Monday, July 31, 2006

Fees Cut for Incompetence

A federal judge denied an attorney's application for legal fees for his work on behalf of the plaintiff in settling a med mal case for $2.4 million. First, the judge found that the lawyer's application for $428,000 in fees and expenses was fabricated. Second, he said that even if the appeals court found no ethical misconduct, the lawyer should get no more than $100,000 "because of the 'grossly incompetent and inexplicable manner in which [he] conducted himself' after the settlement was reached." - Judge Denies Fee, Calls Legal Work 'Incompetent', N.Y.L.J., July 25, 2006.

"Over the last 21 years, I have overseen a fair number of infant's compromise cases, ranging from trip and fall cases to those involving serious brain damage with settlements reaching into the millions of dollars," Korman, the chief judge of the Eastern District, wrote in D.F. v. Mt. Sinai-NYU Medical Center Health Systems, 04-CV-1507. "The lawyers in those cases earned their fees by the settlements they achieved and by post-settlement work that Mr. Goldman failed to provide. I am not going to allow him to be compensated in the same way as attorneys who do their job."

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