Houston, TX: (Jul-19-07) A class action lawsuit was filed in 1999 against prominent trial lawyer John O'Quinn, by three ex-clients in East Texas who claimed his law firm overcharged them for expenses when they settled lawsuits alleging their breast implants were defective. More than 3,000 other former clients later joined the lawsuit. O'Quinn has been at the forefront of national litigation like the breast implant cases and was one of the lead lawyers in the state of Texas' massive settlement from the tobacco industry. He has also been prosecuted by the State Bar of Texas for how he obtained cases and found in contempt midtrial for sleeping in a jury room.
In a settlement reached, O'Quinn has been ordered to pay at least $35.7 million to more than 3,000 former clients, but sources say that figure could touch as much as $60 million with interest and attorneys' fees. Officials stated that this decision against O'Quinn is far less than the lawyer's total fees for all these clients, which was estimated in the lawsuit to be around $580 million, but which the arbitration panel said was about $263.4 million. [FORBES: LAWYER MALPRACTICE]