Law Firm Sues Judith Regan, Bert Fields For Legal Fees

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Law Firm Sues Judith Regan, Bert Fields For Legal Fees

Tue Mar 04, 2008 @ 10:55AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Reganjudith The Judith Regan saga isn't over. A little over a month ago, Regan and News Corp settled her $100 million lawsuit that accused the Rupert Murdoch company of defamation and termination without cause relating to her tenure at its Harper Collins book publisher.

Now, the law firm that Regan originally hired to handle this case is suing her for improper termination. New York-based Dreier LLP says Regan reneged on a retainer agreement she signed and then fired the firm "in a transparent and calculated effort to avoid paying petitioners the agreed-upon fee."

Regan isn't the only star defendant in this lawsuit. In the complaint, Dreier also names Bert Fields, the entertainment power lawyer that Regan hired after she fired Dreier, claiming he tortiously interfered with the business relationship.

Fields told the AP he had not seen Dreier's complaint but the claims were "utter hogwash" and had "absolutely no truth in them whatsoever."

"I was called in to help settle the case, and I helped get it settled," Fields said. "I did not replace them as litigation counsel. I had nothing to do with their being fired."

Dreier says that Regan originally agreed to pay $125,000 plus 20 percent of any amount she got over $6.5 million in Regan's suit against News Corp. That percentage was upped to 25 percent if a settlement was made after the defendants responded. The suit says that Regan paid Dreier only $125,000 "as legal fees paid in full." Dreier says it returned the money.

The financial terms of Regan's settlement have never been disclosed, but this lawsuit may reveal that. Stay tuned.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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