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Lowenstein Sandler Charged With Legal Malpractice; ALC Case Cited as Example of Fee Gouging by Legal Ethicist

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Donn Rappaport, CEO of Princeton based ALC, filed a legal malpractice lawsuit last year for fee gouging against New Jersey's largest law firm, Lowenstein Sandler LLP, after the law firm collected close to $400,000 in legal fees from Rappaport, and then abandoned him without ever communicating a cohesive legal strategy or delivering any meaningful results for their client. This case has now been cited by a legal ethics blog, The Last Honest Lawyer, as an egregious example of the "churn and burn" approach that is endemic to many large law firms.

Lowenstein Sandler is charged with putting their financial interests ahead of their fiduciary duty to their client by running up huge fees without communicating a plan, a cost estimate, or risk/benefit analysis.

"I knew Lowenstein was expensive," said Rappaport, "but I believed that you get what you pay for, and I wanted the best. What I got was my worst nightmare – runaway and uncontrollable legal bills without any meaningful plan or results."

According to Rappaport, Lowenstein failed to develop a strategy, case plan or budget and engaged in excessive lawyering and overstaffing. Lowenstein also failed to communicate a cost risk/benefit analysis and proceeded to pursue inefficient discovery tactics. Finally Lowenstein abandoned its client and pushed through a procedurally flawed motion to withdraw.

Said Rappaport, "We called Lowenstein on all this. They filed to withdraw and accused me of being an uncooperative and recalcitrant client, but arrogantly wanted to keep my corporate business at the same time."

The danger of bottom line pressure in large law firms has been cited by the 2002 report on billable hours by the ABA as source of conflict in the legal industry.

CONTACT: Donn Rappaport, 609-580-2505Source: ALC