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Category: Contingency Fees / POF

Forced Sale of Client’s Lamborghini Not a Proper Legal Fee

May 7, 2018

A recent Bloomberg Big Law Business story by Mindy L. Rattan, “Forced Sale of Client’s Lamborghini Not a Proper Legal Fee,” reports that the Florida Supreme Court on May 3 suspended a lawyer for three years for taking an interest in a client’s Lamborghini as a fee and for taking financial interests in his client’s litigation and doing business with a client.  Lawyer Jon Douglas Parrish made a deal to get paid after selling his client’s 1989 Lamborghini sports car.  He also loaned money to property owners his client was suing and had his client subordinate his interests in that property to mortgages Parrish took out to secure his loan. 

This case provides examples of deals with a client that a lawyer should never make.  Parrish represented Spruce River Ventures, LLC and its principal, Benjamin Bergaoui in several matters.  Parrish and Bergaoui signed an agreement giving Parrish a $30,000 security interest in Bergaoui’s Lamborghini, the court said, citing the referee’s findings for all facts.  Bergaoui had 90 days to sell the car to pay Parrish $30,000 in fees.  If he didn’t sell it in that time, Parrish could sell it and either give Bergaoui “a credit for current and future legal fees in the amount of the sale or in the amount of $80,000, at the firm’s discretion,” the court said.  The referee’s report said that Bergaoui sold the car within 90 days and Parrish accepted $42,000 to settle the balance of $54,000 in fees owed.

Parrish also loaned $150,000 to defendants in a dispute over real property he pursued on behalf of Spruce River, the court said.  The defendants were delinquent in paying taxes on parcels of land they purchased, and Parrish testified the entire case could be dismissed if the parcels were subject to forfeiture, the court said.

Parrish was trying to “preserve his client’s claim and protect his interest in his fee, which was now a contingency fee.”  He got the defendants to give him a security interest in the property that Bergaoui was pursuing, and convinced Bergaoui to subordinate his interests in the property to Parrish’s.  Parrish asked a colleague, John White, to prepare the mortgage, the subordination agreement, and the promissory note for the loan, the court said.

Parrish also attempted to enter into a settlement agreement that created a new company owned by Parrish’s firm, his client, and a few of the defendants, the court said.  The new company would join the litigation in the place of its defendant owners.  Parrish and Bergaoui would have equal decision-making authority, the court said.

One of the other defendants moved to disqualify Parrish, who then prepared an affidavit for Bergaoui to sign saying he declined to seek independent counsel, the court said.  Bergaoui wouldn’t sign it so Parrish then claimed White was independent counsel for Spruce River.  Bergaoui then got independent counsel, Brad Bryant, who told Parrish that Bergaoui didn’t want to be business partners with him, the court said.

No Car for Fees

The court agreed with the referee that Parrish violated Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-1.8(a), which prohibits transactions with clients unless the terms are fair and reasonable and fully disclosed to the client, the client is advised to seek independent counsel, and the client gives written informed consent.  The court said the comment to the rule explains that this rule doesn’t apply to an “ordinary fee arrangement,” which is covered by Rule 4-1.5. Rule 4-1.5 says all fees must be reasonable and not excessive.

The Lamborghini agreement clearly pertained to legal fees and wasn’t ordinary, the court said.  The referee focused on the forced sale provision and found it didn’t satisfy the requirements of Rule 4-1.8(a).  The agreement gave Parrish an opportunity to collect an indeterminate amount of funds from the sale of his client’s Lamborghini, which “would constitute an excessive fee,” the court said.

The court agreed with the referee that Parrish violated rules 4-1.5(a), 4-1.8(a) and 3-4.3 (“commission by a lawyer of any act that is unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice may constitute a cause for discipline”).

No Loans, No Financial Help

The court agreed with the referee that Parrish violated Rule 4-1.2, which says a lawyer must “abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of representation” and “reasonably consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued.”  Parrish having “co-equal decision-making authority with his client in directing litigation strategy,” violated the rule.

And Parrish again failed to meet the requirements of Rule 4-1.8(a) for entering into the subordination agreement with his client, the court said.  The court deferred to the referee’s determination that Parrish’s and White’s testimony about White being independent counsel for Bergaoui wasn’t credible.

