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:
AA00008543:00016

Full Text





Fr


U.S.


DEP


TORY


ENE


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;''A


MIXED


UNITED


CLAIMS


STATES


COMMISSIONER


COMMISSION


AND


GERMANY


DECISION


NO.


IN THE MATTER OF


REASONABLE


FEES


FOR


ATTORNEYS


OR


UNDER


" SETTLEMENT


THE AUTHORITY


WAR


CLAIMS


SECTION


ACT


9 OF
1928"


Lu: '.


DOCKET


NO.


5332


F Sather Bruguiere, Individually and as Eacutor of the Estate


of Josephine 8.


Bruguiere, Deceased, Claimant


Duncan & Mount, Attorneys


H** :: .:. .. .
.. .. .. .
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H
.


CHANDLER P. ANDERSON,


A Ameri Conmmndsner


AMERICAN


h. .73
I-
H.1...ir


ik.


-- -- -- --- ---




* :* :1


MIXED


CLAIMS


COMMISSION,


UNITED


STATES


AND


GERMANY


Established in pursuance of the Agreement between
United States and German7 of August 10, 1922




CHANDLER P. ANDERSON

Americon commissioner

(I)


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THE


MIXED


CLAIMS


COMMISSIONER

COMMISSION


UNITED


STATES


AND


GERMANY


DECISION NO. 53


IN THE MATTER


litkhrd


REASONABLE


FEE


FOR


ATTORNEYS


OR


UNDER


THE


AUTHORITY


SECTION


9 OF


L "SETTLEMENT OF WAR


CLAIM


ACT OF


1928 "


DOCKET NO. 5332


4o4, #ahert Bruguiere,


Individually and as Executor of the Estate


phiihe


B rug


umere,


Deceased, Claimant


Duncan &


Mount


Attorneys


The


above


named


claimant


duly


filed


with


American


en imissioner


a written


request


that


he fix


a reasonable


paid by him to his attorneys, Duncan & Mount, of New


York City,


New


York,, as


compensation


whatever


services


have


been


Yen.,


alred by them on behalf of and with the authority of the claimant,


AMERICAN




326


the American Commissioner, have filed with him an aidavit a
to by Mr. U. D. Dunean, a member of their frm, gving the into


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tion which the attorneys desire to have considered by the Commni
m


sioner


showing


reasonableness


aKe, W


information has been brought to the attention of the claimant,


who


has filed a statement in reply, a copy of which has been transmitted
to the attorneys.
In this case an award was rendered by this Commission on April


1925, on behalf


of Louis


Sather


Bruguiere,


individually


and as


Executor of the estate of Josephine S. Bruguiere, deceased, Peder S.


Bruguiere, Emile A. Bruguiere, and Francis J


. Bruguiere, for $57,055,


which was apportioned as follows


Louis Sather


Bruguiere, as Exe-


cutor, the sum of $15,705, with interest thereon at the rate of five per
cent per annum from August 19, 1915, to the date of payment, which


amount represents the


value of personal property


belonging to the


decedent, claimant's mother,


who


was drowned


on August 19,


1915,


through the sinking of the steamship Arabic, by a German submarine;


Louis S. Bruguiere, individually, the sum


of $16,350,


with interest


thereon at the rate of five per cent per annum from August 19, 1915,
to the date of payment, which amount represents the value of personal
property belonging to him lost through the sinking of the steamship


4rabic, and the further sum of $10,000,


with interest thereon at the


rate
date


five


payment,


cent


which


*annum
amount


from


November


represents


, 1923,


damages


physical


suffering


m consequence


submarine


attack;


and


Peder


Bruguiere, Emile A. Bruguiere, and Francis J


Bruguiere,


the sum


of $5,000 each,


with interest thereon at the rate of five per cent per


inum


from


November


1928,


date


payment,


which


amount represents damages for mental suffering


and nervous shock


consequence of the


death


their


mother.


The


following pay.


ments have been made by the Treasury


Department in settlement of


+l-h~ onto rrrtl


rif nt


nu~l t 5r Ci WV3 nit *. .Esa


14. 1998. PP.der


. ..


