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:
AA00008543:00025

Full Text


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THE


UNDER


CLAIMS


STATES


DECISION


THE


COMMISSIONER


COMMISSION


AND


GERMANY


NO.


IN THE MATTER OF


FIXING


AGENTS


THE


FEE


FOR


AUTHORITY


WAR


CLAIMS


ATTORNEYS


SECTION


ACT


9 OF
1928"


d I.

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I H. I I.
i ?~ I:.
k ; -.A.
(n.:. i.:


DOCKET


NOS.


596,


597, AND


Elisabeth Mounsey, Sarah Jane Lznd Hornberger, Individually and


as Administrator of the Estate of COarles


Henry Lund, Deceased,


Claimants


Robert P. Burkhalter, Attorney


CHANDLER P


American


.ANDERSON


Commissioner


AMERICAN


MIXED


UNITED


REASONABLE


" SETTLEMENT


~ 5L3





ir~:11"~:;~p~

MIXED


CLAIMS


COMMISSION


UNITED


STATES


AND


GERMANY


Established in pursuance of the Agreement between the

United States and Germany of August 10, 1922


CHANDLER P


ANDERSON


American Commissioner

(II)


-*V?


r


Zrl


I




I:"''


THE


AMERICAN


MIXED


CLAIMS


COMMISSIONER

COMMISSION


UNITED


STATES


AND


GERMANY


DECISION NO. 6

IN THE MATTER OF


FIXING


REASONABLE


FEES


FOR


ATTORNEYS


OR


AGENTS


UNDER


THE


AUTHORITY


SECTION


9 OF


THE SETTLEMENT OF WAR


CLAIMS ACT OF


1928 "


DOCKET NOS.


, 597, AND 598


th Mounsey, Sarah Jane Lund Hornberger, Individually and


as Adcministrat


of the Esta


Ch~wrle8


Henry Lund, Deceased,


Claimants


Robert


. Burkhalter, Attorney


The


Commi


above
ssioner


named


written


claimants


requests


have
that


duly


filed


with


American


a reasonable


paid


each


them


their


attorney


Robert


Burkhalter,


Chicago,


Illinoi


rendered by him


as compensation
on behalf of and


for whatever


with


services


have


the authority of said


been


claim-


ants,


services being of the character described in the provisions


of Section 9 of the "Settlement of War Claims Act of


1928."


-~~~~~ Cr -


Elizab


mi r I r II


I r






394


information has been


brought to the attention of the claimants,


who


have each filed


an affidavit in


reply,


a copy


of which


affidavits has


been transmitted to the attorney.


The awards in


these claim


were rendered by


Parker,


Umpire, on


certificates


disagreement


N


Docket No. 596, an award was rendered


Elizabeth


Mounsey


$7,500.00,


national
on Ma
with in


Commissioners.


,rch 5, 1925,


.terest


on behalf


thereon


rate of five per cent per annum from November


1, 1923, to the date


of payment,


which amount represents damages


ant on account of the death


of her father


suffered by the claim-


, William Mounsey, caused


by the sinking on


May


, 1915


of the


team


" Lusitania ", by


4erman submarine.


Docket No.


an award


was rendered


January


14, 1925,


on behalf of Sarah Jane


Lund Hornberger, indi-


vidually, for $5,000.00,


with


interest


thereon


rate


cent


annum


from


November


, 1923


date


payment,


which amount represents damages


personal injuries


suffered


her through


sinking


on May


1915


steamship


"Lusi-


tania "


, and for the


further


sum


of $2


with


interest thereon at


the rate of five per cent per annum from May 7, 1915,


to the date of


payment,


which


amount


represents


value


personal


property


belonging to her,


which


was lost through


the submarine


attack.


Docket No. 598, an award


was rendered


on January


1925


on be-


half


of the


Estate


Charles


Henry


Lund


Deceased


$341.75,


with interest


thereon


at the


rate of


five


cent


annum


from


May 7,


1915,


the date of payment,


which


amount


represents


value of personal property belonging to the deceased,


through the sinking on May


7, 1915,


of the steamship


which


"Lu


was lost
itania "


Sarah Jane Lund Hornberger i


ister of Elizabeth Mounsey and


the widow


(since


life through the


remarried) <
inking of the


Charles


Henry


Lund,


who


lost his


" Lusitania "


7


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I.I


dent's sons and daughters was also dismissed, except as to Elizabeth


Mounsey,


because


show their dependence


evidence
on their


presented


on their


father.


