Attorney billing is the center of the attorney world, and the greatest part of attorney-client litigation arises from or concerns attorney billing.  Ledyard v Bical  2019 NY Slip Op 30739(U)  March 20, 2019 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 150470/2018  Judge: Arthur F. Engoron is an excellent example.  Arrested, indicted and shown the evidence by the EDNY, plaintiff pled guilty.  His co-defendant, charged with a  slightly lesser series of crimes went to trial and was acquitted.  This fact was the linchpin of the counterclaim against Ledyard.  Supreme Court agreed with Ledyard that it had an account stated, and all else in the case fell in line.

“This consolidated action arises from the criminal trial and legal defense of Lilahar Bical (“Bical”). Bical was a franchised dealer for General Motors Corporation operating under the name of “Kristal Auto Mall.” Bical and a co-defendant, Darmin Bachu (“Bachu”), were indicted by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (hereafter “U.S. Attorney’s Office”) and charged with mail and wire fraud arising out of Bical’s purchase of land in Brooklyn to build a new  dealership complex. In November of 2016, Bical engaged Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP (“CLM”) to replace his then-current counsel. CLM alleges, and Bical concedes, that the FBI possessed wiretap recordings that were used by the FBI in its prosecution and plea deal negotiations with Bical. In October 2017, Bical entered a guilty plea pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Bical had been charged as the alleged perpetrator of the scheme. Bachu had been charged with aiding and abetting the scheme.  Bachu elected to take his case to trial, where he was acquitted. Bical then, unsuccessfully, sought to withdraw his guilty plea, citing ineffective assistance of counsel. ”

“CLM is entitled to judgment in the amount of $258,394.67 in legal fees on a theory of account
stated. “[W]here an account is rendered showing a balance, the party receiving it must, within a
reasonable time, examine it and object, if he disputes its correctness. If he omits to do so, he will
be deemed by his silence to have acquiesced, and will be bound by it as an account stated, unless
fraud, mistake or other equitable considerations are shown.” Shaw v Silver, 95 AD3d 416, 416
(1st Dep’t 2012). CLM has met its prima facie burden by providing evidence that it sent to Bical
regular, detailed invoices for the legal services for which CLM now seeks to recover. The partial
payments by Bical in the amount of over $450,000.00 over the life of CLM’s representation of
Bical further evidences CLM’s entitlement to payment. IQ_, Bical’s conclusory and untimely
letter by his new attorney, dated December 13. 2007. that states “‘Mr. Bical disputes each and
every invoice you have sent his way” is insufficient to raise a triable issue as to whether CLM’s
statements of account were in fact disputed. A& W Egg Co. v Tufo’s Wholesale Dairy, Inc., 169
AD3d 616 (1st Dep’t 2019). For an objection to rebut sufficiently a prima facia entitlement to an
account stated, it must raise a complaint to a specific amount or invoice. It is not enough, at the
11th hour, and after having partially paid invoices for over a year, to state retroactively that you
object to every invoice that was ever sent. Schulte Roth & Zabel. LLP v Kassover, 80 AD3d
500, 501 (1st Dep’t 2011). “