The attorneys who represented Rick Gates, before he switched his legal team and reached a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, are suing him for allegedly stiffing them for their services up to that point.
Gates has only paid $20,000 of the $388,525.34 the firm billed him, according to the complaint filed Wednesday by the New York-based law firm Doar Rieck Kaley and Mack. Gates never disputed the amount he was billed, the complaint said, and he had promised to pay what he owed.
The law firm is now seeking the remaining $368,525.34 plus interest it says it is owed from Gates. The case was filed in a federal court in Manhattan.
Tom Green, the lawyer who took over representing Gates as he began negotiating his plea deal with Mueller, did not immediately respond to TPM’s inquiry about the lawsuit.
The days before Gates’ plea deal were announced were chaotic ones, in which his original team — led by Walter Mack, Annemarie McAvoy and an attorney at a separate Washington based firm, Shanlon Wu — filed under seal a request to the judge to withdraw from their representation of them, while CNN reported that Gates had hired Green, suggesting a plea deal was imminent.
A court document unsealed this week revealed that the old legal team was being kept in the dark about the plea negotiations Green and Gates were engaged in with Mueller. Wednesday’s complaint also notes that the DRK&M attorneys had sought relief from representing Gates because of his “failure to pay for the legal services rendered” and a “breakdown of the attorney-client relationship.”
Gates, in a letter to his family and friends explaining to them why he was cooperating with Mueller, cited the financial toll that fighting the charges was taking on his family.
Read the complaint from his ex-attorneys below: