Dov Charney, founder and former chief executive of American Apparel Inc., has taken his former lawyers to court, alleging professional negligence and breach of contract by Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro. Charney, who filed the claim in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday, is seeking unspecified compensation from the firm, which represented him in his dispute with the American Apparel board after it jettisoned him in December 2014.
Charney, who filed the claim without counsel, blames Glaser Weil’s lack of experience and comprehension of the legal principles at play when he signed a contract with his former company and Standard General, the hedge fund that later helped oust him during bankruptcy proceedings.
“Defendant was either unaware of some of the legal risks that I was getting into and/or unqualified to represent me and/or they should have sought the advice of other attorneys that had the relevant experience to insure (sic) I was being advised properly,” Charney’s complaint reads. “Or if they were qualified to represent me they failed to advise me of the legal risks and issues that I was faced with at the time I signed the aforementioned contracts.”
When reached Tuesday night, Charney confirmed he filed the suit but declined to comment about it or Glaser Weil’s representation of him for the record.
Patricia Glaser, the lead attorney who represented Charney during the American Apparel dispute and head of Glaser Weil’s litigation practice, dismissed the allegations.
“Shame on him,” she said. “Absolutely no malpractice occurred. In my judgment, it’s sort of pathetic. I’m at a loss to explain how someone could do this.”
Charney’s longtime personal legal counsel, Keith Fink of Fink & Steinberg, did not immediately respond to request for comment.