Today mainstream media is starting to pick up the story of the $103 million Jones County verdict against Baker & McKenzie. Here is an ABA Journal News report on the verdict. Here is a Chicago Tribune story, which outlines the facts of the case.
The Tribune article states:
The case centers on Joel Held, a Baker & McKenzie attorney based in Dallas, who represented both sides of an oil-rig-drilling business that turned sour for one client while benefiting the other, according to court documents.
The suit was brought by S. Lavon Evans Jr., who had sought $150 million in actual and punitive damages. He began a drilling company in 1995 in Laurel, Miss., and four years later began drilling wells for businessman Reed Cagle, whose various businesses were represented by Held and Baker & McKenzie, according to the suit.
According to the complaint, the defendants drafted legal documents that established subsidiaries of the joint company in Evans’ name and controlled by Cagle, without advising Evans that they had been created. The subsidiaries and Evans’ assets were then used to obtain other loans, which would show up in the bank account of their company, then immediately be withdrawn for Cagle’s other uses.