MORGANTOWN – A Morgantown attorney has filed a complaint against a fellow attorney after they were involved in a dispute in the Marion County Courthouse in January.
S. Sean Murphy has known Scott Radman for approximately 20 years and, in the past, has represented him, his father and Daniel’s Men’s Store, which is the business owned by Radman’s father, according to a complaint filed Feb. 12 in Monongalia Circuit Court.
Murphy claims in the spring of 2008, Radman referred a civil case from Preston County to him because at the time, Radman did not do much, if any, civil litigation, and Murphy entered into a written contingency fee agreement with the client that Radman had referred to him.
Murphy filed suit on behalf of the client and was the only attorney who made an appearance in the civil action on behalf of the client, according to the suit.
Murphy claims it was made clear to the client that he was the only attorney listed in the written fee agreement, but, sometime after the client’s case was accepted, Radman showed up at Murphy’s office with a feesharing agreement that he had drafted and presented to him.
The agreement stated that, among other things, “the parties agreed that Mr. Murphy is not the nicest of sorts. Upon seeing such language in the agreement, Plaintiff read no further, said ‘ha-ha Scott, very funny’ then ripped the agreement up and threw it in the trash,” according to the suit.
Murphy claims he assumed it was just a joke and again reminded Radman that he was the only attorney involved in the client’s case and informed Radman not to get involved.
At that time, Radman was “in the habit of coming by Plaintiff’s office on a regular basis to visit with Plaintiff and the staff at Plaintiff’s office,” the complaint states.
Murphy claims for years, Radman had asked him to go into business with him and form a partnership, but he had always politely declined the requests because he was “well aware of Defendant’s history with regard to his former business relationships and that they often ended with accusations of fraud and misconduct and civil litigation initiated by Defendant.”
In spite of Murphy’s knowledge of Radman’s history of conflict with others, he was nonetheless grateful to him for referring business to him and “felt sorry for Defendant because it seemed that he desperately wanted someone to be his friend,” according to the suit.
Murphy claims Radman would repeatedly ask him to let him tag along on some of his civil cases so he could learn how to handle civil cases and he would involve himself in his father’s cases and involved himself in the civil matter in Preston County.
Reluctantly, Murphy would allow Radman to attend various proceedings and would allow him to share his thoughts on the matters, but he did not request any assistance from Radman, but rather “just went along with Defendant’s requests because Defendant’s father discussed his matters with Defendant and Defendant was friends with/attorney for the mother of the client who was involved in the Preston County litigation,” according to the suit.
Murphy claims at no time was Radman retained by him to perform any work on any matter with him and Radman never provided any financial assistance with the costs of any matter Murphy handled.
Radman was continuously becoming embroiled in conflicts that usually had to do with money and his perception that other people had defrauded him, according to the suit.
Murphy claims he would counsel him about his anger over such issues and would try to help him resolve the matters and would give him advice about how to avoid conflicts in the first place.
On occasion, Radman would inform Murphy about violent fantasies he had regarding people he had conflict with and would inform Murphy how he would like to inflict serious bodily injury upon his former law partners, according to the suit.
Murphy claims Radman would constantly harass the female employees in Murphy’s office and the women in the office “begged Plaintiff to tell Defendant not to come to the office and they did not want to be alone in the office with him.”
Radman continued to involve himself in the civil litigation in Preston County behind Murphy’s back and without Murphy’s consent, according to the suit, and Radman’s actions “diminished the value of the Preston County case.”
Murphy claims once the case was settled, Radman demanded that he was entitled to one-half of the attorney fee and when Murphy did not agreed, they became embroiled in a dispute before Preston Circuit Court concerning the attorney fee.
Murphy determined that given “Defendant’s mental instability and history of long drawn out conflict, it was not worth his time to fight with Defendant over this matter any further and that it would be best to cut all ties with Defendant and gave him a portion of the attorney fee to resolve Defendant’s claims against Plaintiff,” according to the complaint.
Murphy claims it thought that it would be the end of his interaction with the defendant and he would be able to move forward with his life, but, Radman then began to engage in a pattern of retaliatory action and refused to leave Murphy in peace.
Radman attempted to get the West Virginia State Police to arrest and charge Murphy with criminal charges related to the attorney fee dispute and attempted to have to U.S. Attorney’s Office investigate and pursue criminal charges against him, according to the suit.
Murphy claims Radman also attempted to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate and pursue criminal charges against him.
On Jan. 22, Murphy was at the Marion Circuit Court for a hearing before Circuit Judge David R. Janes and Radman was present at the courthouse and was scheduled to appear before Janes after Murphy was through, according to the suit.
Murphy claims when his hearing was finished, he left the courtroom to go to the restroom and attempted to steer “a wide path around Defendant so as not to have any contact with him.”
While he continued to walk toward the entrance to the annex and went through the door that separates the main courthouse from the annex, Murphy heard Radman making disparaging remarks about him, so he continued to ignore him, according to the suit.
Murphy claims as he neared the restroom, Radman continued to follow him and make rude comments.
By this time, Murphy was near to the door to the restroom and was afraid that Radman was “in a psychotic state and that he is going to follow him into the restroom where he will have nowhere to retreat to,” according to the suit.
Murphy claims he turned around and asked Radman to get away from him and leave him alone, but, Radman then threw an entire cup of coffee in his face, grabbed him around the neck, put him into a head lock and “rammed Plaintiff’s head into a hard object.”
Murphy was disoriented, dazed and could not see, and he defended himself and “repulsed the attack of Defendant until he could be certain that Defendant no longer posed a threat to him,” according to the suit.
Murphy claims Radman willfully, wantonly, intentionally, unjustifiably, recklessly, maliciously, negligently, unlawfully, or with other, like aggravation, maliciously and unlawfully assaulted and battered him.
Murphy is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Paul J. Harris and Shawn L. Fluharty.
Radman was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital for injuries he sustained from the fight at the courthouse.
Murphy was charged with malicious wounding and released on a $10,000 bail.
Witnesses of the fight claimed Murphy continued to beat Radman while he lay helpless on the ground, according to WDTV.
Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 13-C-103