Attorney sues Santa Barbara News-Press
June 1, 2012
The Santa Barbara law firm of Capello & Noel is suing Santa Barbara News-Press owner Wendy McCaw’s Ampersand Publishing, the newspaper’s parent company and related trusts, claiming they owe more than $500,000 in attorney fees, expenses and interest. (Noozhawk)
The civil suit, filed Tuesday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, alleges that money is due from contracts signed between the law firm and Ampersand and other entities connected to McCaw, according to N0ozhawk.
Each agreement for legal services on retainer specified an hourly rate per employee, and established that the client would be billed monthly for work and expenses, which would gain interest if not paid, according to the lawsuit.
Through April 17, 2012, Cappello & Noël is owed $526,224.81 total in fees and interest, according to the complaint. Almost all of that — $411,933.27 — is due from Ampersand, the complaint states.
Until he was replaced earlier this year, attorney Barry Cappello had represented Ampersand in numerous matters following what has become known locally as the “News-Press meltdown” — the 2006 mass resignations by News-Press editors and reporters who accused McCaw of violating journalism ethics by meddling in newsroom operations, Noozhawk reported.