Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Fee (Sharing) Dispute

The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department dismissed an appeal

Under the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rule 1.5(g)(1), a lawyer may not divide a fee for legal services with another lawyer who is not associated with the same firm unless, inter alia, the division is in proportion to the services performed by each, and by writing given to the client, each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation (Samuel v Druckman & Sinel, LLP, 12 NY3d 205, 210 [2009]). Here, the record does not permit resolution of the claim for breach of contract regarding fee-sharing as a matter of law, given plaintiff's partner's affidavit regarding his firm's participation in the contested Workers' Compensation cases, through staff translations, arranging appointments, and performing various other tasks associated with those cases.

We grant plaintiff's motion to compel defendants to provide access to the Workers' Compensation Board's eCase system with respect to the cases referred to defendants by plaintiff because the information sought is material and necessary.

(Mike Frisch)

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