Halmon L. Banks III, a partner at the Philadelphia-based workers' compensation boutique formerly known as Martin Banks, has filed a suit claiming the other partners at the firm have taken steps to drive him out of the firm, including steering big cases away from him, firing his paralegal without his consent and limiting his access to the firm's case management software.
Banks also filed a motion for special and preliminary injunction and expedited discovery seeking to enjoin the firm from changing its name to Martin LLC.
On Tuesday, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Glazer denied Banks' motion, finding in a footnote that Banks failed to show how the name change would cause him irreparable harm.
On Tuesday afternoon, the firm sent out a press release announcing it had officially changed its name to Martin LLC.
Glazer said he would make a decision as to whether the case should ultimately be remanded to arbitration if and when preliminary objections are filed.
According to the complaint filed Friday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas' Commerce Court program, Banks was seeking an injunction against the firm and partners George Martin, Matthew L. Wilson, Joseph C. Huttemann, Alfred J. Carlson and John P. Dogum to enjoin them from, among other things, locking Banks out of the firm's offices and removing his name from the firm's masthead.
"In response to legitimate concerns raised by Banks regarding the allocation and distribution of firm cases and income and his insistence on being provided with firm financial information pursuant to his statutory rights, defendants have engaged in a course of conduct intended to wrongfully freeze out Banks from further participation in the firm," the complaint said.
The defense argued in an answer to Banks' motion for special and preliminary injunction filed Monday that Banks owes the firm about $374,000 in unpaid expense obligations.
Under the firm's operating agreement, according to the complaint, Martin Banks assigns both firm filescases that come to the firm through its general advertisingand files credited to Martin evenly among the partners.
Those files usually generate enough attorney fees to cover each partner's pro rata share of the firm's expenses, according to the complaint.