Bank Of America Case Worth it all

Bank Of America Case Worth it all

By Paul Brinkmann – Reporter
Feb 8, 2011, 1:11pm EST Updated Feb 8, 2011, 7:05pm EST
Friday’s $410 million settlement of a class action lawsuit against Bank of America “validates everything I have been working for,” Miami attorney Jeremy Alters says.

The win comes at a critical time for Alters, who, just a few months ago, acknowledged cash flow problems because of the large expense of tackling national class action cases.

When I wrote about his financial troubles then, Alters acknowledged a multimillion-dollar line of credit, but promised he would be fine if several large cases he was handling paid off.

Alters’ firm was lead counsel for the BofA case.

Other than a few paragraphs in a notice filed in federal court, there’s no detail being released about the settlement yet. Attorney fees haven’t been determined. But, it certainly means a large fee, likely in the millions, for lead counsel.

Alters said in an interview that he couldn’t comment beyond what is stated in court documents. But, he said there are many more settlements to come.

“It makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it,” he said. “I’m thrilled about the result.”

The 40-year-old flashy dresser built his law firm by his mid-30s. He appeared to live large and hobnob with celebrities.

In addition to bank overdraft lawsuits, the Alters firm also has hundreds of Chinese drywall cases and some lawsuits over the BP LLC oil spill.

Alters declined to say if the fee from the BofA case would erase his debt.

“The firm is doing well and we’re happy with where we are,” he said. “I like the firm the way it is, and I’m pleased with the direction we’re headed in.”

Last year, three partners – Kimberly Boldt, Tom Culmo and Robert Brown – left the Alters firm, which was formerly known as Alters, Boldt, Brown, Rash & Culmo. Another key attorney who was still working with Alters this year, Robert Gilbert, went to Grossman Roth, P.A., but Alters insists his departure won’t affect his fee in the overdraft cases.

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Tackling large class action cases such as the bank overdraft litigation requires a lot of upfront expense for investigation. Alters said some people at his firm weren’t willing to wait for the payoff.

I asked Alters if he was saying, “I told you so.”

He replied: “I don’t like to say that. But, the struggles and effort … I really know the people that stuck by me now. I’m very happy for the people who have continued to work with me in the firm.”

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