Marcum LLP v. United States

In 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission indicted Stanford for operating a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. The government seized most of his assets rendering him an indigent defendant. Court-appointed counsel obtained authorization for legal services under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), 18 U.S.C. 3006A(e), and employed Marcum for forensic accounting and litigation support, with an estimated budget of $4.5 million. The district court approved the budget, but Marcum did not obtain the Fifth Circuit's approval, as required by the CJA. Marcum’s work far exceeded the budget. Marcum received payment for work performed in June- August 2011,then submitted vouchers for work performed in September-November totaling $845,588.48. The district court certified only the September and October vouchers. Marcum attempted to resign from the case. Chief Judge Jones of the Fifth Circuit issued a Service Provider Continuity and Payment Order, authorizing payment of $205,000 for the September and October vouchers and ordered Marcum to continue working because “[i]t would be neither feasible nor economical to obtain a replacement.” Under threat of contempt sanctions, Marcum continued to work through the end of trial and claims unpaid fees of $1.2 million. Marcum filed an emergency motion for reconsideration, an emergency application for a stay before the U.S. Supreme Court, an emergency motion for a stay or a petition for writ of mandamus before the Fifth Circuit, and a petition for mandamus to the Supreme Court. All were denied. Marcum sued the Court of Federal Claims, which dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Federal Circuit affirmed. Because the CJA provides its own remedial scheme, Marcum cannot collaterally attack the Fifth Circuit’s determination of Marcum’s fee awards under the Tucker Act. View "Marcum LLP v. United States" on Justia Law