Celebrity Lawyer Sued for Deficient Representation
Just because a lawyer is famous, doesn’t mean you’ll get the results you want. Andrew Milder learned this the hard way. He was wrongfully arrested and hired Hollywood attorney, Shawn Holley. Holley has a client list full of celebrities. She was on the defense team for O.J. Simpson, represented Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian West, and Kanye West. She accompanied Kim Kardashian West to the White House when she spoke with the president about Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time drug offender who was serving a life sentence.
But Milder’s experience as Holley’s client in 2012 wasn’t a good one. His retainer agreement was $25,000, plus costs for a private investigator who would find more evidence for Andrew’s case.
In the retainer was for disagreements between Milder and Holley would be solved through one of Holley’s common tactics, forced arbitration. This method keeps the case out of court, where the public won’t know much about what happens in the process. The retainer seemed to put arbitration in a light that showed it as a less expensive and better way to bring disputes to a resolution. However, arbitration can be quite expensive, even more expensive than going to court.
When Milder had a hearing about his case, Holley wouldn’t let him testify or bring forward essential parts of his case. He believes it was because Holley’s interests were somewhere else. That same day, she had a probation update for another client, Lindsay Lohan. Milder argued that Holley’s poor representation was a result of prioritizing the high-profile celebrity’s case over his. Milder was convicted of a probation violation. After Milder was told by Holley that he needed to prepare to spend 9 days in prison, she withdrew as his representative. Milder wanted a refund on his retainer, which Holley did not pay back. Milder had to hire a new attorney and pay a new retainer.
When they went to arbitration, Milder held Holley responsible for being ineffective and not representing him to the best of her abilities. However, the arbitration was costly: $17,132.50 for 26.5 hours, and Milder owed half. Court costs in California may not have even reached $1,000. Milder filed an action in 2015 against Holley for her misrepresentation and also looked to void the arbitration in his retainer.
While he lost that trial, he won the appeal to that decision in 2017. The court said that Milder’s retainer was misleading about arbitration and the matter needs to be resolved in court.
There are some states that have a rule that keeps attorneys from being allowed to include arbitration clauses in their retainers. There’s also an argument that attorneys who encourage arbitration clauses are acting unethically, as it’s acting in their best interests and not their client’s.
You deserve to have dependable representation. The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers from Shrager & Sachs are dedicated to helping you get justice. Get in touch with us today to learn more.