Friday, June 22, 2007

Suit For Unpaid Fees Leads To Censure

An attorney who employed a lawyer not associated with his firm to assist in an appeal but charged the client as if he did all the work himself was censured by the Wyoming Supreme Court. The attorney charged $250 per hour and paid the contract lawyer $85 per hour. The sanctioned lawyer is also required to submit a billing form to Bar Counsel for apptoval for use in future cases where he hires outside counsel to assist him.

Practice note: this bar discipline case had its genesis in the lawyer filing suit for unpaid fees, which led to a malpractice counterclaim. Many cases that result in bar sanctions are a direct result of litigation brought by the lawyer against a former client. (Mike Frisch)

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