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

MISSING IMAGE

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:
AA00008543:00064

Full Text












S THE AMERICAN COMMISSIONER

MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION

UNITED STATES AND GERMANY


DECISION NO. 15

IN THE MATTER OF

FIXING REASONABLE FEES FOR ATTORNEYS OK
: AGENTS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 9 OF
THE SETTLEMENT OF WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1928 "


DOCKET NO. 5520


Leonard Koepf, Claimant




CHANDLER P. ANDERSON
American Commissioner



24248-28 U.S. GOVA NMANT PRINTING orricE 1 28


:' DOKET yO. 550
I::::, eonar Ko aime'ant












:." ;**-: ..m. *6
..fo


Ri.-

































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
Ameriaon Commissioner
(n)


'* a -
." 3I
; ,., P



,. V, ,. .


1 '" i":'
'~i


;>t
4:1
',I

Hi

...:
H*I' "





'Nji



U. :









THE AMERICAN COMMISSIONER

MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION

UNITED STATES AND GERMANY


DECISION NO. 15

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 "


DOCKET NO. 5520


Leonard Koepf, Claimant
John Santora, Attorney


The above named claimant has duly filed with the American
Commissioner a written request that he fix a reasonable fee to be
paid by him to his attorney, John Santora, of New York City, N. Y.,
as compensation for whatever services have been rendered by the
said attorney on behalf of and with the authority of the said claim-
ant, such services being of the character described in the provi-
sions of Section 9 of the Settlement of War Claims Act of 1928."
The claimant has objected to the amount of the fee asked by the
attorney on the ground that it is excessive, and the attorney has been
notified of the filing by the claimant of this request that a reasonable
fee be fixed. 'The attorney, in response to a request by the American
Commissioner, has filed with him an affidavit, giving the informa-
tion which the attorney desires to have considered by the Commis-
S': (105)





106


sioner as showing the reasonableness of the fee asked, which infui-!.i
mation has been brought to the attention of the claimant, who h"iil:
filed a letter in reply, a copy of which has been communicated to thei?
attorney.
The amount of the fee asked by the attorney as compensation fori
his services in this case is twenty-five per cent of the amount of the:..
recovery.
In this case an award on behalf of the claimant was rendered by
this Commission on May 7, 1925. for $1342, with interest thereon at-
the rate of five per cent per annum from August 9, 1917, to the date'.:
of payment.
The amount of the award represents the depreciation, valorized *.
in American money, in the value of an estate in Germany which
the claimant inherited and became entitled to during the War, and K.
which he was prevented from receiving an account of Exceptional
War Measures in Germany prohibiting the removal of the funds.
The attorney states in his affidavit that prior to January, 1923, J.
when the petition in this case was filed, the claimant authorized '
him to take such steps as he might deem necessary in order to obtain 1
from the Government of Germany certain money which was in-
herited by him during the War, held in Germany, under his grand-
mother's will, and that they agreed orally that the attorney was to
receive twenty-five per cent of any amount that was paid.
It appears from the records of this Commission that on December
29, 1922, the claimant wrote to the Agent of the United States before
this Commission, which had then recently been organized, stating
that he had received a notice from the German Society of the City
of New York, inclosing a circular notice received by that Society
from the Department of State, concerning the presentation of claims.
In this letter the claimant asked whether this notice included in- a
heritance claims, and, if so, he requested the Agent to let him know
so that he might be able to file a claim for his inheritance hereinabove
referred to.
In reply to this inquiry the American Agent wrote to the claimant .X31
on January 3, 1923, advising him that claims of the character re-
ferred to were being filed, and that any cjaim of that character, :
which he desired to submit, "should be prepared in a form of a
simple petition, executed under oath, in duplicate, and filed with .:.
HI





