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Tracie Davis, left and her brother Dan Freeman dispute actions by Council on Aging Executive Director Tasha Clark while standing in front of their grandmother's, Helen Plummer, home. Davis says her grandmother, now deceased, was swindled into giving Tasha $500 per month to oversee her estate once she died.

Questions abounded in a Baton Rouge court Tuesday about bills from a number of attorneys who have worked on the succession of the high-profile estate for Helen Plummer.

Plummer died at age 95 in March 2017. A will that she signed in July 2016 at the Southern University Elder Law Clinic named the head of the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging as the executor and trustee of Plummer's estate. Plummer was a client of the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging.

Plummer's family disputed the will, alleging that Council on Aging CEO Tasha Clark-Amar and Southern University Law Professor Dorothy Jackson took advantage of the elderly woman when they wrote the will. Both Clark-Amar and Jackson tried to remove themselves from the succession. The allegations have spawned into multiple, separate legal actions.

But all the while, the $650,000 estate Plummer left behind has yet to be fully settled. Plummer's family reached an agreement earlier this month for cash in the estate to go to Plummer's great-grandchildren and a grandniece, while two homes in the estate would go to Plummer's daughter. But multiple attorneys say they also deserve to be compensated for their work.

Attorney Joseph Prokop, who represented Clark-Amar, has billed the estate around $7,200, according to the attorney for Plummer's family, Max Chotto. But Prokop has refused to provide Chotto and Plummer's family with a breakdown of his fees, they told state Judge Don Johnson in court Tuesday.

Prokop defended himself, saying that a detailed breakdown of his work on the case would include private details that are shielded from disclosure because of attorney-client privilege. The judge ordered that Prokop provide a redacted version of his bills to Chotto, and that he also submit an unredacted version for the court to seal.

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Jackson has also requested that she be reimbursed for the court costs from the succession, which amount to around $1,075. Plummer's family has disputed that Jackson should receive the money.

David Koch, who Johnson appointed to oversee the estate after Clark-Amar withdrew, has provided Chotto with a full breakdown of his costs. His bill for his work on the case has not been made public yet, and he described it during the court hearing as "a very complicated estate matter."

Chotto is billing Plummer's daughter, Jacquelyn Antoine, rather than the estate, according to the Plummer family. They said Antoine could use her portion of the estate to pay him, or she could pay him out-of-pocket.

Johnson urged all of the attorneys to move as quickly as possible to resolve the succession. He said he hopes that they will finally resolve it by the next court hearing March 15.


Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @aegallo.​