Nos. 06-P-1419, 07-P-842. November 18, 2008.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court has upheld jury verdicts in favor of five attorneys who assisted in the recovery of a $9 million settlement against an insurance company who allegedly engaged in unfair claims settlement practices. The jury found that the five attorneys performed work on the case, were subsequently dismissed by the Plaintiffs, who filed legal malpractice claims against each attorney. The attorneys then brought counterclaims to recover for legal fees arising from their representation. Several of the attorneys worked for hourly fees and several had contingent fee agreements. The Court found that a jury was justified in considering evidence of the contingent fee agreements, which the Plaintiffs signed, and could make an award in reliance on the formulas therein.