Louisville Native Fights Back After Being Sued

06/05/2007 | Legal Malpractice

Louisville native Larry Birkhead has fought back after being sued for unpaid legal fees by Debra Opri. If you recall, Opri billed Birkhead more than $600,000 in the child custody case. You can read the suit here. Birkhead alleges that he was introduced to Opri by an MSNBC employee and Opri volunteered to handle the case for free because of the publicity and new clients it would bring her. Birkhead claims the relationship began to fall apart when Opri, against Birkhead's wishes showed up at Ann Nicole's funeral wanting to discuss business. He also claims Opri pressed him for a $20,000 payment shortly after taking the case, but it was supposed to be the only request for payment. Birkhead also claims Opri established a "save Dani Lynn" fund for legal fees without his authorization. During the ongoing court battle Birkhead signed an agreement with NBC for exclusive reports on the custody case. Under the agreement, he says he was to receive no less than $1,050,000. In his suit, he alleges that at least $865,000 of that money was deposited in Opri's attorney-client trust account. Birkhead's suit says he never gave Opri consent to deposit any money into her account and has demanded that the money be returned to him. Per Birkhead, Opri has only returned $200,000. Stay tuned, this could be interesting. Hans Poppe