The


claim


in which


an award


was


rendered


on behalf


Sarah


Jane


Lund


Hornberger


(Docket


597)


own


personal


injuries and her own


personal


property wa


filed in


her own name


individually.
The claim in which an award was rendered on behalf of the Estate


Charles


Henry


Lund


(Docket


598)


was


filed


name


of Sarah Jane Lund Hornberger for damage


suffered by her as the


widow of Charles Henry


Lund


and


also in


the name of


the Estate


of Charles Henry


Lund for the loss of the decedent'


personal prop-


erty, but no award


was made on behalf of the widow.


this attorney is thirty-five


per cent of the net amount received by the claimants from the Treas-


ury


Department


in payment


their


respective


awards


after


ducting the costs and expenses incurred in the preparation and pros-


ecution


these


following


claims.


amounts


The
from


claimants


have


respectively


Department


received
Elizabeth


Mounsey,
$6,145.50
property;


$9,173.80;


for personal


Sarah


Jane


Hornberger,


for the


loss of


and Sarah Jane Lund Hornberger, Administratrix


Estate of Charles Henry Lund


$570.14.


The


disbursements


preparation


and


made


this attorney


prosecution


in connection


above


claim


with


before


Commission are estimated by him to be $1,118.79.


In computing the


amounts due


him


jointly


by these


claimants


disbursement


attorney


has deducted


from


the d


bursements the


item


chargeable


solely to Sarah Jane Lund Hornberger, amounting to


$213.00, leav-


ing a total net amount of


disbursements properly


chargeable jointly


tn Snrn h .TaJn Tindn H nrn-Pnhrrn' anI rtt l7Ql;7h0fth Tniino'r nf _KQnA! '7Q


395


behalf


failed


The amount of compensation asked


Treasury


Lund


$477.92


injuries and


individually,


Deceased


personal


of the







396


Deceased,


$199.55,


expenses


Estate apparently being included in


against Mrs. Hornberger


The au
Elizabeth


entered


surviving


thority


Mounsey


into


this


individually


attorney


in Docket


on February


children


William


No.
1916


Moi


claimant, according to the terms of


for the claim on behalf of the
the amount of expenses charged
y.
act on behalf of the claimant
596 is contained in a contract
between this attorney and the
unsey, deceased, including this
which this attorney was author-


ized in their names and
Mounsey, deceased,


for and on


behalf of the Estate of William


to prosecute a certain claim against the Cunard


Steamship Company,


other persons, including the German


damages sustained by


us because of


Government,


injuries received


who
by c


may


our late


be liable


father,


said


William


Mounsey,


deceased


from


which


died


on or about


the 7th


day of May, A. D. 1915, at or about the hour of two o'clock P


., said injuries


having been received by
sinking of the Lusitania
pany, Ltd., sailing on the


the said


William Mounsey,


a steamship owned


high


seas,


deceased,
Cunard


at a point about ten


because of


Steamship Corn-
miles from the


shores of Ireland on said date.


The contract further provided


that


We, and each of us, hereby agree that the said attorney shal


have and retain


one-half


of all the proceeds


of any amount that may be recovered by us,


and each of us, or either of us, against the Cunard


Steamship Company, Ltd.,


or any other individual


after deducting the costs of suit,


which


we agree to


advance.


We, and each of us, also hereby agree that the said attorneys shall have and


retain thirty-five percent


and each of us, or either of us,


of the proceeds
as proceeds of


of any amount received by us,
our said claim, or the claim of


each of us against the German government


in case the said German government


pays said claim, or any portion of said claim.

