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IN THE MATTER OF
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Gabrielsen, Administratrix of the Estate of
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Christian Enoch Gabrielsen, Deceased, Claiman
Established in pursuance of the Agreement between the
United States and Germany of August 10, 1922
CHANDLER P. ANDERSON
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DECISION NO. 55
IN THE MATTER OF
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Enoch Gabrielsen., Deceased,
Lewis Arther McGowan, A
above named claimant has duly filed with the American Cornm-
that he fix
ay her to her attorney, Lewis Arthur McGowan, of Washington,
. C., as compensation for whatever services have been rendered by
.on behalf of and with the authority of the claimant, such serv-
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sioner as showing the reasonableness of the fee askedby
information has been
the claimant, who
has filed in reply two affidavits, one verified by
by Mr. Peter A. Peterson, an attorney of Brooklyn, New
as hereafter appears, has rendered services in
each of these afidavits has been transmitted to the attorney.
In this case, an award was rendered
raary 3, 1926, on behalf
sen, for $5,000,
with interest thereon at the rate of five per cent per
1917, by a German submarine, and for the further sum of $500,
interest thereon at the rate of five per cent per annum from Novem-
the date of payment,
sequence of the submarine attack.
was a member of
widow and five children.
His widow, in 1928,
was appointed admin-
istratrix of his estate, and as such has received
from the Treaasury Depsrtmet in payment of
the sum of $6,995.02
proceeding an affidavit stating in detail
the character and
his services in
case and his initial presentation of this claim, he alleges:
The late Christian rEnoch Glabrielsen retained me
when he wrote stating "I respectfully wish
that you could do something
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tbe Department of S
Against Germany to
tate and on February
, 1923, I gave notice of their
Va s necessary for me to confer with h
Wig, about the contents of the memo
*". .A .
er personally in
the memorial, I
as to my filing
or in behalf of her husband's
decided to file the claim in
iiswn name inm order to avoid
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taking out admin
dklyn May 26,
BtBepared and filed a memorial
t~-of: Stember 29, 1923.
Lgent of the
United States under
li support of these and
statements in his affidavit
the American Agency before
, and specific reference i
not made in hi
letter to Mr. Gabrielsen, apparently undated,
the fee agreement,
the power of attorney
March 11, 1920, he wrote to Mr. Gabrielsen requesting him to fill1 out
and return the questionnaire
which had been left with him in
ber, 1919; that Mr. Gabrielsen did not reply to this letter or furnish
the information; that no claim on hi
behalf was filed
anrtment of State: and that Mr. McGowan annarentlv did not know
and that Mr. McGowan replied, under date of
I note that
to file a
on account of his
wish to say that you are entitled to file a
would be leased
for the loss
My charge for services will amount to 25% of the total amount recovered.
cannot tell you how much
would be awarded
to make the claim large enough to provide for a
will not charge
you anything for my services unless I
recover something for you.
In the meantime I am filing a brief memorandum
with the State Department
I wish that you would write me regarding
your place of birth,
the ages of
Mrs. Gabrielsen apparently did not
Gowan, however, on February 21, 1923,
with the Department of State, and th(
had filed a notice of the claim
the American Agent before this Commission
, on March 3, 1923,
on the assumption that Mr. McGowan had been authorized to repre-
sent the claimant, requested him
oath, in duplicate, setting forth
claim is based, and stating the amount of the recovery
porting the claim with the best obtainable evidence, including proof
of the American citizenship of the decedent and the .next of kin."
5, 1928, Mr. McGowan
enclosing with his
to in his affdavit, a fee agreement and
a power of
Gabrielsen apparently did not reply to th
On August 7, 1923, Mr. McGowan again wrote to Mrs.
stating that it was necessary for him to go to
: to see he .4
- a a S a- mm -t St A~ a U a flat a flat A-fl S flU fl nfl
!n't you kindly write
me for the purpose of
w 40in your case. The awards are to be made soon and I desired to acquaint
It with the conditions under which they are to be made.
jotz instructed me to file your claim
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I-desire ever so much to give you some interesting
the amount of $50,000
=Isanse send me the papers filled out by you in the best possible way you can.
Is. Gabrielsen did not reply to this letter. On September 10,
23, Mr. McGowan again wrote to her, stating that "it i
effort of mine in a visit to New
York City for that purpose."
hiant is made as to what took place on this occasion.
"Oabrielsen consented to Mr. McGowan's employ
k:.. ssibly, Mr. McGowan obtained the questionnaire, s
lent in this case.
