WASHINGTON – John W. Boyd, Jr., founder of the National Black Farmers Association, filed a federal lawsuit seeking “reasonable compensation” for the time, effort and resources he says he expended to help D.C.-based lawyers earn almost $100 million in legal fees.
Boyd, a fourth-generation farmer who is the nation’s leading Black farmers advocate, said he worked “tirelessly” on behalf of the law firm of Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton, LLP and Washington lawyer Dennis M. Gingold.
Kilpatrick Townsend and Gingold represented Native Americans in a case against the United States Department of the Interior that sought damages for the mismanagement of Native American trust assets. The case was resolved in December 2009 with a $3.4 billion settlement agreement.
Boyd’s lawsuit alleges that Kilpatrick Townsend and Gingold were unjustly enriched because they received $99 million in legal fees as a result of Boyd’s efforts to help pass the legislation that funded the settlement.
Boyd traveled for well over 20 years on a regular basis from his farm in southern Virginia to Washington on behalf of the National Black Farmers Association to promote the rights of non-White farmers.
His lawsuit claims that Kilpatrick Townsend and Gingold recruited him to help them with their claim on behalf of Native Americans, and that Boyd worked from December 2009 until the claims legislation was passed in November 2010 and signed into law by President Obama in December 2010.
Boyd says he met with the senior advisors at the White House and with members of the United States House and Senate to promote the passage of the bill at the request of Kilpatrick Townsend and Gingold.
“Without Mr. Boyd’s exhaustive efforts, the settlement would not have been funded. Most importantly, without Mr. Boyd, Kilpatrick Townsend and Mr. Gingold would not have realized their $99 million payday,” the lawsuit states.