Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Unreasonable Fees

The Illinois Review Board recommends a 30 day suspension of an attorney who charged unreasonable fees in two matters. He had charged one client $10,000 to represent her in connection with rock-throwing incidents that led to a deferred prosecution agreement. The lawyer had warned the client that she could be charged with attempted murder. Although he had no involvement in securing the deferred prosecution, the lawyer refused to refund any part of the fee. The second matter involved a fee of $7,500 for a juvenile case. The attorney was discharged after a week. The hearing board found that he was not entitled to the full fee, but only for the value of the services performed. Because he had only devoted five hours to  the case, a $10,000 fee was deemed unreasonable. The lawyer's attacks on his former clients-- he called the overcharged clients "harden [sic] criminals" and wrote a letter to another complainant that "impugned her mental health"--was considered an aggravating factor in the recommended discipline. (Mike Frisch)

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Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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