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:
AA00008543:00068

Full Text





I .U.S. DEPOSITORY



kI THE AMERICAN COMMISSIONER
MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION

.I UNITED STATES AND GERMANY


DECISION NO. 19

IN THE MATTER OF
FIXING. REASONABLE FEES FOR ATTORNEYS OR
AGENTS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 9 OF
"i THE "SETTLEMENT OF WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1928"


DOCKET NO. 754


, Nathan F. Watts, Claimant
John S. C. Nichls, Attorney


CHANDLER P. ANDERSON,
American Cornmissioner


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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

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THE AMERICAN COMMISSIONER

MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION

UNITED STATES AND GERMANY


DECISION NO. 19

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. 754


Nothan F. Watts, Claimant
John S. C. Nicholls, Attorney


The above named claimant has duly filed with the American Com-
missioner a written request that he fix a reasonable fee to be paid by
him to his attorney, John S. C. Nicholls, of Boston, Massachusetts,
as compensation for whatever services have been rendered by him on
behalf of and with the authority of the said claimant, such services
being of the character described in the provisions of Section 9 of the
"Settlement of War Claims Act of 1928."
The claimant has objected to the amount of the fee asked by his
attorney on the ground that it is excessive, and the attorney has
been duly notified of the filing by the claimant of his request that
a reasonable fee be fixed. The attorney has filed with the American
Commissioner an affidavit giving the information which he desires
to have considered by the Commissioner as showing the reasonable-
ness of the fee asked, which information has been brought to the
28146A-29 (135)




136

attention of the claimant, who has filed a letter from himself and s:.11H
affidavit by his brother in reply, copies of which have been trana si'
mitted to the attorney. I
In this case an award was rendered by this Commission on March
25, 1924, on behalf of the claimant, for $173.55, with interest thereon *il
at the rate of 5 per cent per anum from November 11, 1918, to the ::'
date of payment, which amount represents the value of personal:
property belonging to the claimant lost through the sinking on De- .!
member 10, 1917, of the steamship "Qwasco" by a German subma-
rine, and for the further sum of $5,000, with interest thereon at the
rate of five per cent per annum from the date of the award, which :,
amount represents damages for the loss of the sight of one eye ande
the permanent impairment of the sight of the other suffered b, tilt1
claimant in consequence of the submarine attack.. .
The attorney admits that no written agreement was made with the
claimant, but states that he was employed under an oral agreement by .
the claimant on or about December 27, 1922, on the agreed terms that
the attorney should proceed at once to present this claim before the ::
Mixed Claims Commission, and that the claimant should advance all
money necessary for expenses and in addition thereto was to pay the
said attorney an amount of money equal to one-third of all the money
received by the said claimant in settlement of his above mentioned
claim; the payment for services being contingent on the payment of -:
an award, but the expenses of the attorney to be reimbursed by the ,
claimant in any event. '
The claimant and his brother do not deny calling upon third
attorney in December, 1922, but the claimant states that "when my
brother, William, and I went to Mr. Nicholls' office the first time, w.i
did not request any advice from him. I told Mr. Nicholls that J h i
received certain blanks from Washington, in connection with ofit::l
injuries, and that I would like to have them filled out. He f0i1
them out and he told me that the charge would be $10.00, which ., &
paid within a few days. The $10.00 that I gave him was in payme~itill
for the filling in of the blanks and for the taking of certain affidavits.":::-
In support of this the claimant submits with his letter a copy of .:
receipt from the attorney dated Jan. 2, 19238 reading as follows: .
Received of Nathan F. Watts Ten Dollars for services drawing difaik
taking affidavits to be received in claim of N. F. Watts in re S. 8. Owao.
..i