The court also agreed with the referee that Parrish violated Rule 4-1.8(e), which prohibits a lawyer from providing “financial assistance” to a client.  Parrish’s loan to the defendants was a form of financial assistance for the benefit of his client, the court said.

The court agreed that Parrish violated 4-1.8(i), which prohibits a lawyer from acquiring a proprietary interest in a litigation.  The court rejected Parrish’s argument that the mortgage wasn’t a “proprietary interest.”  It also found that he failed to act diligently and competently in another matter.

But the court determined that the referee’s recommendation of a one year suspension wasn’t supported by a “reasonable basis in the case law.”  The court said the other conflict of interest cases the referee relied upon were factually distinguishable.  Unlike in several of those cases, Parrish “engaged in multiple instances of unethical conduct,” that resulted in several rule violations.  Another case the referee cited was over 15 years old and the court has since imposed more severe discipline than in the past, it said.

$112.5M Fee Award in $1B NFL Concussion Settlement

April 6, 2018

A recent Legal Intelligencer story by Max Mitchell, “Judge Awards $112.5M in Total Attorney Fee in NFL Concussion Case,” reports that attorneys who helped hammer out the $1 billion settlement between the National Football League and former professional football players suffering cognitive injuries have been awarded $112.5 million for their work.  But, the judge has reserved for a later time her determination of the exact amount each firm will receive for its respective efforts.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania awarded class counsel $106.8 million in attorney fees and $5.7 million in expenses in the NFL concussion case.  The amount conforms to class counsel’s fee request, and is also the number the NFL had agreed to pay without objection as part of the settlement.

In making the ruling, Brody lauded class counsel efforts, noted that class attorneys billed more than 50,000 hours for their work on the settlement, and said the fee award is only 11 percent of the total settlement.  “The performance of class counsel regarding the complex settlement has been extraordinary,” Brody said, noting that more than 20,000 class members are registered to participate in the settlement and more than 360 claims valuing over $400 million have been approved.  “The fees requested here are well-earned.”

Individual class counsel attorneys have requested as much as $70 million for their firm, but Brody said that issue, along with determining how much the court should withhold from players’ individual awards to cover costs and fees of implementing the settlement, “will be determined at a later date.”

In footnotes, Brody said she plans to make a determination regarding fee allocation to the individual firms after reviewing the numerous responses and replies that have been filed.  She added it will likely take a year to determine how much money should be held back from players’ individual awards.  “The court hopes to address this issue once more data regarding the scope of implementation work is available—ideally in one year,” Brody said in a footnote.

Class counsel have asked the court to hold back 5 percent of the award to cover implementation costs.  Brody also determined that fees for individual retained attorneys should be capped at 22 percent.  The ruling adopts the recommendations from William Rubnestein, a Harvard professor who had been appointed by the court to consider the issue.

Individually retained attorney are lawyers who represent the injured players, but are not part of class counsel.  Brody said their fees should be capped because “it is undeniable that all [individually-represented plaintiffs’ attorneys] have benefitted from class counsel’s work.” Brody added that she will grant deviations above the 22 percent cap only “in exceptional of unique circumstances.”

In October, Seeger Weiss attorney Chris Seeger, who is co-lead class counsel in the case, requested that the court allocate more than $70 million to his firm,  The money, according to the fee request, would compensate Seeger Weiss for a total of 21,044 hours his firm spent on the litigation since he was appointed to represent the class in 2012.

Attorneys from more than 15 firms including Anapol Weiss, which is home to Seeger’s co-lead class counsel, Sol Weiss, subsequently challenged Seeger’s proposal.  “We appreciate the court’s consideration of this matter.  The settlement is on track to lost the NFL hundreds of million, if not billions of dollars more than anticipated,” Seeger said in an email statement.  “We will make sure that former NFL players and their families receive every benefit they are entitled to under this agreement.”

Ninth Circuit: Government Can Hire Contingency Fees Lawyers

March 16, 2018

A recent The Recorder story by Amanda Bronstad, “9th Circuit OKs Government’s Hiring of Law Firms on Contingency,” reports that a California district attorney’s hiring of outside law firms on a contingency basis did not violate a defendant’s rights to due process, according to the first federal circuit court to address the issue.