This attorney likewise received from James F


hop,


Administra-


tor of the Estate of William Mounsey, Deceased, a power of attorney




nr~BA~


M


i :


n.tj?..



rj.


attorney


a power


likewise received


attorney


dated


from Sarah


December


Jane Lund Hornberger


, 1922,


authorized to prosecute her individual claim against


The


authority


this


attorney


on behalf


which


was


t Germany.


claimant


Sarah Jane Lund Hornberger as the widow


of Charles


Henry


Lund


and also on


behalf of the Estate


Charles Henry


Lund,


deceased,


in Docket No. 598, i
S8, 1916, between th


which
tioned.


differs


slightly


this


contained in a contract entered into on February


attorney
in form


contract


this


and


Sarah Lund


from


claimant


two


(now


contracts


authorized


Hornberger)


above


men-


attorney-


in my name and in the name of the estate of the


Charles Lund


, deceased,


to prosecute a certain claim against the Cunard


Steamship Company,


the German Government and


all other persons who may


be liable


in damages


for injuries received


the said


Charles Lund


deceased,


* the death


of said


Charles Lund


having


been


ocensioned by


sinkin


of the


steamship


Lusitania.

In this contract it was provided that the attorney-


shall have and


estate of


retain


the said


one-half


Charles Lund


an:


sum
v suil


recovered
t or claim


made


i or by
against


the said


Cunard Steamship Company, Ltd


and thirty-five per cent


of money received by me, or by the estate of said


Charles Lund


of any sum


deceased


any claim presented against the German government


u case


either the


Cunard


Steamship


Company,


Ltd.,


or the German


government


pays


for said claim


-after deducting al


the costs of suit,


which I agree to advance.


The attorney likewise received from Sarah Jane Lund Hornberger


a power


attorney


dated


December


in which


was


authorized to


prosecute her claim as widow


of Charles


Henry


Lund


and on behalf of the Lund Estate.


The attorney


states that he has not included in the a mounts herein


requested as fees any sum


as compensation


services


performed


by him in suits filed on behalf of these claimants against the Cunard


v-fl 1


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397


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ril


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S i'' .


398

agreements, contingent upon recovery from the Steamship Company


".3

.1
.9j
H"


which
under
eluded


was not obtained.


consideration.


reimbursed


the
any


amount
sums


The
of


These


rulings


attorney


also


disbursements


incurred


on account


likewise apply


states
for
It of


that he
which he
the suits


to the
has not
asks t,
against


case
i n-
o be


Cunard Steamship Company,


Ltd.


The


torney
they b


claimant
herein


>ase


grounds


thei
(1)


its


these


under the
r objection


That


perform


alleged
United


him,


States


in presenting


cases
terms


admit


and


their


conditions


amounts


fees requested


an extraordinarily


that


Government


data


"the
and


request


entire
the si
d by


employment


above


requested


him
large


matter


?rvice
the


S


forth,


him


excessive


amount


was
render


handled
ed were


Commission ";


at-
and


on two
because


work
by


merely


and


That it was contrary to the provisions of the services agreements and


to the


intention


claimants


that


with


reference


claim


before this Commission,


the expenses


should be paid by the claimants


in addition to the contingent fee.


connection


with


this


latter


objection,


attorney


alleges


his affidavits that


, in order to clarify the


understanding


relating to


the net fees to be paid to him,


he held conferences in December, 1922,


with


some


these


claimant


including


Sarah


Jane


Lund


Horn-


berger, Elizabeth Mounsey,


and


their


brother,


William E.


Mounsey,


and


on December


1922


wrote


letters


Sarah


Jane


Lund


Hornberger


and


William


Mounsey, individually,


which


confirmed his conversation


with


them


and stated


that it


was under-


stood


that


his services


agreement


were


interpreted


mean


that the fee of thirty-five per cent for his services in connection with


the prosecution of these


to be calculated upon


claim


against the German


the net proceeds of the claim


Government was
; after deducting


41


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'"''I
i:
r.:u



ments, it will be noted


that the agreements with


the surviving chil-


dren (Docket
(Docket No.


No.
597)


attorney was tc


596)
did:
Sbe


and


with


contain


reimbursed


Mrs.
any
for h


Hornberger


mention


is expenses


individually


fact


that


in prosecuting


these claim


against the German


Government


, whereas, in


the same


agreements provision


which


Ltd


might
of the


was made


recovered


J


for the deduction from


from


Cunard


Steamship


"costs of suit" which the claimants agreed


my amount
Company,
to advance.


