Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part a trial court's disposition of a fight between a law firm and a departing attorney over contingency fees in cases that left with the attorney.
The court here held that the law firm was entitled to quantum meruit payment for its work prior to the departure. Such reasonable fee arrangements do not violate Rule of Professional Conduct 5.6.
The court noted that the opposing lawyers
...in their briefs and at oral argument, freely trade suggestions and outright allegations that the other has engaged in unprofessional and even unethical conduct, perhaps hoping thereby to persuade this Court toward deciding for the party engaged in the least egregious conduct. Those questions are better left to the State Bar and the parties' peers, and we reject their attempts, in exchanging affronts, to obfuscate the purely legal issues their dispute has presented, first to the trial court, and nowo this Court.