LEO: Attorney's Fees - Collection Cases LE Op. 773
Attorney's Fees - Collection Cases.
April 3, 1986
It is not improper for an attorney to submit to his client all amounts
collected pursuant to the terms of a conditional sales contract including
costs, principal and interest and for the attorney to be compensated only
to the extent that attorney's fees are collected. This assumes as a
predicate that the costs collected by the attorney and forwarded to the
client are only those costs which were actually advanced by the client.
It is not improper for an attorney who receives attorney's fees from a
judgment debtor to reimburse his client (the judgment creditor) the hourly
fees paid the attorney to obtain judgment and collection.
Providing that the client reimburses the attorney for any costs and
expenses expended in collection, it is not improper for an attorney to be
paid a per case appearance fee plus any attorney's fees recovered on the
Providing the attorney holds the attorney's fees and renders the account
to the client, it is not improper for an attorney to be paid a monthly
retainer by client and for attorney to pay client all sums recovered in
collection matters if, over time, funds received by client exceed retainer
payments to the attorney. Conversely, should the recovered funds be less
than the retainer paid, attorney would forfeit the difference. [ DR:5-
103(B); LE Op. 541 and LE Op. 586]
Committee Opinion April 3, 1986