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:
AA00008543:00075

Full Text
r.-


THE AMERICAN COMMISSIONER

MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION

UNITED STATES AND GERMANY


DECISION NO. 27
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. 277


Pennsylvania Trust Co- mpany of Pittsburgh, Guardian. of the Estate
of Charles Henwy Salt, a minor, Claimant
George L. Ells worth, Attorney


CHANDLER P. ANDERSON
A merican Con m issioner

















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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
(m,');












THE AMERICAN COMMISSIONER

MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION

UNITED STATES AND GERMANY


DECISION NO. 27
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. 277


Pennsylvania Trust Compan.y of Pittsburgh, Guardian of the Estate
of Charles Henry Salt, a minor, Claimant
George L. Elisworth, Attorney


The above named claimant has duly filed with the American Comr
missioner a written request that he fix a reasonable fee to be paid
by it to the attorney, George L. Ellsworth, of Boston, Massachu-
setts, as compensation for whatever services have been rendered by
him on behalf of and with the authority of its ward, Charles Henry
Salt, such services being of the character described in the provisions
of Section 9 of the Settlement of War Claims Act of 1928."
It now appears that the Pennsylvania Trust Company of Pitts-
burgh, as the Pennsylvania Guardian of the said minor, on October
11, 1928, petitioned the Probate Court of Massachusetts relative to
the filing of an account by Mr. Arthur F. McMahon, the Massa-
chusetts Guardian of the said minor, who has received, on behalf of
said minor, a check of the United States Treasury Department for
$18,593.98, representing the said minor's share of the award ren-
37876A-29 (185)






186


dered by this Commission on February 21, 1924, in the matter of
the claim of George L. Ellsworth, Administratnr of the Estate of
Henry Jordan Salt, Deceased, Blanche Frances Salt, and Charles
Henry Salt.
The attorney, in response to a request by the American Commis-
sioner for information which he might desire to have considered in
this fee-fixing proceeding as showing the reasonableness of the fee
asked by him, has replied that the above petition of the Pennsyl-
vania guardian to the Probate Court of Massachusetts "will neces-
sarily and directly involve the character of my services and the fair
value thereof rendered in behalf of said minor." He then adds:
It therefore seems to me unnecessary at this time to furnish you the detailed
information requested, especially as my services and charges in connection with
said estate cover a period beginning in 1915 inclusive of the services rendered
the ward in connection with the proceedings before your Commission.
The interest of the minor, therefore, and the responsibility of the Massa-
chusetts guardian are obviously in the jurisdiction of the State Court in which
the above claimant has filed its petition and in view of the facts above stated
it seems unnecessary at this time to furnish the detailed information requested
in your letter.
A copy of the above reply was sent to the Pennsylvania Guardian
and it has answered admitting that it is true that the Massachusetts
guardian must file his account in his own court, the court of his
appointment, and it is in that court that an application has been made
because of his unfaithfulness to his ward in not asking you to fix the
fees of his attorney Ellsworth in the proceeding before you, in his not
having given a new and adequate bond when he received over
$18,000.00 from the U. S. government in this case, and in squander-
ing a part of the money and not having deposited the same subject
to the counter signature of his bonding company." The Pennsylvania
guardian also states:
There is now no conflict of jurisdiction between the Pennsylvania and the
Massachusetts courts, nor between your jurisdiction and that of the Massachu-
setts Court. *
one of the expenses of his [the Massachusetts guardian's] adminis-
tration is the payment of a reasonable bbt ample fee to the attorney who con-
ducted these proceedings before you. The amount of this fee the act of Congress
has left to you to fix upon demand made by the interested party. When you fix
and determine that fee, your finding is binding on the attorney, will be the
amount the guardian will be justified in paying the attorney out of the ward's
money in his hands, and of course the minor will have to be satisfied, having






187


made the request to you to fix that fee, and the Probate Court at Dedham will
approve your finding in that matter. Your finding as to what is a reasonable
fee will be conclusive on everybody concerned, will be res adjidicata as to that
question, and will oust the jurisdiction of any other court to pass upon the matter
within your jurisdiction. You are the proper and only forum to pass upon that
matter when properly requested to do so.
Without entering into a discussion of the legal merits of the argu-
ments of the claimant and attorney as above set forth, the American
Commissioner is of the opinion that, by reason of the proceedings
pending in the Probate Court of Massachusetts, it is evident that the
attorney in this case will not be permitted to collect an excessive fee.
The fee to be fixed in that proceeding for the attorney in this case
will be for an amount approved by the Court, which must neces-
sarily be regarded as a reasonable and satisfactory fee under the
law of the State of Massachusetts, where the legal guardian who
successfully prosecuted the claim of said minor before this Com-
mission was appointed.
As held by the American Commissioner in a similar proceeding
(Decision No. 26) the primary purpose of the fee-fixing provisions
of the Settlement of War Claims Act of 1928 was to prevent the
collection of excessive fees by attorneys and to fix reasonable fees for
them in cases of dispute. This purpose will be fully accomplished
in this case by the proceedings instituted on behalf of the claimant
and now pending in the Probate Court of Massachusetts and, inas-
much as the Settlement of War Claims Act of 1928 merely au-
thorizes and does not, direct the American Commissioner to fix
reasonable fees, it rests in his discretion to refuse to take such action
when, as in this case, the result desired by Congress in enacting this
legislation will be fully accomplished without his intervention.
In view of these considerations, and of the submission of this
question to the Massachusetts Court by the voluntary act of the
claimant's Pennsylvania guardian, the American Commissioner con-
siders that it is not desirable or appropriate for him to undertake to
fix the attorney's'fee in this case.
Done at Washington, D. C., this 6th day of February, 1929.
CHANDLER P. ANDERSON,
American Commissioner,
Mixed Claims Commission,
United States and Germany.













































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