Professional Responsibility Keyed to Hazard
In the matter of Fordham
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An experienced litigator in a prestigious law firm in Boston, Fordham (Defendant), was hired by the father of an accused drunk driver to handle the case, however, he later refused to pay the fees charged. Bar counsel charged Fordham (Defendant) with charging a clearly excessive fee under DR 2-106(A). Defendant claimed that dishonesty, bad faith or over-reaching must be shown for an attorney to be disciplined. The hearing committee found that Defendant’s fee fell within a safe harbor because an agreement existed between an attorney and a client, which protected from challenge the contention that the fee was clearly excessive. Bar counsel (Plaintiff) appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court.
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