PAUL B. EPISCOPE, Ltd., an Illinois Professional ) Appeal from the
Corporation; PAUL B. EPISCOPE, Individually; ) Circuit Court of
and JOHN C. ERB, Individually, ) Cook County.
v. ) No. 97 CH 12492
LAW OFFICES OF CAMPBELL AND )
DI VINCENZO, a Partnership; RICHARD P. )
CAMPBELL, Individually; and ANTHONY S. )
DI VINCENZO, Individually, ) Honorable
) Mary Anne Mason,
Defendants-Appellees. ) Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE ROBERT E. GORDON delivered the opinion of the court:
The plaintiffs, attorneys Paul Episcope ad John Erb and the Episcope law firm, sued
defendant attorneys to recover fees under a fee splitting agreement. Plaintiffs allege in their
complaint that their representation agreement (agreement) with defendants, Anthony Di Vincenzo
and Richard Campbell and their law partnership, and the parties’ mutual client, Havoco of
America, Ltd. (client), applies to more than one case. The lawyers agreed in writing to represent
the client jointly and split fees orally in the client’s federal lawsuit for fraud and conspiracy against
Elmer Hill, Hill’s company, Hilco, Inc. (Hilco), and Sumitomo Shoji American, Inc. (Sumitomo),
and for breach of contract against Sumitomo. The damages claimed were the loss of a
multimillion dollar contract. The parties had substituted for the original attorneys who had filed
the action but the defendants actually handled the case.
After a judgment of $15 million against Hill was upheld on appeal, defendants filed a
separate lawsuit on behalf of the same client against the original attorneys for legal malpractice.
Plaintiffs were not a party to the new representation agreement with the client as to the legal