Updated at 4:04 p.m. Sept. 21:

James T. Laura, Jr., managing partner for Alexander Shunnarah & Associates, LLP contacted Lagniappe on Sept. 21 to say the debt at the center of Alabama Media Group’s lawsuit against the Shunnarah firm was paid in full at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 18 and that a joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice currently sits on AMG’s attorney’s desk awaiting signature. AMG’s attorney, Joshua Friedman was unable to sign the document today due to the observance of a religious holiday and would sign it in the morning, according to Laura, ending the legal matter.

Laura provided a copy of the joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice, along with a copy of a wire transfer for $276,526.94 from Alexander Shunnarah Gulf Coast LLP to Friedman’s law firm.

Laura pointed out the transfer was made prior to an article about the lawsuit running in Lagniappe’s Sept. 21 issue, and publication online at www.lagniappemobile.com on Sept. 20. However, Lagniappe did contact Shunnarah’s Mobile office on Sept. 18 — a full day before the paper deadlined — and informed an employee there a story was being done and asking for comment from Shunnarah’s firm. That employee said she would contact Laura concerning the matter. No one from Shunnarah’s firm contacted Lagniappe until Sept. 21, and online monitoring of the lawsuit through Alacourt showed only that summons were issued on Sept. 18. And as of this writing, the dismissal remains unsigned, according to Laura, and will be finalized Sept. 22.

Friedman was unavailable to comment on the suit and its dismissal.

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Originally published online Sept. 20, 2017

One of the state’s most high-profile personal injury attorneys was slapped with a lawsuit last Thursday by the Alabama Media Group in an attempt to recoup close to $300,000 the media chain claims it is owed for unpaid advertising bills.

AMG, the parent company of al.com, filed suit in Mobile County Circuit Court Sept. 14 in an attempt to have Birmingham-based plaintiff’s attorney Alexander Shunnarah pay $276,072 for advertising run on the al.com website. Shunnarah is known throughout the region for billboard advertising so dense in concentration that it is not uncommon to see two signs carrying his smiling visage located almost across the street from each other.

But besides his dominant billboard coverage across Alabama and other parts of the Southeast, Shunnarah is also a heavy buyer of broadcast and digital advertising. Shunnarah and other personal injury attorneys have become a mainstay of local advertising as they promise big bucks for people who have been hurt in an accident.

Rumors of AMG filing suit against Shunnarah have been rampant for weeks as word leaked of claims that the law firm owes a substantial amount of money.

According to court filings, AMG is asking for $276,072, as well as another $55,000 in attorneys’ fees and an additional 6 percent interest on the balance owed. The filing shows the balance had exceeded $345,000, but Shunnarah made a payment of just over $69,000.

“Plaintiff and Defendant(s) entered into a written contract and/or promissory note. Plaintiff is in compliance with the terms of this contract, but Defendant(s), have failed and/or refused to comply with the terms of this contract and therefore are in breach of said contract,” the court documents read.

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Shunnarah’s contract with AMG was quite extensive, according to copies of the contract included with the suit. In October of last year, for example, Shunnarah’s firm signed a commitment to place $720,000 in advertising over the coming year. The ad campaign contained a 30-day penalty-free cancellation clause that was handwritten on the contract.

Also included was a 2014 contract in which Shunnarah’s firm agreed to pay at least $14,900 per month for advertising, up to $183,960 for the year.

Attorney Joshua Friedman, who is representing AMG in the matter, said his clients would have no comment on the suit. A call seeking comment from Shunnarah was not returned prior to deadline.

Weather ups and downs
WKRG Chief Meteorologist Alan Sealls recently garnered some national accolades when the social news aggregator Reddit carried a post declaring him “Best weatherman ever, very articulate and educational.”

This became the top trending post on the site, giving Sealls a new level of national notoriety. The station also presented Sealls a trophy declaring him “Best Weatherman Ever,” thus settling the debate.

On the flip side of local meteorology fame, WPMI Chief Meteorologist Chris Dunn found himself the butt of national jokes after apparently breaking wind on air early this month. The video of Dunn’s “slip” became a YouTube sensation, was posted to numerous national websites and even landed on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.”

I guess there are many ways to make it big in the weather game.