Research Data, a large corporation, retained attorney Cecilia Patino to represent it in a breach-of-contract action. Research Data agreed to pay Cecilia a one-third contingency fee. After filing suit and initiating discovery, Cecilia found the case to be more complex than she had originally anticipated, so she associated Melvin Goldberg, a successful civil fraud specialist who agreed to handle the litigation. The attorneys agreed to share equally in the work and the fee. Research Data signed a new contingency agreement, incorporating Melvin into the agreement.
Research Data received a favorable outcome and paid the attorneys the contingency fee. When it came to splitting the fee, however, a dispute arose between the attorneys. Melvin alleged that Cecilia was not entitled to one-half of the fee because she did not do one-half of the work on the case.
a. If you were the judge in this matter, how would you resolve the conflict?
b. Should Cecilia be given consideration because it was her case to begin with? If so, how much? If not, why not?

  • CreatedFebruary 12, 2015
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