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Navy SEAL Gallagher sues former attorneys, military charity after they claim he’s liable for $1M legal fees

Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego with his wife, Andrea Gallagher. (Andrew Dyer/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
September 17, 2019

Navy SEAL Edward “Eddie” Gallagher filed a lawsuit last week against two former civilian attorneys and a nonprofit group involved in his defense against a murder charge in the death of an ISIS fighter.

Gallagher’s lawsuit, filed Sept. 13 in the U.S. District Court Northern Texas District, names his former attorneys Colby Vokey and Phillip Stackhouse, who Gallagher alleges allowed him to “languish in pretrial confinement for several months, while engaging in delay tactics and needlessly running up the legal bills,” according to legal documents provided to American Military News.

Further, Gallagher’s lawsuit named United American Patriots (UAP), a charity that describes itself as dedicated to generating public awareness and legal representation funding for U.S. troops accused of service-related crimes.

“In reality, UAP targets servicemembers in need to use for their advertising campaigns, raising millions of dollars to line their pockets while providing very little to the actual legal representation,” the Gallagher lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also alleges that Vokey “used his position as a member of the Board of Directors of UAP to assure [Gallagher] that UAP would take care of everything,” but upon his firing, he began issuing invoices to the Gallagher family amounting to $1 million.

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“Colby Vokey and UAP promised under contract to give my husband Eddie Gallagher a top-notch legal defense with all legal expenses paid,” Gallagher’s wife, Andrea Gallagher, told American Military News on Monday.

“Instead, they focused more on cannibalizing our families efforts to Free Eddie while Colby Vokey worked in tandem with UAP CEO David Gurfein to ran up the bill, making little to no progress on the case, and threatened to push the trail out to November 2019; all while leaving Eddie to languish in jail, if we did not pay them,” she added.

Vokey filed a lawsuit against Gallagher last month to recover what he has claimed to be $1 million in unpaid legal fees.

With his lawsuit, Gallagher is seeking “declaratory judgment that he does not owe any legal fees to Vokey or Stackhouse and that, if any fees are due, Vokey and Stackhouse may only recover from UAP, not Plaintiff.”

“We fired Colby Vokey and cut ties with UAP because we felt that we had been used, lied to, and extorted in our families greatest hour of need,” Andrea Gallagher said.

After a trial marred by controversy and prosecutorial misconduct, Eddie Gallagher was acquitted on July 2 of all murder, a charge waged against him for the May 2017 death of an ISIS fighter in Mosul, Iraq.

Petty Officer Corey Scott had revealed under oath – and under the protection of immunity that was granted by the government – that he, Gallagher and others had treated the gravely wounded ISIS fighter when he was brought in to SEAL Team 7 for about 20 minutes.

The fighter appeared to be stabilized, but Scott had testified that Gallagher stabbed the ISIS fighter below his collarbone — an act that was disputed by Marine Staff Sgt. Giorgio Kirylo and Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri, both of whom also testified.

Scott, a SEAL medic, testified that he made the decision to cover the ISIS fighter’s breathing tube so he would die by asphyxiation, or suffocation, which he did.

Several other charges against Gallagher for unrelated incidents were dropped. He was found guilty of one single count involving taking a photo with a terrorist’s corpse – a count that Gallagher has appealed.

He was sentenced to reduced rank from an E7 to an E6, forfeiture of partial pay for four months, and four months confinement, which he already served during eight months of pre-trial confinement that President Trump intercepted.