Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has suffered another blow as his former long time friend and attorney signed on to a lawsuit over $1.4 million in unpaid legal fees.
Robert Costello and his law firm, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, say Giuliani has paid them just $214,000 and still has a $1.36 million tab. Giuliani’s last payment, according to the lawsuit, was $10,000 on Sept. 14 — about a week after Trump hosted a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser for Giuliani at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.
The legal fees are largely related to Giuliani’s attempts to keep Donald Trump in office following his loss in the 2020 presidential election. It was earlier reported that Giuliani ‘begged’ Trump to pay his legal bills during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago during the summer.
Giuliani told The New York Times that he was ‘personally hurt’ by Costello’s actions. ‘It’s a real shame when lawyers do things like this, and all I will say is that their bill is way in excess to anything approaching legitimate fees,’ he added.
The pair first met when Costello was a law student working for Giuliani’s Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office as the Brooklyn-native earned his reputation in taking down some of the biggest figures in the Big Apple’s criminal underworld.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is being sued by his lawyers for $1.4 million in unpaid fees
Giuliani was represented by Robert Costello in matters ranging from investigations into dealings in Ukraine to probes involving the 2020 election
Costello disputed Giuliani’s claims that he has been overbilled and said that his complaints about pricing only emerged after the lawsuit was filed.
‘He’s a little late to that party, it’s too late for that frivolous claim as he will find out in court,’ Costello said.
Costello, a partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, was Giuliani’s lawyer from November 2019 to July 2023.
In separate remarks to CBS News, Costello said that Giuliani has been receiving bills since 2019 and hasn’t paid them.
‘I’m sorry he took the low road here because he is feeling desperate,’ he told the network.
‘In breach of the Retainer Agreement, Defendant failed to pay Plaintiffs the balance of $1,360,196.10 of the total amount owed, although duly demanded,’ one section of the lawsuit reads.
If the lawsuit is successful, in addition to the nearly $1.4 million, Giuliani will also be on the hook for the firm’s legal fees in filing the suit.
He represented Giuliani in matters ranging from an investigation into his business dealings in Ukraine, which resulted in an FBI raid on his home and office in April 2021, to state and federal probes of his work in the wake of Trump’s 2020 election loss.
Costello and his firm said in their lawsuit that they also helped represent Giuliani in various civil lawsuits filed against him and in disciplinary proceedings that led to the suspension of his law licenses in Washington, D.C., and New York.
Costello said that Giuliani has been receiving bills since 2019 and hasn’t paid them
If the lawsuit is successful, in addition to the nearly $1.4 million, Giuliani will also be on the hook for the firm’s legal fees in filing the suit
The former mayor is not the only Trump loyalist in Costello’s crosshairs, in February the attorney sued Steve Bannon for unpaid legal bills
The former mayor is not the only Trump loyalist in Costello’s crosshairs, in February the attorney sued Steve Bannon for unpaid legal bills. That case saw a New York judge order Trump’s former strategist to pay up $500,000.
Giuliani, Trump and 17 others were indicted last month in Georgia, accused by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of plotting to subvert Joe Biden’s election win. Giuliani has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he acted as Trump’s chief co-conspirator.
Giuliani, who became known for his leadership and earned the nickname ‘America’s Mayor’ in the wake of 9/11, could be on the hook for a massive financial penalty after a judge held him liable last month in a defamation lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers who say he falsely accused them of fraud.
The judge has already ordered Giuliani and his businesses to pay more than $130,000 in legal fees for the women.
Giuliani’s son, Andrew, said last week that the Bedminster fundraiser was expected to raise more than $1 million for Giuliani’s legal bills and that Trump had committed to hosting a second event at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, later in the fall or early winter.
In the meantime, Giuliani has been trying to drum up cash in other ways.
In July, he put his Manhattan apartment up for sale for $6.5 million. After his indictment, he directed social media followers to the website of his legal defense fund. To save money, Giuliani has represented himself in some legal disputes.
Last year, a judge threatened Giuliani with jail in a dispute over money owed to Judith, his third ex-wife. Giuliani said he was making progress paying the debt, which she said totaled more than $260,000.
In May, a woman who said she worked for Giuliani sued him, alleging he owed her nearly $2 million in unpaid wages and he had coerced her into sex. Giuliani denied the allegations.