Appellate Victory Affirms Validity of Attorney Retainer Agreement

Posted by Bradford S. Purcell | Nov 08, 2016 | 0Comments

R.J. VanSwol, Tom Underwood, and Mike Sanders won an appeal upholding the validity of an attorney–client contract. P&W's client was a law firm that represented two brothers in a suit against a doctor who had committed Medicare fraud. In retaining the firm, the brothers agreed on the amount of its fees and agreed that they would evenly divide the remainder of any recovery. They also agreed that only one of the brothers would be listed as a plaintiff in court filings. After the government determined the amount of the brothers' award in the underlying suit, the brother who had been listed as a plaintiff claimed that the contract was invalid, challenged the firm's fees, and accused the firm of a conflict of interest. The trial court found that the contract was valid and granted judgment on the pleadings in the firm's favor. In a detailed opinion, Chandra v. Chandra, 2016 IL App (1st) 143858, the Appellate Court not only affirmed the trial court's finding of a valid contract but also reversed the trial court's denial of prejudgment interest in favor of the firm. This victory appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and in the 10/12/2016 edition of the Defense Research Institute's national newsletter The Voice.

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