:t.' 137
The claimaht further states that "I am absolutely positive and
certain that I made no agreement, or that no one in my behalf made
any agreement with Mr. Nicholls about paying him one-third or any
[ big fees for the little that he did in my case. I have no record of the
dates, when I called at Mr. Nicholls' office, but I do know that after
the first visit, I did not caU at his office for about a year, and after
that I did not call for about another year, and that all in all, I have
not been to Mr. Nicholls' office, in connection with this matter, over a
dozen times, and possibly nearer to eight or nine times ". In response
to the attorney's request for a payment of a fee, however, the claimant
states that he has paid the attorney $300, in addition to the $10.00
above referred to, which amount he thinks is sufficient. The claim-
ant's brother, in his affidavit, confirms the above statements of the
claimant.
With reference to this payment of $300, the attorney states that
he informed the claimant by letter that it was not a satisfactory fee
for his services and that he would request the Commission to fix the
fee and that he would hold the said check of $300 until the Commis-
sion fixed the fee ".
It appears from the records of this commission that with the orig-
inal petition, which was verified by the claimant on December 28,
1922, this attorney filed an affidavit, sworn to before him on Decem-
ber 27, 1922, by two affiants, as to the American citizenship of the
claimant and his presence on the steamship "Owasco" when she
was sunk, and also as to the personal injuries suffered by him at that
time. The attorney also filed with the petition a certificate by the
doctor who had treated the claimant for his injuries and performed
the operation removing the injured eye.
It further appears from the record that at the request of the
American Agency the evidence thus filed was supplemented by an
additional affidavit by another affiant, and a supplemental certificate
by the doctor above mentioned, supporting and amplifying the in-
formation already on file, and also an affidavit by the claimant set-
tin. out an itemized list and the value of the property lost, and a
certificate of the United States Shipping Board showing that the
claimant was a member of the crew of the Owasco" at the time she
was sunk.
The affidavits above mentioned apparently were prepared by this
attorney, but the doctor's certificates were evidently written by him-




138

self, and the itemized list of the property lost is merely a copy of a
list prepared and furnished by the claimant. The Shipping Board's '
certificate consists of the usual form with the blanks filled in. No3'
further evidence was filed in this case, and after the receipt of this I
evidence the American Agency took this case up with the German
Agent with the result that he offered not to oppose an award to the "
claimant for the amounts mentioned above. This offer was commu- -
nicated to this attorney, who, after consultation with the claimant, '
notified the American Agency that the offer was acceptable, and :i
thereafter, on an agreed statement of fact signed by the American 4
and German Agents, this Commission, as above stated, entered an
award for the amounts thus recommended.
No brief on any question of law or fact was filed by this attorney :
with the American Agent, and no conferences were held by him with :?
the American Agent or his representatives. The information and
affidavits filed by this attorney were all filed in response to and in .
accordance with suggestions and requests made by the American '
Agency, and the affidavits prepared by this attorney are very simple .
recitals of facts, information as to which was supplied by the claim-
ant himself. The attorney claims that he spent 128 hours on this .41
claim.
The attorney does not claim that he was put to any important
expenses in the preparation and presentation of this claim, apart
from the original expense of preparing the petition, which was
included in his charge of $10.00 paid by the claimant at the outset,
and which, according to the attorney's receipt, covered not only the
expense involved in drawing the petition and taking the affidavits
but also the attorney's charge for the services thus rendered. It is
understood by the American Commissioner in fixing the fee for this .'I
attorney's services that no additional charge is to be made by him
for disbursements.
Now, therefore, considering the character and extent and value of ji
the services rendered by this attorney, and in view of the considers
tions stated above and in the American Commissioner's general
Jurisdictional and Administrative Decision of September 28, 1928, :
and after careful examination and full consideration of the infor-
mation furnished in this proceeding by the attorney and the claim- 'il
ant and by the records of this Commission pertinent to the question j
involved, and after due deliberation thereon,




139


The American Commissioner decides and fixes as the reasonable
fee to be paid by the claimant, Nathan F. Watts, to his said attorney,
John S. C. Nicholls, in this case, the sum of three hundred dollars
($300), in addition to the fee of ten dollars ($10.00) heretofore paid
to this attorney, the said fee of three hundred dollars ($300) being
the amount of the check which this claimant has already sent to this
attorney in payment of his fee, which check the attorney is still
holding pending the decision in this proceeding, the said fee to be
paid by the claimant and received by the attorney as full compensa-
tion for all services rendered by him in the prosecution and collec-
tion of this claim, as defined in Section 9 of the Settlement of War
Claims Act of 1928."
Done at Washington, D. C., this 19th day of December, 1928.
CHANDLER P. ANDERSON,
American Commissioner,
Mixed Claims Commission,
United States and Germany.




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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3 1262 08484 1146






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