L copy of which,
. Gabrielsen refused to
power of attorney and
have not been included among the ex-
claim, in affidavit form, informing her
: I have
nd'.." This document it
.1 = is incorrectly referred
" .ii ". "
ir'....oril" It was verified
affidavit as a
on September 29th, Mr. McGowan transmitted it to the Ameri-
Agency, stating that
On the same date
he instructed Mrs.
l it :
The foregoing review of the evidence ubmitted b
not specifically authorized to reprset Mrs.
Gabrie sAn i
14, 1923, did not request him to file a notice of claim with
the Department of State.
Accordingly, in order for him to proceed
further with the claiTin, it was necessary for
him not only to obtain
proper authorization but also information concerning the claim.
addition, he sought to obtain a
written fee agreement.
were rendered as much in his own interest
that of the claim-
as well as in
Washington, and hi
frequent trips to
undoubtedly did not relate altogether to this
Mrs. Gabirielsen states in her affidavit filed in
after the death
which he offered
a basis of
five per cent"; that she "consented,"
customary and legal charge; that she
on the belief that this was the
was the sole claimant
was due the estate; that after hi
employment by her
that she "retain local
counsel to gather evidence concern-
ing the case and have it put in legal
form "; and, that, accordingly,
Brooklyn, in the early fall of 1928,
and requested him "to communi-
cate with the said McGowan concerning evidence to be produced."
behalf of the claimant, that immediately following Mrs.
made suggestions regarding the evidence to be obtained "
J4llrt"n^In ir 1%, fl la
t a n- 3 1 aa.- a-.a a 'I A., C *-
~ir ~fl n -
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:aeP E:; i Y.
~ A El
Ir i~ur nl
of the correspondence between Mr
McGowan and Mr. Peter-
was submitted in
to the services rendered
l ii arge against
i dered by Mr.
ra fee fo
r the services
tested her to
" retain local
counsel to gather evidence concerning
case and have
Bd made no reply to t
i. Gabrielsen and Mr.
ii The record sha
that he assisted in the examination of the claim-
; and that he prepared an affidavit in support of the additional
in for the loss of personal
The case was taken
deration by the American and
German Agents, and the German
that the evidence did not substantiate
Bt:;the death of Mr. Gabrielsen was due to the inj
time of the sinking of the steamship Orleans."
e 'American Agent before this Commission pr
iries he received
order to overcome the contentions and defenses raised by the Gern
Agent in his Reply.
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IIt appears that no further evidence was obtained or filed, but tha
vertheless, on October 27, 1925, ]Mr. McGowa rqiu e
American Agent to ascertain from
settlement he wiRi make to the estate af .. d..
S"nries received and for the loss of personal proper '
" *Wm -'*l'^l/ ^t *^ t^l^T *- jt k- p| ^ / fL^j f n esj 4 ^p w ^jhr hI w *~r w.j r*^-J' ,,, __
l~l~ l 1 S 1KC^BA T^I1 SI H A li^r~r K C'HS^ iT i~y n.T~ l-IIIi* *'*: ''&..J Jhi-f-j L ^/W^-/-- Vj~JB.ftjJ-&. JL~rJL *J-.A.^^ V~kJk V/JL **U'V^ lif~f Tili-t *F~i.^U **^-^Jh-:^/:-y ** : ^^ ,I,
In accordance with this request, this claim was n
the American Agent with the German Agent, aned C
* S M :
with interest thereon at the rate of five
per cent per annimi..
absequently increased in the amount of $500, to include a claim for *
O UC~l ll U't~~U "l it tl~lll UJ pUL 111UUySr'Ill u.::,
the loss of personal property.
to this Commission
as a result
f which an award was rendered on behalf of the Estate of Christian
Ioinch Gabrielsen, on February 3, 1926, as already staitdL
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the sole claimant.
was on behalf of t
The situation w
>f the widow "in order to avoid the expenses of
Mrs. Gabrielsen undoubtedly believed that she wea
The award rendered by this
he estate of her husband.
as not clearly understood by Mrs. Gabi lsen.
iMlGowan's letter, dated February 24, 1926, repeats
the notice of the American Agent, that the award ,
His letter dated December
om8ade "in your favorr" Mrs. Gabrielsen 's lete
1928 refers to the amount awarded "in my be-hal*."
reply, dated January
14, 1928, refers to the award in which
His letter, dated March 13, 192S, refers to
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n nation +n t whirh 1an .sra pntitlpl hr rpancn nf fln mawn rl'
is that this notice
was received by
on March 23,
hows that this notice was sent to him
Mr. McGowan on March 23, 1928, in a letter stating:
YTOU might also speak about the enclosed notice and tell her (Mrs. Gabrielsen)
t to answer it as I have acknowledged receipt of
as the award
You realize what this
i ,of course that is too much altogether, but I have made my fee reasonable
8io during the amount of work done on the case.