BRniniere. $6.121


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to thirty per cent of


'Department


the amounts received


award,


by
and,


tim


from the


in addition,


expenses and


disbursements.


They


have


been


paid


iWr services rendered and disbursements incurred on


upon this
behalf of


S. Bruguiere, Francis J


Bruguiere, and Emile A.


Bruguiere.


ap ears from the information filed by the parties that in October,


SMr. Louis S. Bruguiere employed Mr. L. Barton Case,


LbrL'~ew


tate of his
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II:.n p:e' ''t. The
Hnu a i.-


tt*


grandfather,


ney, dated October


mploy such


Thereafter,


r of the


firm


Mr.


S


ears


that


appointed


York.


Mr.


Louis
parties


Mr.


Peder


Case


Case


on February
Case also re


Bruguiere,


Sather


retained


retained


Mt.


agree


Case,


as to


and


hine S. Bruguiere, and in connection


Mr.


another


1916,


tainted


and


what


the estate of


with a claim for


By a


Duncan,


of Van Iderstine, Duncan & Barker,


prosecution of the claim against Germany.
i agreed to act on the basis of my firm's


Mr. Duncan
expenses and


attorney,


as Executor


another


ring, to assist in an accounting action


Mr.
took


Mr.


Louis S.


in the


attorney, Mr.


brought against


Duncan
place oi


were
n this


in payinment


'p: r


York City, to represent him with reference to his interests in


a lawyer


f damages resulting from the submarine attack.


13, 1915, Mr. Bruguiere authorized


other attorneys as he might deem fit and


ch compensation as he may deem reasonable and just in


being paid in any event, and in addition to this a fee
ged of 30% of any settlement or recovery," and that his
ceive two-thirds and Mr. Case one-third of this fee.


3ll, to assist in the probate of the Last Will and Testa-


)hine S. Bruguiere, as a result of which Mr.


f the Bruguiere Comipany in the State of California.
y 23, 1916, a meeting was held in Mr. Duncan's office,


ra m =~ w ~I


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'328


the claims of himself personally,


and
6*k *


thereof shi
settlement,


the said


deponent's


ould


be I|0%


other
the


together with the
D. Duncan, Esq.,
fees, costs and di


and as executor of the state
r heirs joining in Tl rosiecu
Ai ~~~~ ~ ~ ~ B- ^j Il .^^&J| ~ ^^J AJ *r&^C^^iU~fij~


amount


costs


and


and his said
sb psemen ts,"


recovered,
disburseme


law
and


firm
thai


fhrotfgh sin 9T
thUigTUUlhfLLU
nts ncurre

;also incl


Bruguiere


LI


thereupon stated
luUOXCU(JUX/ oldf|WU


th4t


"thq


fees


prosecution


cli-,


e.. g., 30%


with costs and disbursements,


were satisfactory"


Mr. Brugiere states that tDuncan


or Mr


Case informed


him


that "they would


undertake the work


on an absolutely


cpnti'n.


rent basis and that the fee woulS
Attorneys that this seemed "en
paper to the effect that the fee
pae0t


"; that he informed thvsg
s UI i *~ LV^t^1


, nevertheless,


signed i


d be 331/3%; and that nothing


was said as to payment of e
to the percentage armed upon.


and


bbursements in


addition


Sefurther states that in 1923 or 19


Mr. Case gxt him a copy of the agreement which he ha.d signed; and


that thereafter


wrote to


Mr. Case


" protesting against the


largq


amount I had agreed to pay as fee:.


t is unnecessary for the American Commissi


oner to determine thf


exact terms of the agreement b pjyen


parties.


It is agreed that


attorneys'


compensation
/ <>'* .


collection of the claim;


and


folr #0rvices


to elpiman
tit^..:0 ^ nQy


disbursements made on his beh i


The


was


contingent


t is willing
fee fixed in


pay


upon


for the


the oral ageere


ment which the attorneys cn t wa
-.*Ki ? ^ /, r LG f f-~a


made is less than that fixed in


written


agreement


which


aimant


herein


states


was


made.


