General Motors scored a victory after the first of many trials involving the automaker’s faulty ignition switch was dismissed over perjury accusations, but now things have gotten even messier.
Autoblog reports a prominent lawyer, who first brought the ignition-switch issues to light two years ago, has asked a judge to remove the lead counsel for plaintiffs in the multi-district cases.
Lance Cooper, a Georgia-based lawyer, has accused co-lead counsel Robert Hilliard, Steve Berman and Elizabeth Cabraser of misconduct, saying Hilliard managed the trial schedule to maintain control over proceedings to maximize billable hours. In other words, Cooper is calling Hilliard a greedy you-know-what.
“This is no easy motion. But it is the right motion. It has to be made,” Cooper wrote in Monday’s court filing with the district court in Southern New York. “It unfortunately comes on the heels of the embarrassing retreat in Scheuer, a loss that should not have occurred in a case that should never have been filed, let alone gone to trial. It is also the culmination of a long series of poor decisions and mismanagement.”
By putting the Scheuer case first, Cooper says Hilliard manipulated the trial schedule to maximize profits and continue ongoing control of the litigation.
Hilliard has not commented on the motion, while the next bellwether trial is scheduled for March until further notice.