In an opinion on Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a case that American Bankers Management Co. Inc. brought against the district attorney of Trinity County. The district attorney hired three law firms on contingency to pursue injunctive relief and civil penalties against the company under California consumer protection laws. The panel disagreed with American Bankers’ contention that the hiring of the law firms violated its due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

“Although civil penalty provisions are common across federal and state enforcement regimes, we are the first circuit to consider whether government officials may, without violating federal due process, retain private counsel on a contingency-fee basis to litigate an action for civil penalties,” wrote Judge Michelle Friedland in the unanimous opinion. Relying on its own 1993 decision in United States ex rel. Kelly v. Boeing, which involved a False Claims Act case, the Ninth Circuit rejected the due process claims.

“Because Kelly held the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act do not offend due process, and because the contingency fee arrangement here is not meaningfully different from qui tam litigation in terms of the incentives it creates or the power it confers, we hold that the contingency fee arrangement at issue here does not offend due process either,” she wrote.

The three firms were Dallas-based Baron & Budd, Carter Wolden Curtis in Sacramento and Philadelphia’s Golomb & Honik. Baron & Budd’s Roland Tellis, who argued the case on behalf of the district attorney and the law firms, wrote in an email that the ruling “has put an end to American Bankers’ delay tactic.”

“The notion that our contingent fee arrangement with the district attorney somehow violated the due process rights of a major financial institution with unlimited resources was laughable,” he wrote. “The Ninth Circuit’s ruling accords with its prior rulings in analogous qui tam actions and with Supreme Court precedent.  We look forward to getting the case back on track. Frankly, it is not my contingent fee agreement that should worry the defendants—they should worry about the allegations of their conduct.”

The lawyer who argued for American Bankers, Brian Perryman of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt in Washington, D.C., did not respond to a request for comment.

Challenges over a government’s hiring outside counsel have come up in several mass torts, including those involving lead paint and opioids. A footnote in Thursday’s opinion acknowledged several state court rulings on the issue, including a New Hampshire ruling that blessed the use of outside lawyers in an opioid case and another in a Rhode Island case against three lead paint companies.

The counties of Santa Clara and San Francisco and the city of San Francisco filed an amicus brief in the American Bankers case. The California communities’ own hiring of outside counsel in a lead paint case was reviewed and approved by the California Supreme Court. “These partnerships are one of the critical tools that public law offices use to pursue a broad range of civil law enforcement cases on behalf of the public,” wrote San Francisco Deputy City Attorney Aileen McGrath and Santa Clara Assistant County Counsel Danny Chou. The “sweeping constitutional ban” that American Bankers would impose “threatens to remove this important device from the arsenal government law offices can deploy in their efforts to protect the public.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America also filed an amicus brief. John Beisner of Skadden Arps pushed for a ban on such “unseemly quid pro quo relationships” that “undermine public confidence in the justice system.”

The American Bankers case started in 2015 when Trinity County District Attorney Eric Heryford hired the three firms to pursue a case alleging that American Bankers and several other financial services firms that allegedly used deceptive marketing to offer “ancillary products,” like protection plans, to California credit cardholders. Under contingency contracts, the firms were to receive 30 percent of recoveries.

The case originally was brought in Trinity County Superior Court, but the district attorney voluntarily dismissed and refiled it in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. American Bankers moved to dismiss those claims and disqualify the outside law firms.

But the company also fired back with its own suit in the Eastern District of California challenging the contingency fee contracts on constitutional grounds. It said the district attorney’s case was more akin to a criminal enforcement action that challenged its First Amendment rights.

In 2016, U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller in Sacramento dismissed the case, prompting the appeal.

Opinion: Apply NJ Contingency Fee Cap More Broadly

March 8, 2018

A recent New Jersey Law Journal Editorial, “Apply Contingency Fee Cap More Broadly,” speaks to a recent case and rules involving contingency fee caps in New Jersey.  It reads:

The New Jersey Contingency Fee Rule (R. 1:21-7) establishes the outer limits of permissible fees in tort cases. Pursuant to the rule, where the amount recovered is for the benefit of a minor, the fee cannot exceed 25 percent. If attorneys consider a tort fee to be inadequate, they have the right on written notice to the client to apply to the court for a hearing to determine what would be a reasonable fee in light of all the circumstances. Statutorily based discrimination and employment claims are excluded from the rule’s fee limitations.

