Alvarez & Gilbert, PLLC v. Meyers, 060916 AZAPP1, 1 CA-CV 15-0454

Docket Nº:1 CA-CV 15-0454
Opinion Judge:GEMMILL, Judge
Party Name:ALVAREZ & GILBERT, PLLC, an Arizona professional LLC, Plaintiff/Appellee, v. BENJAMIN MEYERS and ELSIE MEYERS, husband and wife, Defendants/Appellants.
Attorney:Benjamin Meyers & Elsie Meyers Appellants Alvarez & Gilbert, PLLC, Scottsdale By Steven G. Ford Counsel for Appellee
Judge Panel:Judge John C. Gemmill delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Maurice Portley joined.
Case Date:June 09, 2016
Court:Court of Appeals of Arizona
 
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ALVAREZ & GILBERT, PLLC, an Arizona professional LLC, Plaintiff/Appellee,

v.

BENJAMIN MEYERS and ELSIE MEYERS, husband and wife, Defendants/Appellants.

No. 1 CA-CV 15-0454

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

June 9, 2016

Not for Publication - Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. CV2012-054821 The Honorable Michael D. Gordon, Judge

Benjamin Meyers & Elsie Meyers Appellants

Alvarez & Gilbert, PLLC, Scottsdale By Steven G. Ford Counsel for Appellee

Judge John C. Gemmill delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Maurice Portley joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

GEMMILL, Judge

¶1 Benjamin and Elsie Meyers ("the Meyers") appeal the superior court's entry of judgment in favor of Alvarez and Gilbert, PLLC ("the Firm"). For the following reasons, we affirm.

BACKGROUND

¶2 The Meyers hired the Firm in 2011 to defend them, individually and their related corporate entities, in a commercial dispute (the "underlying matter"). The parties signed a written agreement in which the Firm agreed to provide, and Meyers agreed to pay for, legal representation (the "engagement letter"). At the Meyers' request, the Firm prepared and filed a motion to dismiss the underlying matter, which was later denied.

¶3 The Meyers incurred and were invoiced approximately $15, 000 in legal fees, but only paid $4, 158.79. After they refused to pay the outstanding balance, the Firm filed a complaint in superior court against the Meyers, seeking damages for breach of the contract represented by the engagement letter. The Firm also filed a certificate on compulsory arbitration stating that, given the amount in controversy, the complaint was subject to compulsory arbitration under Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rules") 72-76.

¶4 The Meyers filed an answer and counterclaim. As amended, the counterclaim alleged breach of contract by overbilling and by deficient, unethical representation. After the Firm failed to respond to the Meyers' counterclaim, the Meyers' filed an application for entry of default against the Firm. The Firm then filed a motion to dismiss the Meyers' counterclaim, and default was not entered against the Firm.

¶5 The Firm successfully moved for summary judgment on its claims against the Meyers. The superior court then referred the Meyers' counterclaim, which was subject to compulsory arbitration, to an arbitrator. After a hearing, the arbitrator found the Meyers had not...

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