Massachusetts Attorney Fees Must be Reasonable

A case having authority in Massachusetts was recently decided by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Boston. All Massachusetts attorney fee agreements must be reasonable, the Court said. Further, Court held that this includes contingent fee agreements. Massachusetts attorneys cannot charge too much for their services in light of the actual work performed. The Boston attorneys at the Law Office of Neil Burns are always up front regarding costs and fees, and they respect the fact that it is your money that fuels and drives your case.

In the case United States v. Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc., 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. November 1, 2010, the Court held that attorney fees cannot exceed the “outer limit of reasonable” which occurred because an attorney, doing the minimal amount of work, claimed a contingent fee of 1/3, resulting in a claim for $390,00. This was a federal whistleblower case, which has federal rules about attorney fees. That statute allows for up to one half of the ultimate collection to be available for attorney fees. In a complicated fact pattern, involving a federal criminal investigation and an actual hearing regarding the fairness of fees.
Notwithstanding the above case, attorney fees in Massachusetts personal injury cases are rarely reviewed by the courts.