Paul Cambria discussed many confidential issues with Jimmy," the opinion states. "However, they all related to Jimmy's position as an employee with Larry Flynt Publications (LFP) and not to Jimmy personally or his role with HCI. Jimmy testified that his position with Hustler Hollywood required him to interact with company counsel, which would be Cambria and the LG firm."
Jimmy Flynt also undermined his arguments with his own deposition testimony, cited numerous times in the opinion.
"Jimmy states: 'You [Cambria] are LFP's chief counsel and I respect that,'" Bertelsman wrote. "This is another example of Jimmy affirming his understanding that Cambria represented LFP rather than him or HCI."
Jimmy Flynt's tortious interference claims regarding his termination from LFP were also dismissed by Bertelsman.
Jimmy argued that Cambria disliked him personally and convinced Larry Flynt to fire him, but Judge Bertelsman cited the evidence record to quickly defeat the claim.
"Larry testified that he did not consult with Cambria before terminating Jimmy, that Cambria did not encourage him to terminate Jimmy, and that neither Cambria nor anyone from his firm helped orchestrate the firing of Jimmy," the opinion states.