No damages in Hirsch case


A Los Angeles judge has tentatively awarded no damages in the heated litigation between the firms led by well-known talent dealmakers Barry Hirsch and Jim Jackoway, finding that absent a written agreement it is "unconscionable" to require a client to pay a 5% commission to a firm once the representation has ended.

Judge Robert O'Brien made the conclusion in a detailed 27-page tentative ruling issued Wednesday. The decision follows a six-week trial in a case stemming from allegations that Jackoway and other lawyers conspired to force their partner Hirsch into retirement and that Hirsch then "stole" firm clients and files while defecting in the middle of the night.

Through a spokeswoman, Hirsch and his co-plaintiffs at Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman declined comment on the tentative decision.

In a statement, Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum & Morris said: "Although Hirsch and his associates once maintained that they were entitled to many millions of dollars, the court (Wednesday) decided that they were entitled to nothing."

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Leslie Simmons is senior staff writer for THR, ESQ.