Nationwide Attorney Fee Disputes Lawyer
Expertise in testifying in trials, arbitrations and depositions for attorney fee disputes throughout the United States
Jim King learned the intricacies of attorney fee disputes – and how to view them from both the viewpoint of the attorney and the client – through long hours of arbitrating hundreds of these disputes. He was first appointed a fees arbitrator by the State Bar of California in the mid-1980s. A decade later, as Co-Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Fee Arbitration Committee, he reviewed and approved every fee award in San Diego County for over a year. Through this work and through his own practice, Mr. King developed a deep understanding of the State Bar's Guidelines for deciding attorney fee disputes, and his understanding of the attendant case law concerning such matters is second to none. Outside of California, Mr. King has handled an eight-figure legal fee award dispute in Mississippi, and the American Arbitration Association once selected Mr. King to be Panel Chair (Chief Arbitrator) in a 50 million dollar fee claim in Pennsylvania.
Mr. King has testified in trials, arbitrations, depositions, motions, and declarations about the reasonableness, or lack thereof, of fee requests in virtually every imaginable context. His testimony has concerned fee disputes involving some of the most prominent attorneys and law firms in the United States, as well as Fortune 100 companies. The total amount of attorneys' fees which he has considered as either an advocate, expert witness, or arbitrator exceeds $100 Million.
Litigation and Arbitration of Fee Disputes
There are essentially two common patterns in areas where legal fees are at issue. One occurs where attorneys' fees are not paid by the client, and litigation or arbitration commences between the attorney and client. In reviewing hundreds of such cases, Mr. King has observed not only the common threads as to the fee disputes themselves, but also the gradual break-down of the attorney-client relationship that led to the fee litigation. Of course Jim is available to consult or opine regarding such a dispute, but perhaps more importantly he is available during the time when the attorney-client relationship can still be repaired.
The second common fact pattern involves post-trial fee requests. Mr. King has frequently offered testimony both opposing and supporting these requests. His intimate knowledge of the case law and the relevant guidelines formulated by the ABA and individual State Bar Associations is unsurpassed.
Fee Disputes often include claims of overcharging and an attorney's performance
In addition to the two general patterns already discussed, other frequently occurring fact patterns include:
- Claims of overcharging (either billing for too many attorneys, excessive rates, etc.);
- Questions of the necessity or performance of the attorneys' work;
- Issues that are addressed inadequately, or not addressed at all, in the retention agreement;
- Billing in ways which courts and state bar associations have expressly found to be "padding" (e.g., "block billing", billing in improper increments, excessive billing of junior associate time, etc.);
- Passing on overhead items as costs, and other inappropriate "expenses" which are hard to detect.
California Attorney Helping to Resolve Attorney-Client Fee Disputes Nationwide
For assistance in resolving an attorney-client fee dispute through advice and counsel or expert testimony in California or anywhere throughout the United States, contact Jim King, Esq.