Melat, Pressman & Higbie, LLP v. Hannon Law Firm, LLC, 2012CO61 (October 22, 2012)

No one likes to split winnings. But, in contingency fee agreements, if the client wins, the attorney gets some of the winnings. In this case, three firms agree to represent a client on a contingent basis. One firm leaves about halfway through. The client settles and the two remaining firms split the one-third fee. They cut the early-departing firm out of the fees. There is no contract among the firms regarding their split. The third firm brings a quantum meruit claim (unjust enrichment) seeking their third of the fees. The Court, upholding a court of appeals decision, held that even if an attorney has no right to claim quantum meruit from the client (because of the lack of due notice to the client), such claims can still be brought against co-counsel. Without deciding the statute of limitations period is 3 years, the Court held that a claim accrues at the time of settlement or judgment.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2011/11SC265.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8706&courtid=2

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Appellate Review Challenged, Attorney Regulation, Contracts

Brief this Case

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s