Decision no. ... in the matter of fixing reasonable fees for attorneys or agents under the authority of Section 9 of the...

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Material Information

Title:
Decision no. ... in the matter of fixing reasonable fees for attorneys or agents under the authority of Section 9 of the "Settlement of War Claims Act of 1928."
At head of title:
American Commissioner
Physical Description:
v. : ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Mixed Claims Commission, United States and Germany
Publisher:
U.S. G.P.O.
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:
Frequency:
completely irregular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
World War, 1914-1918 -- Claims -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Claims vs. Germany -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )

Notes

Dates or Sequential Designation:
No. 1 -
General Note:
Title from cover.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004822591
oclc - 50038280
System ID:
AA00008543:00015

Full Text

















111




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i AMERICAN COMMISSIONER

1 .5 .
: : *. .:"

MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION




I UNITED STATES AND GERMANY
..

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:SON:ABLE FEES FOR ATTORNEYS OR

XEN'DERITCHE AUTH ORITY OF SECTION 9 OF



SETTLEMENT OF WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1928"

!t~~ ::~:'

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.

.ii
I DOCKET NOSR 2016 AND 2044
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.1 *. ..

*..: ". olle a*nd ZabcEle Afaude Collier, Cia,



.... H *H*o.,Atrey
Hi: l. ..-




qH;..-.,...
A.:.: I CHANDLER P. ANDERSON


P. i. i "

4* *i*. Amricn Conwni*one
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U.S. GOVPDNRNKNT PRITING 2'rrI*u: 2t4.
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MIXED


CLAIMS


COMMISSION,


UNITED


STATES


AND


GERMAN Y


Established


in pursuance of the


Germany


Agreement


between


of August 10,


1922


CHANDLER


ANDERSON


i

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United States and


Amerina Comnisaioner


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MIXED


UNITED


DECISION


AND


NO.


IN THE MATTER OF


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REASONABLE


UNDER


THE


FEES


FOR


AUTHORITY


ATTORNEYS


OF


ACT


OF


.A.


HHl d& Hammond, Attorneys


the above-named claimants has duly filed with the Ameri-


maissioner a written request that he fix a reasonable fee to be


Seaekh of them to their attorneys, Hull & HLammond, of Buffalo,
C-.


:.: *..


k, as compensation for whatever services have been rendered
o behalf of and with the authority of said claimants, such


::the haract:r described in the provisions Section
a^ er.am lof the character described in the provisions of Section


;, : ... : <:*.* ..:- -
l : he.' "Settlement hiWar tf h At of 1
.:,A^h lnTchAj nitoetad tn thA mnunt noF 1


Iic n fan azrr w thm


- J nJ -u I Ct a --.. -J


OR


9 OF
1928"'


AMERICAN


COMMISSIONER


COMMISSION


CLAIMS


STATES


GERMANY


i. SETTLEMENT


WAR


SECTION


CLAIMS


DOCKET NOS. 2016


and 2044


Collier amd Mabelle Maude Collier, Claimants




1::*
S314 -


by them as showing the


reasonableness of the


asked,


which ian-


formation has


been


brought to


the attention


of the


claimants, who


have each filed an affidavit in reply, copies of which have been trans-
mitted to the attorneys.


This


Commission


rendered


award


on behalf


blaimant,


Philip W


. A. Collier, on January 14, 1925, and on behalf of the claim-


Mabelle Maude


Collier, on


September


18, 1924,


$1,000 and


$1 200, respectively,


with interest thereon at the rate of five per cent


annum


from


August


1915,


date


payment,


which


amounts represent the value of personal property belonging to these


aimst nts Je though the sinking of the Sfteamship
gust 19, 1915, by a German submarine, and for the fur


other sums of


$1,000 and $12,500, respectively, with interest thereon at the rate of
five per cent per annum from November 1, 1923, to the date of p~q-
4


ment,


which amounts represent indemnification for mental sufgesing
I:


Sand personal injuries served by the claimants,


quence of the submarine attack.


The total amounts received by these


claimants from the Treasury Department in payment of their awards


were $2,873.04 and $17,223.24,


respectively.


The


amount


compensation


asked


attorneys


herein for


all of the legal services rendered for and on behalf of the claimants
is twenty-five per cent of the amount received by each of the claim-


ants in settlement of the awards made by thi


Commission.


