Ethics Keyed to Hazard
In the Matter of Fordham
Respondent, experienced trial attorney Laurence Fordham, was retained by Timothy Clark, a defendant charged with a number of motor vehicle offenses including driving under the influence of alcohol. Respondent warned Clark that he had never tried a case in this area-or represented a client in District Court–and that he might have to incur more costs in preparation for trial than another attorney already well-versed in these matters. Clark agreed to these conditions, and Respondent was able to clear him of the DUI charges through a trial strategy that all parties agreed was very effective. Respondent’s bill for this matter, however, totaled over $50,000 for an estimated 227 hours of preparation, and Clark challenged this fee as “clearly excessive.” The Board of Bar Overseers determined that it was not, and the bar counsel now challenges that ruling.
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