For


purposes


this


pro ing,


may


assumed


that


agreement was in accordance with the claimant's contention, namely,
a written agreement providing for a contingent fee of 33A per cent,


which


attorneys


have


Furthermore,


voluntarily


paid


reduced
claimant


per


cent.


was to be divided


Atween M. i Duncan's firm and
ILttweeni MrXJ. J-LlLtl &U ldl


Case.


The sole question


I~ bss 4b


"I~
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.. '329


take in'
...k,.. .'.'.
*Q~2Se with the
*P iCalif
!: 1.. "
p Ld ielration
Hn HI

i..: On March 11
Sii.. ..
'" ".t of State.
... .. .... .
.*.. ." i ,t IjpOfllL

..e appoint
e...r j dby bhi
.L ~ iof life in
ii ::. ^
Sfeproperty


SF~~~
~fETQ0s


to consideration the work done by


Mr. Case in connec-


accounting action brought against the Bruguiere Com-


The services rendered


a reasonable


ornia.


in fixing


8, 1916, Mr


Thi


which can be taken into


in this


case


include


Duncan filed a Memorial with the Depart-


Memorial


ment of Mr


Brug


1 on February 24,


the amount of


owned


and


was accompanied by a certified copy
uiere as Executor, and two affidavits
1916. Damages were claimed for the


$500,000, and


decedent


$16,250,


respectively


and


for the


loss


son


Thereafter


of personal


amounts
number


n: SOP


Washington


representative


Duncan


& Mount con-


Served with the Department of State.
H p. July 21, 1919, the attorneys were requested to file corroborative


lde nce


in support


Memorial


The


Department


State


fipmished them with a set of application forms,


containing complete


intrxictions for the preparation of a formal


diplomatic claim.


The


application


on behalf


of Mr. Bruguiere,


individually,


was prepared


the attorneys and, on April 21


1920


, verified by the claimant,


who


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was


then


g ,torney
elainant
F rance,
4!


with


in London. Two supporting affidavits and a power of
in favor of Duncan & Mount were also executed by the
and an affidavit was executed by his brother, Emile, at Nice,


on April 4,


1920.


Department


On February 3,


State.


The


1921, this application


claim


estate


was
was


.y prepared, and affidavits were obtained from the four heirs.


On June 8


, 1921, this application


was filed


with


Di


State, but on examination it was considered incomplete.


apartment cf
Additional


aBdavits were obtained, and it was again filed with the Department
of State on November 16, 1922.
. The claims were referred to the American Agent before this Com-


* i I i i I | I I I-




.4Hp.u
Ni


330


of the steamship Arabic, he was unable to make any offer" i
0 0 0


the very high amount demanded by


claimants."


After the filing of


additional
0s.*


evidence,


reported


that


consider


proiise possible. The attorneys were directed by the
Agent to prepare a statement of facts for submission of C
0E .0:0 ."!:


a can
a comna


Amierican


the Commission.


On February 5, 1925, at the-request of the attorneys,


was held in


Washington between a member of their firm I
a ........ 'i~iiSwiliU


the American Agent, and the German Agent.


The German


:nm..


gent


refused
ground


make


any


offer


settlement


for the


that dependency was not established;


loss


life on


agreed not


oppose an award in the amount of $57,055,


to be apportioned among


claimiants,


on the


basis


and


several


items


as follows:


To Louis S. Bruguiere, as Executor, for the loss of personal property .


belonging to


Estate,


$15,705,


and


him


individually,


loss of his personal


rate of five


property, $16,350


per cent per annum


with


interest


from August


thereon


1915


the date


of payment; and to him, individually, for physical suffering,


$10,000,


and to each of his brothers, for mental suffering and nervous shock,


$5,000,


with interest thereon at the same rate from November 1, 1923,


to the date of payment.


