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Lawyers Fight Over Share Of 'Millionaire' Prize

ROMULUS (AP) - "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" In suburban Detroit, it's who wants to go to court?

Three years later, a Detroit-area lawyer is in a bitter dispute with another attorney over a share of her $50,000 winnings on the TV show.

Rebecca Kesler has been ordered to pay $11,400 to Kevin Hirsch, who helped get her on the show by answering questions on her behalf during an automated phone quiz. Kesler insists she didn't read a portion of Hirsch's email that called for compensation if she won. She then said Hirsch didn't want any money.

But even a judge doesn't believe her.

"I find (Kesler's) position so incredible that no juror would accept it as true," Romulus District Court Judge David Parrott said. "Defendant has provided no evidence other than her own self-serving, wholly incredible deposition testimony that such a counteroffer was made."

Kesler of Van Buren Township hasn't paid anything while she appeals the decision. She told The Detroit News ( ) she has no money after transferring assets to her husband and a trust to protect her against malpractice lawsuits in her law practice. Hirsch of West Bloomfield Township doesn't believe that was the reason.

"At this point I'll never be repaid for what she has taken from me," he said. "She has taken basic principles of ethics and morality and thrown them out the window."

Separately, Kesler is under scrutiny by the Attorney Grievance Commission for her actions in the case. The News said she was fined $663 for making frivolous legal arguments and misrepresenting a court decision.

Kesler said she tried to settle the lawsuit but was rebuffed by Hirsch.

"Since the beginning, he has been unbelievably aggressive, unbelievably rude," she said.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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