It appears from the affidavits filed by the attorneys and the ldaim-


ants that on


or about September


1915


claimants emplioed


the firm of Hammond & Hinkley, of Buffalo, to prosecute and cbllect


their claim for damages growing out of the


inking of the stebaship


Arabic.


Mr.


Hinkley, now


a Justice of the Supreme


Court :of the


State of New


York, states that the claimants were financially unable


to pay any retainer for legal services and that he-
nFar o -n ronroant lnimannft nn fnndition thnft fTTnmmannd & iTnkklnv nenldv


~nr~so~








nent also informed claimants that Hammond & Hinkley would make
.Eafar any and all legal services to be rendered, or any expenses to be


::ior .and on behalf of claimants, in the prosecution, settlement, and
c, Of their claims, in the event that claimants did not obtain awards
'.laivor, or in the event that any awards rendered in their favor could
itcted. That said claimants expressed their satisfaction with such


agreed thereto.


That the services agreement entered into between


|'|4 tdt deponent, on behalf of Hammond & Hinkley,


was not reduced to


Ififmond states in hi
== == == ==


affidavit


that


firm


of Hammond


$ey was dissolved on January
dornbrmed a partnership with


1, 1920,


and that on January


John M. Hull; that neither


T~ili~.Me
n-fl..w


of Hull & Hammond


written or oral


, the attorneys


herein


with the claimants as to


, made any
amount of


tpensation; but that they intended to carry out on their part


.;1:;::.:


rnent made with the claimants by Mr. Hinkley.


...i.. he had no personal knowledge of this agreement


He further


but that


*. .
"t* dtbhafndled
h $eldsten
|i. I ".
|^,;1(..| ,. E^ --,


Mrs.


Collier informed him


that Mr.


Hinkley "had


said claims on a contingent basis."


states in his affidavit that he became associated with


otf Hammond


~.niated


with Mr


Hinkley in


Hammond


December,


during


1917


1920, and


, and
with


that


the firm


Ji t& Hammond since its formation; that in November, 1922,
.n.it:.nond turned the file in these claims over to him, and since
!j" ..: '.:..


l" :' 't''"1":1_
*j^ j1! ** fV^^ |
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lMen
k: t
!i "iil t


had personal charge of these claims


the claimants


inquired


as to


that on February 6,


attorneys'


charges,


hem


that


"he knew


that


the claims were


being


handled


ti ngent basis" but that he did not know the exact terms of


sment which


they


had made


first


instance with Mr.


appears that the attorneys obtained written retainers from


irnants on


October


1915, and January


F


1923,


but that


I~i; Y


*A :I


rHBB


L


|


niF;~


!n;:li: r




* I:.. -.


316

had an interview with Mr. Hammond in 1922 on which oceas


*i*
* H
S: ";


informed


might


him


that she


better


Hammond stated


had


Rochester


that it


would


moved


Rochester, New


attorneys


represented


be satisfactory


York a *..
that"Xr


her


for him


to tiun he


case over to some other attorney;


that


in reply to


her inquiry a to


the amount of his charges for services rendered he stated in substapa
that what you owe us for the work we have already done will una el


very


much."


She


further


states


that.


thereafter


claim nt*-


formed the attorneys herein that they had decided not to retain oitg k


attorneys.


It is unnecessary for the American Commissioner to pass upon te


disputed


question


for services


whether


was


made


an oral


on or about


agreement


fixing


September


a contigs t.
1915, by Mw,


Hinkley,


on behalf


firm


Hammond


Hinkley,


with


thll


claimants herein.


Such an agreement, if made,


was not carried at


prior to the dissolution of this firm on January


1920.


During 100,


Mr.