Ir. Case submitted this offer of settlement to the claimants.


claimant


herein


and his


brother


Emile


were


then


France,


The
and,


after


some


delay


and


further


explanation,


offer


was


tAicpptafrlP


The claim


was then submitted


Commission


upon


an agreed


statement of


facts, and,


on April


1925


an award


wa LLRf~


on behalf of the several claimants for the amounts already stated.
The attorneys herein filed with the Treasury Dep
plications for payment of the award, after employing Lod


to assist in properly executing the forms.


The character and' extent of the services rendered by the ar


r





331


nt to look after their own interests in making a


their


attorneys,


was


contemplated


fee agree-
Congress,


American


proceedings,


that


Commissioner


would


disregard


reasonable


an agreement


fees
thus


claimants


and


their


attorneys.


record shows that at the time the claimant retained the attor-


was thirty-four years of


age.


had


travelled


on a number


occasions.


was


named in his mother's


Testament


Executor


property


State


California.


employed


Mr.


Case


it him in connection with matters other than the presentation


jthe claim against Germany


All of his brothers, who were equally


sed in the claim on behalf of the Estate, accepted his employ-
et of the attorneys herein and have paid them a fee of thirty per


& of the amounts awarded on their behalf.


The attorneys herein


had to deal with an exceptionally


large number of


details and


urber of unusual complications in the presentation of this claim,
'iheve devoted their best efforts on behalf of the claimant, who has
eason to complain about the outcome of the case.
he American Commissioner, accordingly, holds that in these cir-
stances the claimant must be regarded as fully capable of protect-
iis own interests when he made the agreement for a contingent


which fee


, as above stated, has now been reduced to


per cent of the actual recovery.


proceeding,


amounting to


attorneys


$712.12


have
paid


submitted


statements


Duncan & Mount and


I81 paid by Mr. Case.


In the statements submitted to the claim-


these


amounts


are stated


$631.70


and


$750.00,


[y, and the share of these three brothers amounts to $469.78.
of the claimant herein, accordingly, computed on the basis


which his brothers have settled


with the attorneys herein,


would


a a ~La d~fl I (10 OsLnn,i tnSL~ nqr. (1 aSr 4L t4QnSfwn at nr1 rn..... A ,


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332

tb Mf. Ter ing was for services in an accounting action in Californim,
aid pih pajffieh ifffeb MtII ussell was for services in the probatT


pF$c6&1iTi~k


A ifinfiber eof exe likewise have no relation to the


idlim


agAifi t Germaiy.


ATho,


payments


Duncan


& Mount,


totalling $157.20, to W


Dtvidson, for services in revising th6i


Mfiib ial, iiiibtf eitfl bfe liffiidatUS from their bill for d


bursendents


fr deducted fiKrd their fee f rties.


Although Mr.


Davidson had


lkft the employ if Duncan & Mount at the time these payments wert


made to him, they represent services and not disbursements.


More-


over, his certificated as a N6tary Public in connection with this claim


contain the stitemehts that he had


"no


interest


claim,"


and


that he


was


"the


agent


attorney


any


person


having


interest in the claim.


The payment of $19.94 to Thomas W


. Cooper


& Co. i lsi an item representing services.


Now, therefore, ini the circumstances above set forth,


and consider-


lag that the payment of


any


compensation


attorneys


herein


was cntigen pon securing and collecting an award, and in


view


of the considerations stated in the general Administrative and Juris-


dictional


Decision


rendered


American


Commissioner


under


date of September 28, 1928, and after careful


examination and full


consideration of the information furnished in this proceeding by the


attorneys and


the claimant and


by the


records of this


Commission


pertinent to the questions involved, and after due deliberation thereon,


The American


Commissioner


decides


and


fixes


as the


reasonable


fee to be paid by the claimant, Louis Sather
and as Executor of the Estate of Josephine S.


his attorneys, Iuncan & Mount, a sum equal
tie amounts received by the claimant from the


Bruguiere, individually
Bruguiere, deceased, to


thirty per cent of.


Treasury


Department


in payinent of his award, the said fee to be paid by the claimant and
received by the attorneys (and their associate Mr. L. Barton Case)
asull coiiipensatidoi for ai services rendered by the attorneys in the


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