The courtroom of the Debt Court at the Temple of Justice was a scene of jubilation on one hand and tears on another side when udge E. James Jones dismissed a US$6,758,772.31 unpaid legal fees lawsuit sought by Counselor Milton Taylor.
Cllr Taylor was seeking the monies from former First Lady Nancy Doe on claims that he performed several legal services especially the case that is between G.Alvin Jones and the Intestate Estate of the Late President Samuel K Doe, though the matter is pending undecided before the Supreme Court. Taylor claimed that he had a verbal agreement with the estate to pay him US$250,000.
One of the contentions in the Taylor's lawsuit was that Judge Jones and others lawyers to include Mrs Doe's legal team headed by Cllr Jonathan Massaquoi, could not easily believe that a lawyer just in a single case would seek US$250,000 as legal fees.
Immediately after the court’s decision,Cllr Taylor could not hold back his frustration when he was vividly spotted in tears. He could not be reached for a comment while being consoled by a host of high profile lawyers.
Some of the lawyers (names withheld), were physically seen targeting Cllr Massaquoi for instigating Cllr Taylor’s loss of his legal fees, particularly the US$250,000 verbal agreement with Mrs Doe. Outside of the courtroom,Mrs Doe and her lawyer, Cllr Massaquoi, were in a jubilant mood. Cllr Massaquoi was heard saying, “My client has gotten her deserved justice"', though the lawyer maintained that Cllr Taylor was entitled to his legal fees.
In an interview with journalists outside the courtroom, Cllr Massaquoi could not believe that his colleague, Cllr Taylor, would demand a payment of US $250,000 from a single action of ejectment case. "This is the first time in my over 10 years of practice of the law for a lawyer to charge US$250,000 for an ejectment case.This guy might have been day dreaming, "Cllr Massaquoi argued.
Besides, Cllr Massaquoi claimed that he personally believes that Cllr Taylor was interested in exploiting the situation that Mrs. Doe is not schooled and therefore he would enrich himself at her ignorance..
"Look! The first thing is how would a lawyer claiming that he entered into a verbal agreement with an uneducated widow in the amount of US$250,000 as legal fees for an ejectment case, even without any of her children or a witness being involved to attest to the contract,” Cllr Massaquoi argued.
Unfortunately,Cllr Massaquoi claimed that before filing the motion to dismiss Taylor's complaint, he invited his colleague for a discussion, but Taylor refused to accept the offer. "I invited him to a conference but he didn't attend and I was compelled to institute my actions, and as you can see the aftermath, he lost it big time," Massaquoi argued.
According to Massaquoi, before his action the children of Mrs Doe who had traveled from the United States of America and the United Kingdom came back to the country to discuss with Cllr Taylor the verbal agreement between their mother and him.
"Cllr Taylor even refused again to accept the offer to meet with the children. Therefore, they advised their mother to terminate the services of her lawyer and she did so," Massaquoi claimed.
Interestingly in another claim in Cllr Taylor's lawsuit, he argued that for the agreement covering the Varmoma House,"Said agreement has been presented to the defendant, Nancy Doe, for her signature but has since failed to have same signed and returned to the plaintiff to give notice that during trial witnesses shall be produced to establish the authenticity of this claim."
The Doe's Estate is being managed by the deceased widow, Mrs Nancy B. Doe, who currently serves as its administrator.
In Taylor's 19-count Action of Debt Lawsuit, the plaintiff sought US$250,000 as legal fees for the case G.Alvin Jones vs.the Intestate Estate of Samuel K Doe, that is still pending on appeal before the Supreme Court; US$50,000 legal fees in the case of the Intestate Estate of Samuel K Doe vs. Cllr Varney Sherman," Taylor's suit claims, adding, "The 35 percent commission equivalent to the amount of US$6,345,772.31 my share from the ECOWAS Court, in Abuja, Nigeria judgment rendered in favor of Mrs. Doe against the Government of Liberia, and awarded the defendant US$18,130,778.09."
Other monies, according to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, include the US$10,000 that one of Taylor's clients, Dr. Gabriel M. Pearl, extend to Mrs Doe as a loan to support the case, as well as Taylor's personal US$3,000 loan to speed up the estate case.Taylor is requesting for US$100,000 as miscellaneous and other expenses he incurred, while processing the cases making the amount to the US$6, 758,772.31.
Surprisingly, Taylor claims that in 2011, the plaintiff without a written contract but only verbal, handled several cases for the estate, all because of trust, confidence and the status of the defendant especially being a former first Lady of Liberia.