Hammond, and


thereafter


the firm


of Hull


& Hammond, aan-


tinued as the attorneys for the claimants;
agreement, oral or written, with the claimant


but neither made any fee
its. It is stated that these


attorneys


intended


not appear that


to carry ot
Claimants


alleged


intended


that


agreement;


these


it does


attorneys shoulC


carry it out.
The alleged


agreement


was made


approximately


one month iater


the sinking of the Arabic, and more than a year prior to the entrmfe


United


States


into


World


War.


appears


from


ths


affidavit of Mr. Hinkley that the procedure to be followed was thai
unknown to him; and, as hereafter stated, the services performed 4
Hammond & Hinkley consisted of making inquiry from the Depl-


ment of State
six years later


and


filing


statements of


and at a time when this.


the claims. Approxmimsat
firm was no longer i eist-


ence, the attorneys herein, Hull & Hammond, filed new claims, U4p











Sa abandoned,


were


performed


Hull


Hammond,


herein.


The sole question


to be decided, therefore, is what


unable fee to be paid to these attorneys in this case


unmary


statement


services


rendered


on behalf


* Xj ji ii*X
.i.kimants herein is as follows:
( ii.." .. "" *
S.Hinkley states in his affidavit
{ .;: .
.. ii. i.
jill- -" "


method


Secretary


that on September


State


pursued


requesting
protection


advice


their


14, 1915,


as to


clients'


tihat, in reply, the Department of


State sent these attorneys


rF relative to the presentation of claims; that on the basis of


and


after


a further


conference


with


claimants


. .


:and


the claimants on


October


, 1915, signed memorials


at of their


claims;


that


later a


duplicate


Mr.


Collier'


Li~ate


naturalization


was


obtained


from


Department


".":and a copy thereof attached to his memorial; that on Novem-


..1915
Wm^^ 'stnd t
*na niqairy


the memorials were transmitted


hat,


thereafter,


claimants


as to the status of their claims.


Department of


on numerous


occasions:


These memorials are-


it iaffidavit form and state substantially similar facts.


A let-


in


the


Department


State


, acknowledging


receipt


iBin ,oriacs, ,
". .i;,ll".~ idfl.


was in turn acknowledged by these attorneys.


arently


nothing


was


done


thereafter


toward


prosecution


'frtim until on June 9


,1920, the Department of State returned


t a morialss to the attorneys, informing them that the
.:iii:" "=" .
tr form and were not supported by satisfactory
ij:.h.s letter the Department enclosed a set of forms,
:*h '.. i 3" "


H i:H' epared
r*^ t rtar n


Department


applications


sy were


y.


evidence.


which had


in support


:M against foreign governments, containing complete instructions,


Si'e: preparation of
Btehiowrledged, and


a formal


diplomatic claim.


the applications


were not


This


prepared


letter


was


or filed,


dknce obtained


at this time.


I~,. a n .r a* r1d. .-


r
Iru


t'4a'i~r


* *


nYi~~x


L.MMiMil


? fr. *






'318


r.


claimant to call at his office or communicate with him;


and


November


1922,


Mr.


Collier


communicated


with


him, s


that he was then living in Rochester and furnishing informatioari
connection with the claims. Mr. Hammond further states that


turned


over


application


forms


Mr.


Goldstein,


who


them and the supporting affidavits under his supervision. !
Mr. Goldstein states that the file did not contain all the information
that was necessary to prepare properly these forms; that on Decm-


1922, he


supplying


such


requested
additional


the claimants
information


to call
as was


required;


December 20, both claimants called at the office' and Mr. Hammner
explained to them that Mr. Goldstein would take care of the prepara-
tion of the applications.
The services rendered in preparing the applications and in connect


tion


with


these


claims are detailed at length


the affidavits.


forms were dated January


12, 1923, and were accompanied by several


affidavits.


They


were


sent


Department


State


attorneys on January


13, and were duly referred to and their receipt


acknowledged by the American Agent before this Commission. JFo
more than a year thereafter the attorneys did not write to the Amuri-


can Agency


but, on the request of the attorneys Honorable Clarences'


MacGregor, a Member of Congress, made periodic inquiries as to the
status of the claims. Mr. MacGregor was informed, on August 28,
1923, that Germany had admitted liability for the destruction of the
Steamship Arabic, and that the only question remaining would be i


that


e measure
the claim


damages;


of Mr.


and


Collier might


American


Agency


be strengthened


corroborative evidence in support of his claim for the loss of persa..
-" A "m*.iS
"it ,a 'm t'l m m


property.


Later, the American


Agency requested


the Wling of


tified copies of Mr.


ants' marriage certificate.