The rule was promulgated because of the concern that clients could be charged excessive contingency fees in tort matters that had no relationship to the amount and quality of the services provided and the amount of attorney compensation. Discrimination and employment cases are not subject to the rule because their respective statutes provide for a fee shift such that the attorney fee is awarded by a court to the prevailing party, and the fee is paid by the opposing party. As a consequence of the exclusion for statutorily based discrimination and employment claims, the rule as written permits counsel in such cases to settle a matter, not seek a fee shift and charge the client a negotiated contingent fee that exceeds the fee limitations imposed by the rule.

Recently, in A.W. By Her Parent & Guardian ad Litem, B.W. vs. Mt. Holly Board of Education, decided Feb. 1, 2018, the Appellate Division, in a published opinion, addressed a matter where an attorney sought to collect an agreed-upon 45 percent contingent fee from a minor plaintiff in an action brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. It was contended that the attorney did not need judicial approval of the reasonableness of the fee. In the case, a fifth-grade student was alleged to have been subjected to ongoing harassment, intimidation and bullying by other students on a near daily basis, which resulted in the placement of homebound instruction and the ultimate transfer of the student to a private school.  The claim was for emotional distress, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The impact to the child and her family was substantial. A lawsuit was filed because of the alleged inadequate response by school administrators. The child and her parents entered into an 18-page retainer agreement where it provided that the lawyer would receive either a 45 percent contingency fee, or, in the alternative, a fee based on the proscribed hours, whichever was greater. The retainer agreement further provided that if the matter proceeded to trial and fees were awarded by the court, then the fee awarded to the law firm would be added to the totality of the child’s recovery for purposes of determining the amount of the 45 percent contingency fee. After routine discovery, the case was settled for $100,000. The settlement precluded the plaintiff from applying for an award of attorney’s fees under the applicable fee-shifting statutes. At the required friendly hearing, counsel sought the 45 percent contingency fee set forth in the agreement plus costs of $4,629.33. The fee agreement itself was not offered into the record. The settlement was approved, but the court was not inclined to grant a fee in excess of 25 percent of the settlement. After briefing and oral argument, the court, recognizing its obligation to scrutinize the settlement and fees for this minor claimant, independently reviewed the reasonableness of the fee. The court observed that no proof was offered at the friendly hearing that either the parents or the minor were aware of the provision in the settlement agreement that had forfeited their right to seek a fee shift. Nor was there any summary or statement put forth as to the attorney’s hours expended. It was determined that the agreement was an unreasonable overreaching and that 25 percent of the recovery was sufficient. The trial court reasoned that although claims with statutory fee shifts are ordinarily excluded from the R. 1:21-7 fee limitations, those fee limitations nevertheless should apply when counsel chooses to forgo an application for a fee shift and instead pursues a negotiated contingent fee percentage.

The Appellate Division affirmed and limited the fee to 25 percent, rejecting the attorney’s contention that the trial court lacked the authority to review the asserted consensual contingent fee arrangement in a statutorily based discrimination action where plaintiffs and plaintiffs’ counsel did not apply for a fee-shifting award against the defendant. Although the Appellate Division did not adopt the trial court’s holding that fee-shifting claims are only excluded from the R. 1:21-7 fee limitations when fee shifting occurs, the court understandably emphasized that reasonableness of attorney fees are always subject to judicial review. Regrettably, the court failed to repeat the trial court’s explicit criticism and condemnation of this fee arrangement.

When the lawyer responded to inquiries of the New Jersey Law Journal, he said that the 45 percent fee had been common practice for his law firm and had been judicially approved in the past in a couple of dozen cases. He stated he will continue to utilize his fee agreement but will be more cognizant about putting the details of his clients’ agreements before the courts.

The cost to hire or engage a lawyer may be burdensome or prohibitive. Contingency fee agreements and fee-shifting statutes make legal services available to people who could not ordinarily afford them. People who are inexperienced and unsophisticated in legal matters usually rely on a lawyer’s advice and counsel as to whether their case has a potential for success and whether the fee agreement is appropriate and reasonable. The majority of attorneys represent their clients fairly. A client may be unaware when a lawyer charges an excessive or unreasonable fee. It cannot be assumed that clients routinely read or review a lengthy retainer agreement or understand the meaning and implications of a complex fee structure.

