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Attorneys in Anthony Abbate case arguing over legal fees

Updated: February 7, 2013 1:26PM

Attorneys who teamed up to fight the City of Chicago on behalf of beaten bartender Karolina Obrycka in the Anthony Abbate case are now squabbling among themselves over their hefty legal fees.

Three months after they stood together to hail the jury’s $850,000 finding for Obrycka as a historic repudiation of brutality and a code of silence inside the Chicago Police Department, lawyer Terry Ekl and his legal partner Pat Provenzale are squared off against Gus Munoz, who also represented Obrycka.

Munoz has hired his own attorney, Kevin M. Forde, to argue that Munoz is entitled to half the $1.8 million in legal fees Judge Amy St. Eve has ordered the city to pay Ekl and Provenzale’s law firm. He wants state and federal judges to intervene on his behalf.

Forde says the attorneys previously signed a deal guaranteeing Munoz half of any fees paid out by the city. But Ekl and Provenzale say the attorneys agreed to each be paid for the amount of work they personally put into the case.

Ekl Thursday alleged that Munoz hadn’t kept a proper record of his hours on the case and had simply copied Ekl’s billing record, describing Munoz’s actions as “unconscionable.”

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