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Showing 7 posts in Attorney's Fees.

Contingency Fee Dispute Results in Double-Damage Award Under Connecticut's Revised Wage-Dispute Statute

Robert Healey v. The Haymond Law Firm, PC, HHD-13-CV-6042956-S (Hartford, Connecticut, October 29, 2015) showcases the risk posed when there is no proper documentation of a fee-splitting arrangement, as well as untimely payment. Firms should pay scrupulous attention to the documentation of all such arrangements and to their pay practices as a result of such arrangements. While there may be a safe harbor defense in jurisdictions like Connecticut if the employer can establish it had a good faith belief that the wages were paid in compliance with the law, this may not always be the case More ›

The Collection Gamble

Suits by lawyers against their former clients for unpaid fees are more than simple collections actions. Attorneys need to consider the potential consequences of pursuing former clients for fees before they take the gamble. Invariably, when attorneys sue their clients over fees, the clients look back at the quality of the representation, think of something the attorney could (should) have done differently to obtain a better result and often end up filing a cross-complaint for malpractice. Or, the client files a malpractice action preemptively, to avoid a suit for fees. More ›

At Year-End, Unfinished Business is Still Unfinished Business

As 2014 comes to a close and 2015 is now upon us, it has been a tumultuous year for large law firms that took on lateral partners from other big law firms that recently failed, such as Thelen, Howrey, Coudert Brothers, Heller Ehrman, and Dewey & LeBoeuf. Until this year, bankruptcy trustees had been riding high by asserting unfinished business claims against firms where these partners used to practice. Their prime theory is based on a California appellate court case from the 1980s, Jewel v. Boxer, which involved the dissolution of a four-lawyer firm and its book of contingent fee cases.  More ›

A Penny Saved is not a Penny Earned When Attorney-Litigants Represent Themselves

You've heard the old adage, "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." See Kay v. Ehrler (1991) 499 U.S. 432, 438. But do you know why? Though the saying is familiar, many lawyers and law firms continue to represent themselves in disputes. Is it all about the Benjamins?  More ›

Federal and State Consumer Protection Agencies sue Law Firms

The feds, along with attorneys general from 15 states, have recently filed more than three dozen lawsuits against law firms for running illegal foreclosure relief scams. “Operation Mis-Modification,” as it has been dubbed, is being led by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). The suits allege that the defendant lawyers charged illegal advance fees for services and falsely promised to prevent foreclosures or renegotiate troubled mortgages. More ›

Voluntary Withdrawal Without a Specific fee Agreement can be Costly

In Winston v. Guelzow, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals considered how attorneys should share contingency fees after the termination of their joint law practice. Winston and Guelzow shared a personal injury practice for a few years. Guelzow decided to end the joint practice, and Winston agreed.

Winston sent to the 13 remaining clients a letter informing them of their options in representation, and recommending that the clients remain with Guelzow. The clients all followed the recommendation. Although there was a verbal agreement on fee sharing during the firm's operation, Winston and Guelzow had no contract for dividing the contingency fees after the separation. When the firm separated and the cases resolved, Guelzow reimbursed Winston for the costs he advanced. Winston sued, seeking a share of the contingency fees from the 13 clients. More ›

Getting Paid: Protect your Statutory Attorney Fees

In Betz v. Diamond Jim's Auto Sales, the Wisconsin Supreme Court considered what happens to statutory attorney fees when a client settles a case without notifying its lawyer. The court was "asked to determine the circumstances under which plaintiff's counsel may recover statutory attorney's fees directly from a defendant when, without counsel's knowledge or approval, the plaintiff and defendant enter into a settlement agreement that does not address attorney's fees."

We all have problem clients, but a client that completely settles its claims without telling you has to be near the top of the list. That's particularly true when you're working on a contingent fee, or expecting to recover statutory fees. More ›