Call it an ironic role reversal, but there’s something interesting about a law firm known for its collection prowess finding itself on the owing end of a collector’s call.
Nashville-based Robinson Reagan & Young is in just that circumstance. AT&T, the law firm’s phone service provider, on Jan. 19 filed a complaint in New York’s District Court claiming it hasn’t received nearly $135,000 in phone charges. In its complaint, the phone giant claims to have never received any payment from the law firm — a time period approaching five years.
Mark Reagan, a named partner in the Robinson Reagan & Young firm located at 105 Broadway in Nashville, said he wanted to comment on the matter but deferred, saying he needed to talk with his law partners first.
AT&T claims the firm never paid its phone bill from the first day the contract was signed — sometime in July 2007 through at least June 2011. The contract called for a minimum annual payment of $60,000, referred to as minimum activity charges, designed to cover a three-year period. The complaint states that Robinson Reagan owes exactly $134,034.61. It’s unclear how this number was determined, especially given references in the complaint to never receiving any payment.
AT&T is suing in its capacity as a New York-based concern, which includes its capacity as AT&T of The South Central States LLC. The phone company is claiming breach of contract, but it’s also alleging unjust enrichment, a fancier legal phrase for the simple fact if a party doesn’t pay its bill, then by that fact alone it has availed itself of funds it wasn’t due.
AT&T wants its money and an 18 percent interest penalty applied to the unpaid balance, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs. Attorney Joseph S. Malara, of the Vincent N. Amato law firm in Pearl River, N.Y., is representing the telecom.