Rille, et al v. Roberts, et al
ORDER directing HP to direct all fees and costs, less those for local counsel, into the Court's registry. The Clerk of the Court is directed to deposit the money into an interest bearing account pending further orders of the Court. Local counsel should be paid promptly. The funds deposited into the Court's registry may be released following the conclusion of the California case. Signed by Judge Billy Roy Wilson on 2/16/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ex rel. NORMAN RILLE AND NEAL
Civil Action 4:04CV00989 BRW
HEWLETT PACKARD COMPANY
Hewlett Packard Company (“HP”) is prepared to pay statutory fees and costs as directed,1
but Relators and their former counsel, lawyers with the firm Packard, Packard & Johnson
(“PPJ”), disagree on who should receive the money.2
On May 20, 2011, PPJ filed a notice of attorney’s lien.3 PPJ, at Relators’ request, was
relieved as counsel on June 15, 2011.4 Relators and PPJ are now involved in a lawsuit over the
fee agreement they entered into; that suit is pending in the Superior Court, Los Angeles County,
Doc. No. 224.
Doc. Nos. 227, 228, 229, 230.
Doc. No. 184.
Doc. No. 193.
Relators contend that HP should pay the fees and costs directly to them.5 But PPJ has
filed an attorney’s lien in this case and asks that HP be directed to deposit the funds in the
Under the statute, HP should pay the fees and costs to Relators;6 accordingly, I will not
release funds to PPJ. Considering the attorney’s lien, I am hesitant to release the funds to
The Los Angeles County Superior Court referred the Relators-PPJ case to arbitration to
determine if the arbitration provision in the fee agreement is valid, but the Superior Court
reserved jurisdiction.7 Either the Los Angeles County Superior Court or the California
arbitrators will determine fee-agreement related disputes.
Relators do not seem to question my authority to order the fees and costs to be lodged
with the Court, and I think that is the most appropriate thing to do at this point. HP is directed to
deposit all fees and costs, less those for local counsel, into the Court’s registry. The Clerk of the
Court is directed to deposit the money into an interest bearing account pending further orders of
the Court. Local counsel should be paid promptly, as it appears that Relators and PPJ agree this
is the proper thing to do.
The funds deposited into the Court’s registry may be released following the conclusion of
the California case.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 16th day of February, 2012.
/s/ Billy Roy Wilson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
31 U.S.C. § 3730(d); Doc. Nos. 228, 229.
31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).
Doc. No. 216, Ex. B.
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