The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard that at 9am on March 7 last year, Mr Pegoraro and his wife delivered $15,000 cash to law firm Balot Reilly as a retainer to represent Daniel and Ben at court that day over allegations they were part of a gang that had stolen caravans.
Ben, 23, was represented by Balot Reilly’s George Balot. But Daniel, 28, contacted his preferred brief, Zarah Garde-Wilson, who represented him.
Joe Pegoraro later unsuccessfully sought a $7500 refund, arguing Balot Reilly had done only half the expected work.
He later approached the Legal Services Commissioner, and then applied to VCAT for a review.
Sam Tatarka, for Balot Reilly, told VCAT there’d been some “ping pong” over who’d represent Daniel, but the family were warned that if they switched lawyers their money had “already been spent”.
However counsel for the Pegoraros, Fraser Cameron, disputed that they had been told “if you change, you have done your dough”.
Mr Cameron said the family considered the $7500 fee for Daniel excessive, and felt he’d got “zero dollars’ worth”.
After an adjournment for talks, the parties agreed to settle the dispute for a confidential amount.
VCAT dismissed the case.
The charges against Daniel, a Hells Angels Nomads member, were thrown out late last year.
Ben was ultimately jailed and remains behind bars for his role in the caravan thefts.
heraldsun.com.au 18 Apr 2014