I. suggest that you have Mrs.
Gabrielsen turn over the notice to you similar
t.t.he y~elosure, when she comes to you.
. ill you kindly return the enclosed notice to me.
TThis letter does not need comment.
The notice wa
!howledge receipt of it.
Sd* I -
ad he requested
He did not forward it to Mrs.
letter was not
, nor did he file a copy of hi
letter of April
requesting him to take immediate step
7, 1928, also to
to have Mrs.
husband's estate as
ifs must be done in order for her to receive payment of the award."
at Mr. McGowan quotes in full in his affidavit the following letter,
0 d April 23,
1928, received by him from Mrs.
Ii :lave received
a to sign some
I hear from
to do anything
with me direct.
'Peterson does not seem to understand that you are the lawyer on my case
that he has just helped out, regarding the necessary details.
He will not
Ite what fee he is going to demand and I am very anxious about the matter.
'hMIcGowan I have trusted you from the beginning and hope you will write
letting me know regarding the signing
."*fan Mr PDatprmnn bha SI
riwht tn udprandn
n widnw with no mnnev
Who wanted me to act as attorney
for the estate
laugher saw the notice to
her mother about fixing
application to the American Commissioner and I now question her right to do
It is apparent to me that the administrator of the estate,
sen, is the only one who could have made application
to fix my fees, and she
has not seen fit to do so because it is perfectly evident from her
that she has confidence in me.
4, 1928, Mrs.
children and heirs at law"
of the decedent
Commissioner to fix reasonable attorneys' fees in thi
provisions of Section 9 of the Act.
On May 23, 1928, Mr. McGowan wrote to Mr. Peterson
Mrs. Gabrielsen and her family are making more trouble about
our pay for
services than any other case I know
of down here.
was in New
York last week and left word at your office to call me.
I had to come to
York to see her a few
administration because she wrote me she did not want you to handle the matter,
and rather than
up payment of
of it, I took what I thought was the best course to protect our interests.
Her daughter came over and said that she had a lawyer friend that she was
going to talk the matter over with.
Now if the application
they made to fix
we will have to try the case all over again
to prove what
is not withdrawn,
we are entitled to.
and the Commission will allow us each a couple of hundred do
ing with respect to the fees will be held here and I
intend to contest the matter
to the limit,
Surrogate's Court of King's County, New
On July 26, 1928,
his fee for "all services rendered and to be rendered
in this matter"
was compromised in the sum of $550, to be
the receipt of
U 1 ~U 1U -u U r
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time would no doubt prove futile,
" regarding a reduction
" but that, if he had any propo-
of your alleged fees," he should
: B so by return mail.
Itefahe American Comm
On August 18,
i. order that he might
" adjust the fee with the claimant as I under-
eand it must be done with the Administral
"t aware of the fact that an Administrator
will try to have such appointment take pi:
h:in reply, 1
has been appointed but
was informed that Mrs. Gabrielsen had been
i| 2oner to forward to her copies of any claim
which he was making.
In determining the value of the services actually rendered
is proper to
he had no agreement with the estate,
... dings before this Commission have be
eptance of the benefits arising therefrom.
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justify a finding that his services were
is in the pro-
in by the ac-
The circumstances of the
ling that compensation therefore was contingent upon the allow-
of the claim and was to be paid out of the proceeds of the award.
mount was ever advanced by Mrs. Gabrielsen either as a retainer
.somewhat larger fee
would be charged
s justified in charging
for the same services
i vices is given due weight by the American Commissioner in fixing
: reasonablee fee in this case.
iIt is also proper to take into consideration the fact that when Mr.
was employed by Mrs.
Gabrielsen the necessity of retaining
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S.ipon in this case were conducted by the American Agent.
more, it is proper to consider that in order to collect the award pro-
bate proceedings were instituted by Mr. Peterson after Mr. McGowan
considering that an-
assisting this attorney in the prosecution of this claim
of the considerations stated in the general Administrative and Juris-
dictional Decision of September 28, 1928, and after careful examina-
of this Commission pertinent to the questions involved, and after due
The American Commissioner decides and fixes as the reasonable fee
paid by the claimant, Hansine
the Estate of Christian Enoch Gabrielsen, Deceased,
to her attorney,
Lewis Arthur McGowan, in this case, the sum of five hundred fifty
($550), the said fee to be paid by the claimant and received
by the attorney as full compensation for all services rendered in the
prosecution and collection of this claim, as defined in Section 9 of the
"Settlement of War Claims Act of 1928."
Done at Washington, D. C., this 29th day of August,
CHAiDER P. ANDERSON,
Mixed Claims Commission,
United States and Germany.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08484 1807
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