Bill Cosby, the embattled comedian and actor who is serving prison time for sexual misconduct, is waging a fight against a law firm that charged him $1 million each month during his first sex assault trial, according to court arbitration papers.
Cosby, 81, is in a fee dispute now challenging a California arbitration award that reduces the total amount owed to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan from $9 million to below $7 million. However, he doesn’t feel he owes that and is accusing the firm of elder abuse and fraud for representing him at the same time it represented American International Group, an insurance company that he was fighting in court over his coverage, according to the Associated Press.
An arbitration panel ruled that Quinn Emanuel had properly informed Cosby’s personal lawyer, Monique Pressley, of the potential conflict of interest, although not Cosby directly, and the panel voided Cosby’s 2015 contract with Quinn Emanuel. However, the panel also ruled that even if it was a potential conflict, Cosby wasn’t harmed by it and that the firm actually represented him well.
Cosby maintains that because of his advanced age and blindness, he did not comprehend parts of the contract he signed with Quinn in October 2015. He is hoping to get reimbursed about $4.3 million in money he previously paid the firm. Meanwhile, the arbitration panel has ordered that he pay the firm $2.4 million, for a total of about $6.7 million.
The Quinn Emanuel law firm says it has expended more than 11,000 hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in research alone to represent the comedian. The Quinn Emanuel firm, one of several law firms that represented various aspects of Cosby’s case, was initially hired to handle civil lawsuits involving three accusers, but the caseload grew to 10 women.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Cosby filed a bail motion Wednesday with the Pennsylvania state Superior Court. They complained that in the seven months since Cosby’s sentencing, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill has not issued his post-trial opinion explaining key trial decisions. They need the opinion in hand to raise alleged trial errors and pursue Cosby’s appeals.
Cosby’s lawyers filed notice in December of the alleged trial errors they plan to pursue. O’Neill is expected to address them in the opinion.
Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison following his 2018 conviction. He is appealing his case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.