Mercantile Adjustment Bureau v. Flood, 2012CO38 (May 29, 2012)

This $1,000 county court case involves an award of $185,000 in attorneys’ fees.  It started as a Fair Debt Collection Act claim.  It resulted in 2 trips to the Supreme Court.  On the first trip, plaintiff’s counsel paid appellate counsels’ fees. The Court found for the plaintiff and remanded for a fee award.  On remand, the trial court’s fee award included the appellate attorneys’ fees.  The debt collector, MAB, argued those fees, paid by trial counsel, were unethical financial assistance to a client.  This time, the Court made 3 findings: 1) MAB had standing to assert an ethical violation as a non-client; 2) trial counsels’ payment of appellate counsel fees was a permitted advance of litigation expenses and not financial assistance to a client; and 3) non-compliance with the Appeals Court’s fee application rules did not bar the fee award because they don’t apply to District Court appeals.


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