United States District Court, District of Columbia
G. SULLIVAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Winston & Strawn LLP (“W&S”) sues
defendants Crumens Ltd. (“Crumens”) and James P.
McLean, Jr. (“Mr. McLean”), proceeding pro
se, for breach of contract. W&S, a law firm with an
office in the District of Columbia, argues that it provided
legal services pursuant to a contract and Mr. McLean refuses
to pay. Pending before the Court is W&S's motion for
summary judgment. After careful consideration of the motion,
the response, the reply thereto, the entire record, and the
applicable law, W&S's motion for summary judgment is
April 2012, Mr. McLean-on behalf of Crumens-agreed in writing
to pay W&S to provide legal services to Edward S.
Warneck. See Engagement Agreement
(“E.A.”), ECF No. 51-2 at 2-6. Mr. McLean lived
with “the mother of [Mr. Warneck's] daughter-in
law” and in March 2012 “contacted [Mr. Warneck]
by phone and offered to pay [his] legal fees involving 
various investigations.” Warneck Aff., ECF No. 51-8
¶ 3. Mr. Warneck accepted Mr. McLean's offer and met
with Thomas Buchanan, a W&S attorney who Mr. McLean had
recommended. Id. ¶ 5.
April 11, 2012, W&S prepared an Engagement Agreement,
which clarified that W&S represented Mr. Warneck
“individually in connection with potential litigation
involving the Department of Justice, the Department of
Transportation, Creditors of Direct Air, and other matters
relating to your employment at Direct Air (‘the
Litigation').” E.A., ECF No. 51-2 at 2. As set
forth in the Engagement Agreement, Crumens “agreed to
pay [Mr. Warneck's] costs and legal expenses in
connection with the litigation.” Id. The
Engagement Agreement also explained the nature of
W&S's services, the fees for those services, and that
payment was due “within thirty days of . . . receipt of
[W&S's] statement.” Id. at 3. Mr.
Warneck signed the Engagement Agreement on April 13, 2012.
Id. at 5. Mr. McLean signed the Engagement
Agreement, on behalf of Crumens “c/o Johnson &
McLean, LLC” on April 16, 2012. Id. at 6.
to the Engagement Agreement, W&S began representing Mr.
Warneck in April 2012. See, e.g., Def.'s Exs.,
ECF No. 55-1 at 11-86; ECF No. 55-2 at 26-41 (billing
statements detailing work performed on Mr. Warneck's
behalf). Beginning in June 2012, W&S sent Mr. Warneck and
Mr. McLean monthly invoices. See, e.g., Statement of
Account, ECF No. 51-6 at 2; Def.'s Ex., ECF No. 55-1 at
11-86 (billing statements); id. at 87-88 (emails
related to invoices). W&S represented Mr. Warneck through
March 2013. At that time, W&S stopped providing legal
services because it had not been paid. Statement of Account,
ECF No. 51-6 at 2.
April 2012 through March 2013, W&S provided $495, 053.60
worth of legal services to Mr. Warneck. Id. For
almost a year, Mr. McLean promised he would pay W&S's
invoices. See Def.'s Ex., ECF No. 55-1 at 87-160
(emails from Mr. McLean to Mr. Buchanan promising payment and
explaining lack of payment). Indeed, Mr. McLean never
challenged or objected to an invoice. McLean Dep., ECF No.
51-3 at 45:10-13. To date, Mr. McLean has not paid W&S
for the legal services it provided Mr. Warneck. Id.
August 19, 2014, the Court granted W&S's motion for
summary judgment as conceded pursuant to Local Rule 7(b), as
Mr. McLean had not timely filed his memorandum in opposition.
See Order, ECF No. 54. Mr. McLean appealed the
Court's Order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”). In
December 2016, the D.C. Circuit reversed the Court's
Order and remanded for further proceedings, concluding that
Local Rule 7(b) was inconsistent with Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56. See Mandate, ECF No. 70; USCA Case
Number 14-7197. In January 2017, the Court ordered
supplemental briefing. W&S's motion for summary
judgment is now ripe for review.
Standard of Review
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, summary judgment
should be granted only “if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Waterhouse v. District of
Columbia, 298 F.3d 989, 991 (D.C. Cir. 2002). The moving
party must identify “those portions of the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, which it believes
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material
fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
323 (1986) (internal quotations omitted). On the other hand,
to defeat summary judgment, the nonmoving party must
demonstrate that there is a genuine issue of material fact.
Id. at 324. A material fact is one that is capable
of affecting the outcome of the litigation. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A genuine
dispute is one in which “the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Id. Further, “[t]he evidence of
the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable
inferences are to be drawn in his favor.” Id.