Collier's naturalization


certificate and


Mr. MacGreror transmitted


sarno ..a ma








*i ward to the date of payment, for injury to health, in settle-


r; tH
M~"& ill
: re


14


e claim of Mrs. Collier.


On the following day, the attor-


notified that the German Agent had offered not to oppose,


&


of Mr.


Collier, an award of $1,000,


with interest at five


iut from August 19,
nli .attorneys replied
: ::. .'.


1915.


on March


1924, stating that


they


were


Sinticating these offers to the claimants, and inquiring whether


te:...ease


Mr.


Collher


oiler


was


loss


personal


a........-


geisty only or in settlement of his entire claim.


b's: .~ iF : t
~~. .i


an Agency sent the attorneys a copy


..which


explained


basis on


On March 20 the


of the German Agent's


which his offer


adjustment


p. I ImAe.


Meanwhile


on March


attorneys


wrote


Mr.


.1 : .. ...
:i' :


..gor, asking him to find out what procedure would be followed
Segor, asking him to fnd out what procedure would be followed


; proposed


Mr.
that


offers were


Hammond, Mr.


a statement


not accepted


by the claimants;


MacGregor replied


should


submitted


that he


giving


and, as


had


been


full


ans..for not accepting the offers.


I..... ...tappears from the records of this Commission that on April 19,


4 .'thJe German Agent proposed, in the case of Mr.


Collier, a new


t in


i44,erty,


sum


and


of $1,000,


further


with


sum


interest,
' $1,000,


loss


with


interest


personal


five


at from November


1923


for mental


suffering;


and


that in


iof Mrs. Collier he declined to increase his offer.


The American


[ey communicated the new offer made in the case of Mr. Collier


i* attorneys on April 23rd.


U:


f :.May 15, 1924, the attorneys informed the American Agency that
S:.Collier declined the offer of settlement of her claim for personal


s as inadequate; that she would accept a minimum of $12,500


iIsjustment of this item; that she would accept the offer of $1,200,
#h;lss of personal property; and that Mr. Collier would accept the
. .. fler proposed in settlement of his claim.
Bfi'^1"!!" L ^


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6~i.ii~:... :i:


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'320


Mr.


Goldstein


states


in his


affidavit


that


discussed


with


claimants the


sati
not


settlement agreed upon and that the


faction


deny


no uncertain


that


appears from


settlement


record


obt


terms."
gained wa


this Commission


,ho


cember, 1925, they consulted an attorney at Roche


the American Agency stating that


of "


indication


. claim for a


very


the claimants


" that the attorneys herein


large part "


claims


wei


for


that the work done by these attorneys consumed


When


claimants


what the attorneys'


inquired
charge


of Mr
would


Ga


oldstein
Mr. Go


on


ldsti


y expressed ;..i
The claimants d
s satisfactory. I ":.
ever, that in De- '
ster, who wrote
had informed him ":
'e "about to make :
". .i..
...
very little time."' .
February 6, 192 .
ein alleges that he- .


informed them that while the legal services rendered were reasonably
worth fifty per cent of the amounts received by the claimants, the.
attorneys would carry out the original agreement made by Mr.
Hinkley. He further states that he took the matter up with Mr.
Hinkley and on the following day informed the claimants that "the
original arrangement to pay twenty-five per centum of the amount
received by the claimants was exceptionally just and fair to claim-
ants and extremely reasonable in amount": that claimants then


/


offered to pay a lesser sum and finally offered to pay the attorneys, on


payment of their award


twenty per cent of the amounts received by


Hii





14..

* I.


them,
cepted,


which
. Mr.


Hammond


offer M
Collier


and


Er.


Goldstein


-states


Goldstein


that.


that


"in


informed


this


them


occasion


opimon


could


be .a


he told Messrs
attorneys would ,
ft7 "Kd 'ii


be well paid if they received twenty per cent of his claim, ot ta g
into consideration the interest thereon-an offer which, taken literally
would mean a fee of $400.


determining


value


services


actually


rendered,


American C
case justify


Commissioner i


a finding that the s


opinion that the circumstances of


services were r


'endered i


the cl


- -


E


.r






*1
* :n
lC i


:Aordingly,


the attorneys herein are justified in charging


ingentt basis a somewhat larger fee than


would be charged


a services merely on the quantum meruit basis.


gg ;a


reasonable


'i proper to


>odugh a


take


period


e as compensation
into consideration


of nine years,


services


that


during which


'Yen.-


the services ex-


they received


xsation and there


was


always the chance


that they might


ie ive any compensation. It is also proper to take into con-
S.tS^tht due to their efforts a substantial increase was obtained


nidits of the awards on behalf


of both claimants.