107


the Department of State, which will transmit it to the office of the
American Agent, Mixed Claims Commission, United States and
Germany. The petition should allege your citizenship, set forth the
facts and circumstances upon which the claim is based, and should
be supported by the best obtainable evidence." The claimant was
also informed that the time for filing claims with the Department of
State had been extended to January 15, 1923, and that it had been
announced that no further extension would be granted.
The attorney states in his affidavit that in January, 1923, he pro-
ceeded with the presentation of this claim, and prepared a petition,
and it appears from the records of this Commission that the petition
herein was filed by this attorney with the Department of State on
January 13th, and that it sets forth the information, as fully as
available at that time, called for in the Agent's letter of instructions
to the claimant. This petition was duly transmitted to the American
Agent, and filed with this Commission, and the attorney was informed
that he would be notified if any additional data or action was desired.
Apparently no further communications were exchanged between the
attorney and the Agency until after the award by this Commission
was made in this case.
Meanwhile, however, the American Agency, through a representa-
tive in Germany, obtained a report on the status of the estate in-
volved in this case, which report was submitted to the German Agent,
who postponed further consideration of the claim until he in turn
could obtain more detailed information from Germany, as the infor-
mation hitherto submitted was not sufficient to reach a conclusion as
to the claimant's right of recovery.
In April, 1925, after further information had been obtained by
the German Agent, the American Agent wrote direct to the claimant,
reporting the information received, and asking him to inform the
Agency whether or not it was correct. Thereafter the correspond-
ence in regard to this claim was carried on directly between the
claimant and the Agency, and apparently the claimant himself
secured from the German Society of the City of New York, and
supplied the Agency with, the additional information which was
necessary to establish his claim, resulting in an award by this Com-
mission on his behalf, as above stated. The notice of this award
was sent direct to the claimant and not to the attorney.






108

The claimant takes issue with the attorney, both as to the termi.
of the oral agreement set forth in the attorney's affidavit in regard to-I
his employment, and also as to the amount of the .fee which he was :
to be paid for his services. The claimant's position is that all that:
Mr. Santora was asked to do was to draw up the petition, which he 6:
did, along the lines indicated in the Agent's letter of instructions
above mentioned, and to file it with the documentary evidence then
available, which was done. As above stated, the records of this
Commission do not disclose any later communications between this
attorney and the American Agency, and the attorney apparently does '
not claim that he rendered any further services in securing the award
in this case, after the preparation and filing of the petition in Jan-
uary, 1923. Al
The claimant further states that he visited the attorney's office
only twice in connection with this claim, once when he asked him :
to prepare the petition, and again when he went there to sign it, and *1
at that time he asked the attorney what he owed him for this service P.|
and was told that it would be time enough for him to pay if he ever
got anything out of it, and that the amount to be paid was not then
fixed or even mentioned.
The claimant further states, in making his request to have this
attorney's fee fixed in this proceeding, that the German Society of
the City of New York had acted as his attorneys or agents in pro- :
curing information and evidence for him in support of his claim
and that he has agreed with them to pay them five per cent on the
first thousand and two and one-half per cent on anything over,
together with the expenses of advertising, which fee is entirely sat-
isfactory to him, and will be paid by him, and he has not asked t
have the reasonableness of their fee passed upon in the present pro-
ceeding.
The attorney states in his affidavit that no expenses or disburse- .,
ments of any kind were incurred by him in connection with this ,
claim.
Now, therefore, considering the character and extent and value of
the services rendered by the attorney, and that the payment of his
compensation was contingent upon securing and collecting an award,
and considering also that the claimant himself, without the assistance
of the attorney, obtained directly through the German Society of.

.0





109


the City of New York certain evidence essential for the proof of his
claim, and is obligated to pay a fee, as above stated, to that Society
for its services, and in view of the considerations stated in the general
Jurisdictional and Administrative Decision rendered by the Ameri-
can Commissioner under date of September 28, 1928, and after care-
ful examination and full consideration of the information furnished
in this proceeding by the attorney 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, Leonard Koepf, to his said attorney,
John Santora, the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75.00), the said fee
to be paid by the claimant, and received by the attorney as full
compensation for all services rendered by him in the prosecution
and collection of this claim, as defined in Section 9 of the Settle-
ment of War Claims Act of 1928."
Done at Washington, D. C., this 28th day of November, 1928.
CHANDLER P. ANDERSON,
American Commissioner,
Mixed Claims Commission,
United States and Germany.




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
* II M IIS 111HM 111 IMi
3 1262 08484 1104

















iii
74.














*
: iE


I" .


...!.




'. I


SII!








4 :
: I,