Legal Bill Rising for Conway Corp Over Land Issue

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 12:00 am  

Karen Cooper said her 17,620 SF of farmland is worth more than Conway Corp.’s offer of $881. (Photo by Jason Burt)

“We are essentially waiving almost $15,000 in damages because we cannot present them to the jury,” Walker said at the October 2012 pretrial hearing.

Jiles pushed to have the case go forward and said that Walker should have filed a counterclaim.

“We are ready to go today,” Jiles said at trial. “We need to proceed on and get this behind us for all of our sakes.”

Walker said last week that he thought that the landowners’ damages should be raised during the trial.

“We disagreed with the requirement of the court at the time,” Walker said.

At the pretrial hearing in October 2012, Maggio granted a continuance so Walker could file a counterclaim on the condition that Walker’s clients pay Jiles’ attorneys fees and costs for getting ready for the trial.

According to Millar Jiles’ bill, which was filed in the case, the firm spent 80 hours preparing for the trial. Jiles’ hourly rate was $250 and Brown’s was $185.

Maggio also said that if both sides wanted a court date within a few months, they would need to transfer the case to another judge.

They agreed. The decision to move the case, though, would set off a chain of events that would cause more delays and bring the case to the state Supreme Court.

‘Gross Abuse’

The case was transferred to Circuit Court Judge H.G. Foster’s courtroom in December 2012. Jiles prepared an order for Foster to sign on Jan. 31, 2013, that said Cooper and Dowell had to pay $20,805 to reimburse Jiles’ attorneys’ fees and costs. The order also said that Cooper and Dowell “shall not be permitted to file any further pleadings in this case” until the money was paid.

Foster signed the order.



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