Attorney must wait to collect fees

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Thomas J. Herr appeals the trial court’s judgment in his action against Carter Lumber, Inc., the Carter Jones Lumber Company (collectively, “Carter Lumber”), and Brian Oaks for unpaid attorney fees. Herr raises one issue, which we restate as whether the trial court’s order that Herr receive his compensation under a contingency fee agreement only after Carter Lumber makes a recovery is clearly erroneous.
Conclusion (slip op. at 9):  We affirm the trial court’s judgment that Herr is entitled to recover his quantum meruit fee on any collection achieved by successor attorneys.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 8):  Here, the contingency fee agreement did not contain a termination clause. Thus, Herr should receive his attorney fees pursuant to the contingency fee agreement only when Carter Lumber receives payment . . . Moreover, although Herr seeks to receive compensation based upon his hourly fee and the number of hours that he worked on each case, that result would be inconsistent with Galanis. Under Galanis, the terminated attorney receives compensation based upon the “contribution of the discharged lawyer’s efforts to the ultimate result” under quantum meruit.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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