It must


""aken into consideration


ases


that they


and disbursements incurred by'them,


making no claim for


of which


S:N in their charge for services, and which they estimate, exclu-
iEb. cost of clerical work, amounted to about $100.


c

;;th
2* :*.. ...I~
- -~ 4 nc


in any question of law


American


Agent,


or fact was filed


and


no conferences


ie American Agent or his representatives.


i .'l -ritten suggestions and requests
z wtd the American Agency. It is assmu
no claim for services rendered by
I "n er ie e


by these attor-


were


held


The support-


in these claims was filed in response to and in accord-


Department


ned:


that the


attorneys


Mr. MacGregor.


~~ti


j$ i
" ';2k


from the affidavits of these attorneys, they


!itts


iwenty-five


have fixed


per cent of the amount collected in accord-


what they consider the customary rates for contingent fees


ace


claims,


which


they


state are


"twenty-five


per centum


iti.LI.*Ij*4 C
'C.


. a aI.n t.
tIsidiount


collected


upon


settlement


thereof


event


snt was made without a trial,"


biaims before this Commission do not present an exact parallel


-... ..


.ry negligence or collection cases within


the jurisdiction of


"Sir' courts.


1**


,*' nojrtant distinction is


found in


participation


in these


* A
V
V


h' .


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& H
-4


?p


Hm.


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* CH IM


'322


as was the situation


with


these claims


called for by the American Agent,


was to


produce


the evi


who took the entire responsibihj-


r',


for the presentation of the claims and of the negotiations for the con .


promise settlement which


'I:


was agreed upon in these cases.


Another
attorneys i


important


have


Commission


distinction


nothing to


payment


with
of


3 that
Lthe c
which


these


collection


been


cases
of th


private


awards of


arranged


by .the


United States Government.


In other words, the


United States Government was the real claim-


ant in every case before this Commission and


through


own Agent and


its own


expense


prosecuted
;e. In eve


r


the claims
y case the


awards of this Commission were made to the United States Govern-
ment as the primary claimant, but on behalf of the private interests


concerned as the subordinate claimant


whose claim the United States


had


espoused and made


its own


before


it could


presented as an


international claim.
These distinctions have been overlooked by the attorneys in these


cases in fixing their fees.


Taking into consideration


the important


services rendered


without charge by the


United


States Government


for the benefit of the claimants, which in ordinary collection or negli-


gence


cases


private


attorneys


would have


perform for their clients, the American
in fixing a lower rate of compensation
these cases than the rate which they cla
tomary charges in municipal court cases.


Now


been


called


Commissioner feels


for the


private


uim as based


atto:


on allei


, therefore, considering the character and extent and


the services rendered by the attorneys herein


and in view of


cumstances above set forth, and the considerations stated in
eral Administrative and Jurisdictional Decision of Septen


1928


and


in fnrm a s. nn


after


I it


careful e
Siic-h wl i


examination


and


th10 nrnPond;nrr


full
hv


consideration
Ph o n t.nrm twV


upo. n .... ..................Io i
justified
rneysi "n
ged cus-
::I
.
value of 9
the cir- I ;I
the gen- I
aber is, --
Sof the.
anl tJia


*: *,


f


--


v










: >s,.e .yJ as

.'. neys as


full


compensation


for all services rendered in


ution and collection of these claims, asdefined in Section 9 of


tIttlement of War Claims Act of 1928."
: :*(. : *


ri:p. i,

H...
"41:1.-.
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*Hii~.i,:
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.H r1
..".


i. *
.4 S.:

i:-.
...hi.>
C.' .-..


[ Washington, D. C., this 7th day of August, 1929.


CHANDLER P. ANDERSON,

Amec a Commissioner,

Mised Claims Comniassion,


United Btates and


Germ~any


5.i~

*:




Hl~i'd;..

.


N
Ir' '4h



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