It is difficult for people without means or power to complain or challenge the amount of fees that they are charged. In 1978, Fee Arbitration Committees were created to resolve disputes when clients filed grievances. The members of the committees universally act in good faith, work hard and are not hesitant to rule in favor of a client. The committees, however, have discretion to decline to hear cases that are complex, raise substantial legal questions, or involve a large amount of money and, especially in those matters, clients may be intimidated in initiating legal proceedings against their attorneys.

The court’s decision in A.W. v Mount Holly Bd. Of Ed. is an important reaffirmation that the bargaining power between lawyer and client, particularly in the context of tort, product liability and discrimination actions, is often uneven, and as a consequence the fee charged is always subject to a review for reasonableness regardless of the terms of the negotiated fee agreement. Although we agree with the decision, we also would like to see the Supreme Court refer the matter to the Civil Practice Committee for consideration of a rule change consistent with the reasoning of the trial court. Specifically, we would support a rule amendment calling for the application of the R. 1:21-7 fee limitations when counsel in a statutory fee-shifting case opts for a negotiated contingent fee in lieu of an application for fees. Excluding fee-shifting cases from the fee limitations in the rule makes sense when a fee shift is ordered, as the fee in that instance is paid by the defendant. But when counsel fees are paid by the client, as was the case in A.W., then there is no reason why the protections afforded by R. 1:21-7 ought not apply.

Law Firm Can’t Avoid Contingency Fee Cap

February 2, 2018

A recent New Jersey Law Journal story by David Gialanella, “Law Firm Can’t Skirt Contingency Fee Cap, Court Rules,” reports that a New Jersey plaintiff firm seeking a 45 percent contingency fee in a student discrimination case—a common arrangement, the firm claims—has twice failed in convincing a court that actions based on statute are not subject to contingency limits set out by court rule.

In a published decision Thursday, the Appellate Division upheld a reduction, from 45 percent to 25 percent, of the contingency fee payable to Costello & Mains, rejecting the Mount Laurel firm’s “contention that the trial court lacked authority to review a consensual contingent fee arrangement in a statutorily based discrimination action in which the plaintiff did not apply for a fee-shifting award against the defendant.”

“It would make little sense to permit unrestricted and unreasonable contingent fees in cases in which a fee-shifting application is not made but limit fee-shifted awards to reasonable amounts,” Judge Richard J. Geiger wrote for the court. “On the contrary, our court rules, rules of professional conduct, fee-shifting discrimination statutes, fee arbitration procedure, and interpretive case law universally require all attorney’s fees to be reasonable.”

Name partner Kevin Costello said the 45 percent fee has been a common practice for the firm, and one that’s been approved in the past.

“In a couple dozen cases prior to this, we had judges approving the fee structure,” Costello told the Law Journal.

“It’s not going to stop us from taking these cases,” he said. “But we are of course going to be much more cognizant of putting before the court all the risks we faced and all the work that was done.”

According to the decision, Costello & Mains was retained to represent a Mount Holly public school student, identified only as A.W., and her mother, B.W., in a suit claiming the student was bullied and harassed during her time at Folwell Elementary School and F.W. Holbein Middle School. The suit, filed in March 2014, alleged violations of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and Civil Rights Act, each of which contains fee-shifting provisions for successful litigants.

The retainer agreement executed by Costello & Mains and B.W., the decision notes, provided for a contingent fee of 45 percent, or a fee based on the firm’s hourly rate, whichever was greater, in the event of a recovery, including a recovery by lump-sum settlement. The agreement also provided that, if the case went to trial or arbitration and yielded an award, the firm would be entitled to 45 percent of the total recovery, including any fee award by the court or arbitrator. Finally, the agreement laid out the firm’s right to seek a higher fee “if … the firm has performed work that is in excess and thus disproportionate to the fee that it has earned,” according to the court.

Following discovery, the parties in early 2016 entered a settlement for $100,000, which the Mount Holly Township Board of Education ultimately approved. By the terms of the accord, B.W. agreed to refrain from seeking an award of fees and costs under the statutory fee-shifting provisions. The settlement was the subject of a friendly hearing, in which Costello & Mains sought approval of the 45 percent contingency fee, which would have amounted to $42,888, in addition to $4,692 in costs, according to the decision.

The judge approved the settlement, but ultimately awarded Costello & Mains a fee in the amount of 25 percent of the net recovery, finding the 45 percent fee ”an unconscionable result” and “unreasonable overreaching,” even though the client didn’t dispute the fee arrangement.

