On February 27, 2015, the Court of Appeals of Kentucky decided a case involving two law firms that were fighting over attorneys fees from a car accident where both law firms had at one point represented the injured plaintiff. (See Stuart v. Crocker, 2015 WL 865439 (Crt. App. 2015)). As indicated this is a case where two law firms are fighting over money; attorney’s fees. The female plaintiff was severely injured as a result of a garbage truck versus car accident. She sustained neck and back injuries. Id.
The facts of this Near Louisville Car Accident case are long and complicated but basically one firm represented the plaintiff when they were discharged and then another firm took over. One firm was able to get a pretty high offer when the second firm came in and got a little bit higher offer and then settled the case. The attorney fees in question totaled $56,666.67. The court thus looked at prior Kentucky case law for guidance. It found a Kentucky Supreme Court case called the Baker v. Shapiro case. That 2006 case held that the parties were entitled to recover quantum meruit their attorneys fees. “When an attorney employed under a contingency fee contract is discharged without cause before completion of the contract, he or she is entitled to fee recovery on a quantum meruit basis only, and not on the terms of the contract.” (cites omitted).
The court also looked at a list of eight factors for which came from a different case on how to determine a reasonable attorney fee. The factor are: 1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the question involved and the skill to perform, 2) the likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer, 3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services, 4) the amount involved and the results obtained; 5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances, 6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client, and 7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer performing the services, and 8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent. Id. The Near Louisville Car Accident Lawyer for each side should have looked and argued this.
The court noted that both law firms added value to the case. Id. Getting an offer is good, but closing the deal is the ultimate goal. Id. This appellate court upheld the lower court’s split of the attorney’s fees. This appellate court could not say that the distribution by the lower court was arbitrary, unreasonable, or unfair. Neither of the Near Louisville Car Accident Lawyer that was hired by each party was short-changed. They each got what they deserved.
If you have been the subject of a Near Louisville Car Accident Lawyer case, please call and speak to a Near Louisville Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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