Rudy Giuliani’s former attorneys sue him for more than $1.3 million in unpaid legal fees
By Katelyn Polantz, Senior Reporter, Crime and Justice
(CNN) — A law firm that represented Rudy Giuliani during recent years of investigations and lawsuits is now suing him for more than $1.3 million in unpaid legal fees, as the former New York City mayor is facing growing bills related to fallout for his actions around the 2020 election for Donald Trump.
The law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron said Giuliani had only paid $214,000 of his total legal bill, leaving him $1,360,196 indebted to them for work the firm’s attorneys did on his now-closed foreign lobbying federal criminal investigation; the January 6, 2021-related investigations by Georgia state prosecutors, the House of Representatives and the federal special counsel’s office; and in various lawsuits and attorney discipline probes that materialized after the 2020 election, according to a complaint filed in New York state court on Monday.
His last payment to the firm came four days ago, for $10,000, according to the court filing.
The firm handled Giuliani’s legal work from late 2019 until July this year, the filing said.
Giuliani provided a statement through his spokesman, Ted Goodman, Monday night, saying, “I can’t express how personally hurt I am by what Bob Costello has done. It’s a real shame when lawyers do things like this, and all I will say is that their bill is way in excess to anything approaching legitimate fees.”
Davidoff Hutcher, the law firm, includes partner Robert Costello, a long-time contact of Giuliani’s who publicly was associated with his defense strategy for some time. Costello also previously represented Steve Bannon.
Costello and his law firm recently won a judge’s order for Bannon to pay $500,000 in unpaid legal fees. Davidoff had sued Bannon in February, in a similar court action to what Giuliani now faces. The judge granted the law firm’s request noting there was no dispute that Bannon signed a retainer agreement with the law firm to cover multiple investigations and that Bannon “did not adequately assert that he timely objected to these invoices.”
Their complaint against Giuliani notes he, as well, had a retainer agreement with the firm signed in November 2019, and Giuliani “never raised any objection regarding the correctness of the invoices, the amount billed or that they were issued” by the firm.
Giuliani has publicly said in court how he is struggling to pay for mounting legal fees and adverse court decisions, while even more are expected to pile up in the future.
Giuliani and his allies had been soliciting donations from contacts and even Trump personally to help him dig out of his debts. Yet the former president has pushed back on the idea that he should pay Giuliani’s bills himself, for their interests to remain aligned in the 2020 probes, with Trump arguing that he hasn’t committed any wrongdoing, CNN previously reported according to multiple sources.
Trump’s PAC recently paid off more than $300,000 Giuliani owed to a provider who kept access to some of his electronic data that he’s needed to produce in litigation, and Trump has promoted fundraisers for Giuliani’s legal defense fund.
That still may not make a dent into what Giuliani ultimately owes. On top of his bills with Davidoff, he may need to pay thousands more to the data hosting provider. He also faces more than $100,000 in sanctions for failure to respond to parts of a 2020 election defamation lawsuit and is awaiting a jury trial on potentially significant damages in that case, and had to post bond as he awaits criminal trial – another costly venture – in Georgia, among other ongoing legal fallout that’s largely unresolved.
This story has been updated with additional details.
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