Pavsner Press Inc. of Baltimore filed a lawsuit in September in Baltimore County District Court to recoup $6,419 in printing services from Reeves. That amount was the balance of a $21,386 bill, of which $14,967 had been paid. Jay L. Liner, a Baltimore attorney representing Pavsner, said that he thought the matter would be resolved without going to court.
At least one former employee said that on several occasions in recent years Reeves officials asked employees to delay cashing checks, or funds were not available when employees tried to cash their paychecks.
The Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies listed Reeves as having 33 employees in January 1999 and $36 million in annual billings. Eighteen months later, in July, the same directory reported the agency as having dropped to 20 employees and $30 million in annual billings.
As recently as last month, officials at the Baltimore-based 21st Century Group said a merger with the Reeves Agency was planned. The two advertising and public relations agencies recently moved into a single space in the Candler Building and started sharing a receptionist, after having occupied next-door suites in the 111 Market Place offices.
Adrian Harpool, senior vice president of 21st Century Group, did not return telephone inquiries.
But in November, Harpool said: "If they were anything less than healthy, we certainly wouldn't be interested in tying ourselves to their wagon."