Mayfield’s former attorneys sue to recover nearly $400,000 in unpaid feesBy AP
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Former Mayfield attorneys sue to recover fees
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeremy Mayfield’s former attorneys filed a civil suit Wednesday against the suspended NASCAR driver seeking nearly $400,000 in unpaid fees.
Meanwhile, Mayfield’s new attorney filed a motion in U.S. District Court that claims NASCAR chairman Brian France misrepresented his primary residence to have Mayfield’s lawsuit moved to federal court.
The two filings marked a busy day of legal wrangling in the case of Mayfield, who was suspended May 9 for failing a random drug test. NASCAR said he tested positive for methamphetamines, while Mayfield has denied using the illegal drug.
Mayfield is currently suing over his suspension.
In the first filing, the firm James, McElroy and Diehl claimed in North Carolina Superior Court that Mayfield owes $371,973.66, plus attorney fees, late charges and interest since Oct. 22.
The firm represented Mayfield from May until October, when he hired high-profile attorney Mark Geragos.
The claim admits Mayfield made some payments during the time he was represented by Bill Diehl, but it states Mayfield was constantly late, often “represented that payments were ‘on the way,’ or ‘being delivered today’ ” and that if Mayfield did come through with money, it was typically “for less than the promised amount.”
The suit also claims that Mayfield agreed in September to make monthly payments of $20,000 until Dec. 15, when he was to make a lump sum payment to cover the full amount. The suit claims Mayfield promised to sign the agreement, but never did.
The second filing, by Geragos’ legal team, is in response to NASCAR’s attempt to temporarily halt the discovery process. In it, Mayfield claims NASCAR should not have succeeding in moving the original lawsuit from North Carolina state courts to federal court.
The change of venue came after France admitted he owns a home in North Carolina, but that Florida is his primary residence.
Mayfield claims in a separate lawsuit France filed against his former in-laws filed four days earlier, France claimed to be a citizen of both states. Mayfield argues that France can’t be a resident in North Carolina for one case to be heard in state court, but then claim to be a resident of Florida so that the Mayfield case is heard in federal court.
“Apparently, Mr. France claims to be domiciled in Florida when it suits him for tax-avoidance purposes, but claims be domiciled in North Carolina when it suits him in litigation,” the filing states.
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