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Stilwell demands HopFed take action against attorneys

Activist investor Joseph Stilwell, Stilwell Value LLC and related investment vehicles are demanding that the board of HopFed Bancorp Inc. take action against its attorneys for legal malpractice and seek damages of over $1 million.

The investor group claims that attorneys Edward Crosland of Jones Walker LLP and George Carter of Carter & Carter LLP gave the Hopkinsville, Ky.-based company "conflicted and deficient" legal advice that may have cost the company millions, according to the ownership filing. The group also claimed that HopFed CEO John Peck breached his fiduciary duty while dealing with the company's attorneys.

HopFed's special litigation committee had previously recommended not to sue Peck for the breaches of fiduciary duty.

The Stilwell Group beneficially own 627,128 shares, or a 9.4% stake, in HopFed.