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:
AA00008543:00069

Full Text














THE AMERICAN COMMISSIONER

MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION

UNITED STATES AND GERMANY


DECISION NO. 20

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. 7167


John Henry Niemeyer and Bertha Niemeyer, Claimants
Walter J. Harding, Agent


CHANDLER P. ANDERSON
American Commissioner



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MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION, UNITED STATES AND GERMANY

Established in pursuance of the Agreement between the j
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. 20

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. 7167


John Henry Niemeyer and Bertha Niemeyer, Claimants
Walter J. Harding, Agent


The above named claimants have duly filed with the American
Commissioner a written request that he fix a reasonable fee to be
paid by them to their agent, Walter J. Harding, of Malden, Massa-
chusetts, as compensation for whatever services have been rendered
by the said agent on behalf of and with the authority of the said
claimants, such services being of the character described in the
provisions of Section 9 of the Settlement of War Claims Act of
.. 1998 ".
The claimants have objected to the amount of the fee asked by
the agent on the ground that it is excessive, and the agent has been
duly notified of the filing by the claimants of this request that a
reAsonable fee be fixed. The agent, in response to a request by
the American Commissioner, has filed with him an affidavit giving
2q146B-29 (141)





142

the information which the agent desires to have considered by'|.
Commissioner as showing the reasonableness of the fee asked, w
information has been brought to the attention of the claiman
who have filed a letter in reply, a copy of which has been transmiH|
to the agent.
The amount of the fee asked by the agent as compensation for
services in this matter is ten per cent of the amount received by
claimants from the Treasury Department in payment of their awat
in this case.
The award in this case was rendered by this Commission osi
November 24, 1926, for $765.30, with interest thereon at the rat
of five per cent per annum from January 1, 1920, to the date -i
payment.
The amount of the award represents a debt which was due a`i"i
owing as of April 6, 1917, from German nationals to the claiman$i
It appears from the agent's affidavit that he did not have as
written agreement with the claimants either authorizing him to 'an.
on their behalf in the presentation and prosecution of this claim or:
fixing the amount of the fee which he was to receive, and it al8sib:
appears that no oral agreement was made with the claimants fixing
the amount of compensation. He now asks that the fee for the serv'-
ices rendered by him be fixed at ten per cent of the amount receiveLd
by the claimants from the Treasury Department in payment of thi&
award. He adds, "Mr. Niemeyer was and is a poor man, with incur-i'
able disease. I could not take money from him, well knowing it
would be years before any allowance was made, hence agreement et&
accept 10% of allowance as payment for services". His use of th
word "agreement" here is inconsistent with his statement that heNlw
did not make any agreement, and probably refers to his later ofeo6,
The claimants, on the other hand, state that to assist us in placirpj
our claim before the Mixed Claims Commission, we secuir4
the services of Mr. Walter Harding ., who holds a commission.
Notary Public in the State of Massachusetts, but is not an Attorna
at Law. The result of our request from Mr. Harding forii
memorandum bill for services is a demand for 10% of the to4
amount awarded to us from our claim by the Commission, which.'.
our opinion is indeed excessive ". They, therefore, suggest that a,
of 5% will generously pay for such services as have been rendex
to us by Mr. Harding in connection with our claim ".





143


The affidavit filed by the agent gives but little information of value
as to the character and extent of the services rendered by him. The
claimants describe the services rendered by this agent as consisting
"of securing three affidavits from public institutions, and com-
piling two letters forwarded to the Mixed Claims Commission".
Two of these affidavits, they state, were secured by the agent in
Maiden, Massachusetts, his place of business, while the third was
secured by the agent in Boston, about five miles from Malden, this
trip, according to the agent, being made in his own car.
The records of this Commission show that this claim was origi-
nally taken up with the State Department by the claimant, John
Henry Niemeyer, on January 28, 1923, and thereafter all correspond-
ence with reference thereto passed between the said claimant and
the American Agency and all documents in support thereof were sent
to the Agency by this claimant. There is nothing in the Agency's
records to show that anyone acted as attorney or agent for these
claimants except the claimant John Henry Niemeyer, and the only
evidence therein of services rendered by this agent was the placing
of his notarial jurat and seal eleven times on the documents, includ-
ing the petition, submitted to this Commission by the claimants. All
of the documents submitted in support of this claim are copies of bills
furnished by creditors for expenses incurred by the claimants in
caring for and burying the claimants' brother, except the petition and
a typewritten copy of the certificate of naturalization of the claimant
John Henry Niemeyer. The petition is only one typewritten page in
length and is in the form of a letter addressed to the Agency. This
petition and one letter, one typewritten page in length addressed to
the Agency and signed by John Henry Niemeyer, are no doubt the
two letters which the claimants state were compiled by this agent.
In further support of. the reasonableness of the fee asked by this
agent, he states that he conferred with the claimants "some 40 or
50 times (or more)" and that he spent about forty hours in rendering
services to them. The claimants, on the other hand, state, "We made
four visits to Mr. Harding's office all told ".
This claim was the subject of an investigation made in Germany
by the representatives of the American and German Agents, and as
a result of the information there obtained, together with the informa-
tion filed by the claimants, the German Agent made an offer to the







American Agent that he would not oppose an award to the caim ta
for the amount awarded. '.
Now, therefore, considering the character and extent and value e t
the services rendered by this agent, and in view of the consider ||
tions stated above and in the American Commissioner's general Jui :.
dictional and Administrative Decision of September 28, 1928, ahd .7
after careful examination and full consideration of the informatibh. ,i
furnished in this proceeding by the agent and the claimants and b1 '
the records of this Commission pertinent to the questions involved,
and after due deliberation thereon.
The American Commissioner decides and fixes as the reasonaib b
fee to be paid by the claimants, John Henry Niemeyer and Berth i
Niemeyer, to their said agent, Walter X. Harding, in this case, th* |
num of fifty dollars ($50.00), said fee to be paid by the claimants,
and received by the agent, as full compensation for all services ren-'
dered by him in the prosecution and collection of this claim, a
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. ANDEsoN,
American Commissioner,
Mixed Claims Commission,
United States and Germanm.



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