Appeal remands suit for trial court to determine legal fees

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A law firm that represented a company in the sale of a Fishers sign franchise will have its day in court to argue it is entitled to a greater judgment of legal fees than the $11,085.50 a trial court ordered.

A Marion Superior judgment set that amount as the sum owed by Adpoint to Thrasher Buschmann & Voelkel P.C., based on litigation rooted in a legal fees dispute dating back more than four years. TBV claimed in its lawsuit that it was owed more than $53,000 in costs, expenses and fees.

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that the court erred in granting summary judgment to Adpoint based on res judicata and collateral estoppel, remanding the matter to the trial court for a hearing to consider the amount Adpoint still owes TBV for representation in underlying litigation.

Court of Appeals Judge Elaine Brown wrote that the case could not be decided on summary judgment because the amount owed is contested and the record is insufficient to be decided as the trial court did, entering a judgment of what Adpoint claimed it owed.

“At this stage, it appears that TBV believes it is owed approximately $53,712.89, although it is unclear what portion of that amount is comprised of interest which may or may not be accruing,” Brown wrote for the panel in Thrasher Buschmann & Voelkel, P.C. v. Adpoint, Inc., Joel Hall, and Mary Hall, 49A02-1406-CC-430. “Thus, the parties appear to disagree about fees totaling approximately $42,562.41. It is unclear from the record at what stage the contested fees became due, or why Adpoint agrees to certain fees but not others.”


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