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Guess Pays Lawyers $23M After 4 Years

NEW YORK -- Alschuler, Grossman & Pines, a Los Angeles law firm, said Tuesday the four Marciano brothers who founded Guess Inc. have paid -- after arbitration proceedings -- a $23.2 million bill for services rendered in 1989.<BR><BR>The bill was...

NEW YORK — Alschuler, Grossman & Pines, a Los Angeles law firm, said Tuesday the four Marciano brothers who founded Guess Inc. have paid — after arbitration proceedings — a $23.2 million bill for services rendered in 1989.

The bill was for the lawyers’ efforts in the court battle that restored full ownership of Guess to the Marcianos. A jury found that the Nakash brothers, owners of Jordache Enterprises, had fraudulently induced the Marcianos to sell them a 51 percent stake in Guess.

The law firm filed a lien against the Marciano brothers in May 1990 when they refused to pay their bill. The two sides entered binding arbitration later that year.

In a two-page statement announcing the payment of the bill, the law firm valued the out-of-the-court settlement on damages following a jury verdict in the Marciano-Nakash at “more than $300 million,” including stock in Guess returned to the Marcianos and $40 million in damages.

Asked in a telephone interview why the Marcianos didn’t pay their bill in 1990, Marshall B. Grossman — who, with John Schwimmer, led the Guess case — said, “I guess they just didn’t want to.”

Earlier this month, the three-person arbitration panel ordered the Marcianos to pay 100 percent of the lien — $775,000 in fees and costs and an estimated $16.2 million bonus — plus approximately $6.2 million in interest.

Brothers Maurice, Paul and Armand Marciano, who now own and operate Guess, were said to be traveling Tuesday and not available for comment.

Georges Marciano — who resigned from Guess last August, selling his interest in the firm to his brothers — said he had no comment on the matter.