Thursday, December 6, 2018
The Kansas Supreme Court released a lengthy disciplinary opinion on November 30, 2018 that concerns, among other things, excessive fees. The case, In re: Crandall, resulted in a 6 month suspension. The opinion is available here. The Kansas Supreme Court addressed several procedural issues in its opinion. As far as fees, the court found that "testimony provides clear and convincing evidence and establishes that the representation of [clients] was straightforward and did not require the time and labor needed to justify the amount ... charged." The opinion goes step-by-step through the provisions of Rule 1.5(a) criteria to determine reasonableness of a fee. The Court found that there was clear and convincing evidence that the attorney had violated Rule 1.5. The opinion also examines other issues and concludes "that the fees in two cases were unreasonable in violation of KRPC 1.5(a) and that [the attorney] violated KRPC 1.1 (competence), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4(b) (communication), 1.7(a) (concurrent conflict of interest), and 8.4(d) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice)."