Gaytri D. Kachroo, the attorney for Patricia Cohen in her lawsuit against SAC Capital Advisors LP founder Steven A. Cohen, asked a judge for permission to withdraw from the case because her client can’t pay her.
Kachroo filed her request to withdraw from the case today in Manhattan federal court. Patricia Cohen earlier fired her first attorney, Paul Batista, in her suit against ex-husband. Patricia Cohen alleges that Steven Cohen cheated her out of money in their divorce, an allegation he denies.
Patricia Cohen “has been unable to meet her financial obligations,” Kachroo wrote in a three-page request to withdraw. Kachroo said her firm, Kachroo Legal Services PC, “is not in a position to continue without the financial payments” that Patricia Cohen “is obligated to make under her retention agreement.”
Patricia Cohen, who separated from her then-husband in 1988, claims assets were hidden from her and the New York state courts during their divorce proceedings. She says she’s entitled to at least half of his hedge fund business, which was developed in part with $1 million Patricia Cohen earned from a real estate business.
Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Stamford, Connecticut- based SAC, declined to comment.
Kachroo said in her filing that her request to withdraw wasn’t related to the merits of her client’s lawsuit. She didn’t immediately return a call. A message left at a phone number for Patricia Cohen in Manhattan wasn’t immediately returned.
In her complaint, Patricia Cohen says her husband’s company is “the product of an ongoing racketeering scheme” that has engaged in insider trading, bank fraud, money laundering and other misconduct. Lawyers for Steve Cohen, who started SAC in 1992 with about $25 million and now has about $14 billion under management, have asked for the suit to be dismissed.
Kachroo said she notified Patricia Cohen on June 5 that she would be filing the request to withdraw and to suspend the lawsuit for two months so that she may find a new lawyer.
“Plaintiff has not provided any additional instruction regarding this action,” Kachroo wrote.
“I wish Patricia well,” Batista said today in a telephone interview. “I still think she has a meritorious case, but if she’s going to become a serial client, passing from lawyer to lawyer, that may damage her case.”
The case is Cohen v. Cohen, 09-cv-10230, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).