Fletcher Lawyers Quit In Dakota Case

Dec 6 2012 | 9:17am ET

Embattled hedge fund manager Alphonse Fletcher will have to find new lawyers to continue his lawsuit against his apartment building.

The Fletcher Asset Management chief, who sued the famed Dakota Apartments last year, accusing it of routine discrimination against minorities, had been represented by two firms. But both asked to withdraw from the case in October, and on Friday a state court judge gave them what they wanted.

One of the firms, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, said Fletcher had stopped paying his bills in April. The other, Vladeck Waldman Elias & Engelhard, cited "irreconcilable differences" with their client.

A Fletcher hedge fund, Fletcher International, which was forced into bankruptcy earlier this year by three Louisiana pension funds, owes more than $2 million to law firms, including almost $300,000 to Kasowitz.

Justice Eileen Rakower gave Fletcher until Dec. 20 to hire a new lawyer, and ordered him to produce documents requested by the Dakota—already overdue—by Jan. 7.

Fletcher has lived in the famed building, the former home of the Beatles' John Lennon and the site of his murder, since 1992. He sued the co-op after it rejected his bid to buy an apartment adjacent to his own, after questioning both the financial strength of Fletcher himself and of his hedge fund.

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