In the latest chapter of the saga of wealthy oil heir who resists paying his legal bill, Dallas U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay declined Albert G. Hill III's request to ignore a mandate from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that orders Hill to pay more than $28 million to two Texas law firms.
The grand total that Hill now owes Houston's Campbell Harrison & Dagley and Dallas' Calloway, Norris, Burdette & Weber—including pre- and post-judgment interest—is $40.9 million, according to a June 3 judgment Lindsay signed in the long-running attorney fee battle in Campbell Harrison & Dagley v. Hill.
Hill and his wife have spent years battling a number of former attorneys who helped Hill access his trust fund in litigation that settled globally for approximately $188 million. [See "BAM! Counsel Win $21 Million in Fees From Clients Who Wouldn't Pay," Texas Lawyer, Jan. 20, 2013.]
When Hill refused to pay Campbell Harrison and Calloway Norris, the firms compelled arbitration and won more than $3 million in hourly-rate fees and approximately $25 million in contingency fees from a panel of arbitrators. Lindsay originally vacated the contingency fee portion of the award last year, but the Fifth Circuit reversed the ruling in April after finding that Lindsay was not allowed to substitute his judgment for the arbitrators in the case. [See "Oil Heir Ordered to Pay $28M to His Lawyers," Texas Lawyer, April 13, 2015.]
In a response he filed last month, Hill opposed the entry of judgment and requested a stay in the case by arguing that the Fifth Circuit got it wrong. Hill also noted in his response that he intends to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari in the case. [See "Oil Heir Al Hill III Keeps Fighting, Hires Another Lawyer," Texas Lawyer, May 28, 2015.]