September 25, 2012
A Fee Dispute
The Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court award of quantum meruit fees to a law firm discharged after being retained to pursue a damage claim against the Tennessee Valley Authority arising from a coal ash spill.
The clients followed a firm lawyer who left and set up her own practice. The underlying case was resolved and the attorney was paid her fee.
The clients then sued the law firm, seeking a judgment holding that they owed no fee to their former firm. The firm counterclaimed and contended that they were entitled to the full contingent fee.
The court found that the law firm was only entitled to payment for the work performed prior to the departure of the attorney and clients. (Mike Frisch)
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