It should


also


be noted, in


this


connection


that


services


agree-


ment b
Charles


did j
" cost


between
Henry


providee


of suit"


this


attorney


Lund and


and


on behalf


payment


in connection


by
with


Mrs.f of hi
P of hi


the
[ the


Hornberger


estate


claimant


prosecution


widow


(Docket No.


advance


of the clair


598)
' the
n of


Lund'


widow and estate against the German Government, as well as


against the Cunard Steamship Company, Ltd.


The


claimant


disclaim


any


recollection


having


discussed


agreed to any amplification of the contract."


pointed


Administrative


and as held


and


American


Jurisdictional


him in his


prevlou


Commissioner


Decision
decision


on September 2!
in similar cases


general
3, 1928,
(Deci-


sions


Nos.


, 35,


, 53


, 58


and


where


claimant is entirely competent to look after hi


own interests in mak-


a fee


agreement


referred


with


following


attorney,


extract


from


within


Report of the


group
Senate


Committee
the Senate:


on Finance


recommending


this


legislation


It is expected,


howe


that it will


not be necessary to alter amounts fixed


by contract with large corporations and others fully capable of protecting their


own


interests.


such


cases the


* *


American


Comm


issioner


* *


would undoubtedly be justified in fi


sing the amount specified in


the contracts.


those decisions the


American


Commi


ssioner


expressed


his con-


399


I-


- --




"^ "bK


400


William E. Mounsey,


who,


prior to


his father'


death,


was engaged


with him as co-partner-
in a very prosperous and successful


general Coa


Wood and


Express business,


in the City of Chicago,


that the son,


under the firm name of William Mounsey


William E. Mounsey,


& Son,


was then a man largely experienced in the


business


world


enjoyed


not only


the fullest


confidence


trust


of his


father,


the said


William


Mounsey,


Deceased,


but was likewise


respected


trusted with fullest confidence by his


said other respective brothers and


sisters,


including


the said


claimant


Elizabeth


Mounsey,


associates


business world.


It further appears from the attorney'


affidavit that-


the said William E. Mounsey is a man of the finest and highest type of mind,
honest and trustworthy in the extreme, and because of those qualities in con-


section


with


his business


acumen


was


instrumental


helping


his father


develop and establish a very successful coal,


wood and express business,


he, the son, still owns and operates successfully.

It is to be noted in this respect that the son,


William


which


Mounsey,


does not file in this proceeding any affidavit in support


contention that the fee requested by this attorney i


of his sister'


excessive.


Furthermore, it is
the claimant, that-


pointed out by thi


attorney, and not denied by


the said claimant, Elizabeth Mounsey


prior to the time of the execution by her


of the said contract above referred to, had had a considerable business experi-


ence.


This Respondent


is informed and believes


that


now


was at


that time a skilled accountant.


She had been employed in the office of William


Mounsey & Son for some considerable time, and as


this Respondent is informed


and believes to a large


the said


extent


William Mounsey,


Son, and when the said W


charge of


senior partner of


illiam E.


Mounsey


office.


the firm
surviving


After


of William


the death


Mounsey


was called


to the


colors in the


World War, the said Elizabeth Mounsey,


with others of said sur.


giving
operate


children,


said


as this


business


Respondent


during


the entire


is informed


time


ieves,


William


continued


Mounsey


was


a- -







401


It further appears that James F


. Bishop,


who was appointed Ad-


ministrator


Estate


William


Mounsey,


Deceased,


the-


Probate Court of Cook County, Illinois, on July 27, 1916, and


as above indicated


. December 27,


against
parently


1922,


Germany,
did not i


, gave to this attorney a


author


was


zing


a lawyer


raise any


him
of


power of


prosecute


many


objection


years'


attorney


the Estate'


tandin


and


who,
dated
claim


ap-
) be


the amount of the


received by thi


attorney under the contract with the


dren dated February 28, 1916,


term


of whicl


surviving chil-
I he undoubt-


edly


was


familiar


time


with
of


execution


power


attorney.


