Brent Coon, Harris Williams squabble over attorney’s fees from BP oil spill litigation

By David Yates | Aug 7, 2013

Alleging he shouldn’t have to pay his partner for signing up oil spill victims as clients, Beaumont plaintiff’s attorney Brent Coon has filed suit against the Law Offices of Harris Bell Williams.

Coon and his firm, Brent Coon & Associates, filed the petition to interplead funds to the registry of the court on Aug. 2 in Jefferson County District Court.

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11 people and flooding the Gulf of Mexico with oil. According to the lawsuit, Coon and Williams entered into a joint venture, wherein Williams’ firm, based in Pascagoula, Miss., signed up oil spill victims and forwarded the claims to Coon’s firm.

Now that “some of the cases under the joint venture have settled … we now have a dispute over how much of the fee, if any, defendant would be entitled to,” the suit states.

“The majority, if not all of the claims defendant sent to plaintiff were not worked on by defendant other than getting the clients to sign up,” the suit states.

“As far as signing up the clients, plaintiff provided defendant with a staff attorney … to help him sign up many of these cases. This help and much more were provided to defendant outside of the agreement just to help out a partner in the litigation.”

Coon is depositing the attorney’s fees from the settled cases into the court registry until the parties can resolve the conflict.

Attorney John Tomas represents Coon.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. D194-592

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