The judge is not identified in the Appellate Division’s ruling, but judiciary records indicate it was Burlington County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Hogan.

Hogan, according to an excerpt of his 18-page written decision included in the Appellate Division’s ruling, noted the firm’s “apparent determination not to seek counsel fee-shifting against the defendant in order to expedite a settlement.” He referred to Court Rule 1:21-7(c), which caps contingency fees at 25 percent in cases involving a minor or disabled plaintiffs when a settlement is reached before trial commences.

Excluded from that limit are “statutorily based discrimination and employment claims,” the rule says. But the judge noted “a hidden benefit to counsel by waiving the right to fee-shifting in certain circumstances”: that the attorney could get a larger fee without going through a lodestar analysis, or applying for an enhanced fee as per subsection (f) of Rule 1:21-7. That would mean the fee is shifted not to the defendant but “instead contractually shifted back onto the client—in this case, a fifteen-year-old whom counsel represents,” which could create a conflict between the attorney’s and client’s interests, the judge ruled.

The judge held that, in cases involving a discrimination claim where the plaintiff counsel nevertheless eschews fee-shifting in favor of a contingency agreement, the fee percentage should be capped in accordance with Rule 1:21-7(c).

In setting Costello & Mains’ fee at 25 percent, the judge said no evidence was provided of the 45 percent fee’s reasonableness, and no testimony from B.W. that she understood fee-shifting or the decision to decline a fee application as part of the settlement.

Costello & Mains appealed, contending that the language of Rule 1:21-7(c) excluding “statutorily based discrimination and employment claims” from contingency fee limits means that any fee is permissible if the client agrees to it.

Geiger, a Law Division judge in the Gloucester-Cumberland-Salem vicinage temporarily assigned to the Appellate Division last June, disagreed. He was joined by Appellate Division Judges Carmen Alvarez and William Nugent.

“Ostensibly, appellant argues that, no matter the content, contingent fee arrangements in statutorily based discrimination actions are enforceable as written, provided they are entered into voluntarily and without fraud or overreaching,” Geiger wrote.

By the firm’s interpretation, the court said, “attorneys could enforce any consensual contingent fee arrangement in statutory discrimination actions, no matter how high the percentage contingent fee, without any judicial review of the reasonableness of the fee, whenever the plaintiff does not make a fee-shifting application.”

Costello & Mains did not apply for an enhanced fee or show exceptional circumstances, the panel said, noting that Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(a) requires that fee agreements must be “reasonable,” even if fee enhancement is allowed.

“More fundamentally, fee shifting awards are payable by the unsuccessful opposing party, not the prevailing plaintiff,” Geiger wrote.

The panel noted the “‘almost unchallenged power over the practice of law in all of its aspects’” since adoption of the 1947 state Constitution, quoting the Supreme Court’s 1981 ruling in In re LiVolsi. It also added that, while attorney-client agreements are contracts, courts still retain authority over terms that affect clients.

Costello & Mains relied in part on the state Supreme Court’s 1995 decision in Szczepanski v. Newcomb Medical Center, where it held that a contingency fee “may bear little relation to the reasonable fee award authorized by statute.” But Geiger rejected that argument, noting that Costello & Mains’ retainer provided for the firm to potentially reap contingency as well as statutory fees.

Costello said cases such as A.W.’s are typically discovery-heavy and, unlike a tort claim against the government, don’t require proof of permanent injury, so damages can be limited. Judges have questioned the 45 percent structure in the past, but have been satisfied with the sort of explanation and briefing provided in this case, he said.

Thought disagreeing with Hogan’s and the appeals court’s holding, the firm will not seek Supreme Court review of the case, Costello said, adding that he thinks the rule needs no amendment.

Neither the plaintiffs nor the Mount Holly Board of Education participated in the appeal, according to the court.

The board of education’s counsel, Richard K. Goldstein of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin in Mount Laurel, didn’t return a call inviting comment on the plaintiffs’ allegations resolved by the settlement.

Attorneys Want to Depose NFL Fee Expert

December 22, 2017

A recent Legal Intelligencer story, by Max Mitchell, “Lawyers Want to Depose NFL Fee Expert Over Slashed Attorney Fees,” reports that attorneys from five law firms have asked the court presiding...

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