In Docket Nos.


and 598 it appears from the attorney'


affidavit,.


and i


not denied by the claimant, that the claimant,


at the time of the execution by her of the said contracts above referred to, hadf


had no great amount of business experience as this


Respondent is


informed and


believes, neverthe


her interests were carefully


looked after by


her brother,


the said William E. Mounsey,


above referred


In addition to that


alleged by the attorney,.


and


not denied


by the claimant,


that.


time of


execution


by the claimant of the services agreement with


this attorney


he had


employ


a Mr


George


Hornberger,


a skilled


investigator


of proven e


experience and trust,


whom


was


assigned by this attor-


ney the duty


of investigation


the facts and


circumstances in connec-


tion with the sinking of the Lusitania" for the purpose of obtaining


information


prosecution


these


claims.


These


investiga-


tions brought Mr.


(then Mrs.


Sarah


Hornberger in personal contact with


Jane


Lund)


on many


occasions


and


the claimant
the ensuing-


acquaintance resulted in her marriage to Mr.


Hornberger on August


1916


City


Waukeaan


Illinois.


From


that


time


according to the attorney, the claimant was counselled and advised in


a business wav by her hu


sband-


on,






402


attorney, authorizing


him


to prosecute r


I ,
ae.*
*g
against Germany her claims .I


as an individual and as widow of Charles Henry Lund, and also the


claim


of the Estate of


Charles Henry


Lund,


without, so


as the


records before the Commissioner show, raising any objection


fee agreements executed by


her previously


on February


1916.


In these circumstances the American


Commissioner holds that the


claimants were capable of protecting their own interests


in making


these


agreements


with


this


attorney,


and,


accordingly,


that


fees fixed


thereby were reasonable


within


the meaning of


that


term


as defined in the above quoted extract from the Report of the Senate


Committee on Finance recommending this legislation


Senate.


Consequently, as stated in that Report,


" would


undoubtedly be


the American


justified in fixing the amount


Commissioner
specified in


the aforesaid contracts as reasonable fees in these cases.


The other


question


presented


these


cases,


namely,


whether


not,


under the


terms of the services agreements and


subsequent


amplification of these agreements by this attorney


letters of Decem-


ber 29,


1922, addressed


to these claimants,


the receipt of


which


neither been denied or acknowledged by the claimants, they are liable


to the attorney for the expenses incurred by him in the
and prosecution of these claims before this Commission,


presentation
clearly raises


an issue


tion


involving


over this


issue


interpretation


is not


conferred


these


upon


contracts.
American


Jurisdic-
Commis-


.sioner by Section 9 of the Settlement of War Claims Act of 1928,"


which


, as stated by the American


Commissioner in his Decision No.


53 (page 331), makes no provision for the allowance of expenses and
-disbursements.


Now, therefore, in


view of the considerations above set


forth, and


those


stated


general 1


Administrative


and


Jurisdictional


Decision


rendered


American


Commissioner


under


date


RSpnt.mhnr 98 1f99R2 anrd annsiderinr that. th p. rv ips nf thi


A ttnrnsV


.




*:*
i. -
m. 403

* presentation and prosecution of these claims is not decided or preju-
diced hereby,


The
fee to
Sarah


American


paid


Jane
Estat


Commissioner


by the


Lund
e of


respective


Hornberger


Charles


Henry


decides


and


claimants,
individually


Lund


fixes


as the


Elizabeth


and


reasonable


Mounsey


and


Administratrix


, Deceased,


attorney,


Robert P


. Burkhalter, in


these cases, the fees fixed in


the respective


agreements between them and


this attorney, the said fees to be paid


by the claimants and received by the attorney


as full


compensation


all services


claims,


rendered


as defined in


in the


Section


prosecution


9 of


and


"Settlement


collection


War


these


Claims


Act of 1928 "


Done at


Washington,


June 23


1930.


CHANDLER


A7nerican


ANDERSON,
Commissioner,


Mixed Claims Commi


United States and Germany.


88Wl




UNIVERSITY OF FLORID
131 126204 11111 8116
3 1262 08484 1864


,E~EE: ~AVIVEE


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