Attorney Fees

Small Attorney Fee Grows

Posted Aug 28, 2007 7:39 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A fight to collect $28,000 in attorney fees will cost Houston lawyer Robert S. "Bob" Bennett more than $250,000, according to a Texas appeals court.

The 1st Court of Appeals has affirmed an award of more than $150,000 to Houston lawyer Kelly Coghlan for his attempts to collect a judgment for the initial $28,000 fee, Texas Lawyer reports. Combined with an earlier settlement in the case, Coghlan stands to collect more than $250,000.

Coghlan says he had a verbal agreement that Bennett would pay him for work on an antitrust case, but Bennett refused to pay his $28,000 bill. Coghlan sued and reached a settlement for $86,625 plus $20,000 in attorney fees and costs. But Bennett then refused to pay.

Coghlan filed a turnover action, and finally recovered about $100,000, but not the attorney fees it took for him to collect. A jury awarded more than $125,000 in fees for the turnover litigation and about $26,000 if Coghlan had to appeal. The appeals court affirmed the judgment.


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