United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
SABA HASHEM, individually and as a member of, and derivatively on behalf of, D'Angelo and Hashem, LLC, Plaintiff/Defendant-in-Counterclaim,
STEPHEN D'ANGELO, individually and as a member of D'Angelo & Hashem, LLC, and D'Angelo Law Group; D'ANGELO LAW GROUP, LLC, and D'ANGELO AND HASHEM, LLC, Defendants/Plaintiffs-in-Counterclaim JENNIFER M. CARRION, Intervention-Plaintiff,
SABA HASHEM, STEPHEN D'ANGELO, D'ANGELO & HASHEM, LLC, D'ANGELO LAW GROUP, LLC, Intervention-Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
underlying civil action before the court is between two
former law partners, Saba Hashem and Stephen D'Angelo,
regarding, inter alia, the assets of their firm, D'Angelo
and Hashem, LLC ("D&H"). On July 28, 2017,
Intervention-Plaintiff Jennifer Carrion, who holds judgments
against Mr. Hashem and D&H, was allowed to intervene.
Mem. & Order [#39]. Ms. Carrion has asserted claims
against Mr. Hashem, Mr. D'Angelo, D&H, and
D'Angelo Law Group, LLC ("D'Angelo Law")
for fraudulent conveyances from D&H to D'Angelo and
D'Angelo Law under theories of reach and apply and
corporate successor liability. Intervener's Cross-Compl.
¶¶ 27-46 [#48].
(he court is Ms. Carrion's Motion for Preliminary
Injunctions Against Intervention-Defendants/Reach & Apply
Defendants Steven D'Angelo and D'Angelo Law Group LLC
("Mot. for PI") [#155]. In her motion, Ms. Carrion
asks that the court enjoin Mr. D'Angelo and D'Angelo
Law from disbursing any portion of attorney's fees and
costs relating to a settlement in Lopez-Maldonado et al.
v. Toll Brothers Inc., Suffolk Superior Court No.
1484-CV-01440-G. Because Intervention-Plaintiff has shown a
strong likelihood of success on the merits of her underlying
claim, the motion is ALLOWED.
April 2015, Ms. Carrion obtained judgments against Mr. Hashem
and D&H which she contends now amount to approximately
$500, 000, Intervener's Cross-Compl. ¶¶ 10-18
[#48]; Intervenor's Cross-Compl. Ex. A [#48-1] (Execution
as to Hashem); Ex. B (Execution as to D&H) [#48-2]; Ex. C
[#48-3] (Execution as to Hashem and D&H, jointly and
severally); Ex. D [#48-4] (Execution as to Hashem and
D&H, jointly and severally); Ex. E [#48-5] (Execution as
to Hashem and D&H, jointly and severally). Furthermore,
the Suffolk Superior Court issued a post-judgment injunction
ordering that Mr. Hashem and D&H not "[take any
unlawful action to hinder, or delay, or defraud [Ms. Carrion]
from collecting [Ms. Carrion's] judgment," and from
"transferring, alienating or encumbering any assets of
[Mr. Hashem and D&H] other than in the ordinary course of
business." Carrion v. Hashem et al., No.
0784cv02073, Suffolk Sup. Ct. docket no. 54.
January 2014, Erodin Miasel Lopez-Maldonado retained D&H
to represent him on a contingent fee basis for a workers'
compensation and personal injury case for losses that Mr.
Lopez-Maldonado sustained in December 2013. Mot for PI Ex. C
(Contingency Fee Agreement) [#156-2]. D&H represented Mr,
Lopez-Maldonado for both his workers' compensation filing
and his personal injury case in Suffolk Superior Court. See
Mot. for PI Ex. A (Lopez-Maldonado et al. v. Toll
Brothers Inc., Suffolk Superior Court No.
1484-CV-01440-G, docket) [#156- 2]); Mot. for PI Ex. E
(D'Angelo Dep.) 21:13-22:24. The Contingent Fee Agreement
signed by Mr. Lopez-Maldonado included the following
(7) If the [D&H] is discharged by the client prior to the
conclusion of this representation, the [D&H] is entitled
for its reasonable expenses and disbursements. Further, the
[D&H] is to be compensated the fair value of the services
rendered to the client up to the time of discharge, but the
amount of the fee shall not be due to the [D&H] until the
subject matter litigation is concluded. If the [D&H] is
discharged prior to the conclusion of the case/claim, the
Client acknowledges a lien to the [D&H] on any settlement
of this claim, judgment obtained in the court action and or
award reached through a mediation or arbitration as a result
of this case/claim. The Client further authorizes any
successor attorney ... to pay directly to the [D&H] the
sums owed to it for the value of their services rendered on
the case and any costs expended.
Contingency Fee Agreement at 16 [#156-2].
November 2015, after Mr, Hashem was arrested and ultimately
incarcerated, Mr. D'Angelo formed D'Angelo Law, of
which he is the sole manager and member. Second Am. Compl.
¶ 10 [#46]; D'Angelo Dep. 29:22-30:16. In July 2016,
the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered Mr. Hashem
suspended from practicing law for eighteen months,
retroactive to December 2015. Am. Compl. ¶ 5 [#13];
Second Am. Compl. ¶ 4 [#46]. For those D&H clients
that chose to continue to be represented by Mr. D'Angelo,
Mr. D'Angelo represented them through D'Angelo Law.
Second Am. Compl. ¶ 19-20 [#46]; Def.'s Mem. in
Support of Mot. to Dismiss 2 [#8]: see also Mot, for
PI Ex. J. (Client Letter). D'Angelo Law operated with the
same employees that were working at D&H, remained in the
same office as D&H, and hired the same legal contractor
as D&H. Mot. for PI Ex. T (DLG Dep.) 10:20-19:13
[#156-6]. Mr. D'Angelo did not wind up or dissolve
D&H to pay its liabilities, even though the partnership
was no longer in business. Mot. for PI Ex. G (McCoy Dep.)
100:6-102:22 [#156-3]. Instead, Mr. D'Angelo maintains an
open account consisting of very few assets for D&H.
Id. at 103:18-105:2. Further, Mr. D'Angelo
maintained D&H's line of credit with Santander Bank
and car lease payments. D'Angelo Dep. 118:18-119:24.
January 2017, D'Angelo Law was paid approximately $120,
000 in attorney's fees earned in Mr.
Lopez-Maldonado's workers' compensation case.
D'Angelo Dep. 22:1-22:24. In October and November 2018,
Mr. Lopez-Maldonado settled his Suffolk Superior Court
personal injury case and the parties to that suit filed a
stipulation of dismissal. Lopez-Maldonado et al. v. Toll
Brothers Inc., Suffolk Superior Court No.
1484-CV-01440-G, docket nos. 71-72. At the hearing on this
motion, counsel for Mr. D'Angelo and D'Angelo Law
informed the court that D'Angelo Law received $192, 750
in attorneys' fees and costs from the settlement of that
personal injury case. No. portion of those attorney's
fees and costs have been paid to D&H or Mr. Hashem.
D'Angelo Dep. 28:7-29:5.
accounting provided to the court of D'Angelo Law's
accounts as of December 1, 2018, shows that all money from
the most recent settlement was paid out of D'Angelo
Law's accounts within two weeks of deposit, with $38, 800
paid directly to Mr. D'Angelo, $25, 000 paid to an
unidentified money market account, and $44, 325 used to make
credit card and car payments. Ms. Carrion has yet to receive
any payment from D&H to satisfy the April 2015 judgment
against it. Intervener's Cross-Compl. ¶ 19 [#48].