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Ex-Conseco board member owes legal fees, may pursue malpractice claim

September 19, 2014

A pre-bankruptcy board member of Conseco Inc. was ordered to pay $127,592.21 in outstanding legal fees, but he may pursue legal malpractice claims, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Dennis E. Murray Sr. and other defendants must pay the amount sought after long-running litigation brought by Price Waicukauski & Riley LLC, according to an order by Judge William T. Lawrence of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

PWR represented Murray and DPM, who borrowed a combined $99.6 million under Conseco’s Director and Officer Loan Program, and $30 million from Conseco Services in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to the order. Conseco Inc. filed for bankruptcy in December 2002, and Murray and DPM sued Conseco and Conseco Services in late 2003.

In July 2009, the case reached a settlement in which the Murray defendants would pay $5.8 million to Conseco and Conseco Services. The instant action seeking payment of legal fees was filed in August 2010.

Lawrence also ruled in a 40-page order that some of Murray’s counter-claims for legal malpractice could proceed past summary judgment, though he denied a motion that sought disgorgement of some of the $2.7 million Murray has paid in legal fees, granting the firm summary judgment on that and several other malpractice claims.   

“The only claims that remain to be tried are the proximate cause issue with regard to the federal subject matter jurisdiction claim and the allegation of malpractice committed by PWR as a result of its alleged failure to review certain documents that led to sanctions being imposed on Mr. Murray,” Lawrence wrote.

The case is Price Waicukauski & Riley, LLC v. Dennis E. Murray Sr., Margaret A. Murray, and DPM Ltd., 1:10-cv-1065.






 

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