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Contingent fee attorneys underpaid in New York case

I won't say that very often, but, let the ABA Journal explain:

Haas & Gottlieb had an agreement with its client, David Addison, that one-third of any money recovered in a bankruptcy litigation would go to the law firm.

But the Scarsdale, N.Y., firm didn't have that same arrangement with his ex-wife, who was entitled to half of Addison's recovery under an equitable distribution agreement. Hence, Haas & Gottlieb wasn't entitled to the one-third it sought from Addison's ex, Ieda Fuller, of her share of an approximately $145,000 award in the bankruptcy case, a New York Supreme Court judge has ruled.

The court seems to have disregarded the equitable issues involved, notwithstanding the doctrine of the common fund, or the inefficiencies if Haas gets its full fee from Addison and Addison has to then collect half from Fuller.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.