CHICAGO LINCOLN INN OF COURT
ATTORNEYS' FEES: CAN'T LIVE WITH 'EM AND CERTAINLY CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT 'EM
I. Agreeing on Fees (Aligning the Interest of Clients and Their Lawyers)
A. Rules of Professional Conduct: Preamble, Rule 1.3 Diligence, Rule 1.5 Fees
B. How are fees agreed upon (variation by client type)--negotiations? retainers? fee
C. Presumption of hourly rate billing and its benefits/detriments
D. Alternatives to the hourly rate (www.abanet.org/careercounsel/billable.html)
II. Charging and Collecting Fees from Clients During and After the Case
A. Communicating with clients--bills, budgets, and bad news
B. Uneconomic cases--exit strategies for clients; for lawyers, Fidelity Natl. Title Insur. Co. v. Intercounty Natl.
Title Insur. Co., 310 F.3d 537 (7th Cir. 2002) (Cherry & Associates allowed to withdraw)
C. Settlements--special conflict problems for attorneys in contingent fee and fee shifting cases
D. Collecting--Abraham Lincoln v. Illinois Central Railroad (1857)
III. Collecting from Adverse Parties or Through Courts Usually Post-Judgment
A. Contractual indemnification and fee shifting--what fees and expenses are reasonable? proof? experts?
effect on strategy during litigation?
B. Statutory fee shifting--prevailing party determination; discrimination, antitrust, RICO, patents/copyrights
C. Court approved fees--class actions, bankruptcies, foreclosures, divorce
D. Attorneys fees as damages--the American Rule and third-party litigation; Ritter v. Ritter, 46 N.E.2d 41
(Ill.1943), Bituminous Casualty Corp. V. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 652 N.E.2d 1192 (1st Dist. 1995),
National Wrecking Co. v. Coleman, 487 N.E.2d 1164 (1st Dist. 1985), Sorensonv. Fio Rito, 413 N.E.2d 47
(1st Dist. 1980), Restatement (Second) of Torts § 914 (1979)
E. Judicial discretion and appellate review: Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon v. Gaylord, 740 N.E.2d 501
(1st Dist. 2000); Kaiser v. MEPC American Properties, Inc., 518 N.E.2d 424 (1st Dist. 1987); Medcom
Holding Co. v. Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc., 200 F. 3d 518 (7th Cir. 1999); Balcor Real Estate Holdings,
Inc. v. Walentas-Phoenix Corp., 73 F.3d 150 (7th Cir. 1996); Qad, Inc. v. Aln Associates, Inc., 807 F. Supp.
465 (N.D. Ill. 1992)
Peter V. Baugher
Schopf & Weiss
312 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60606