Florida Legal Topics

DeBary Legal News - Attorney’s Fees

The Law Office of Paul Bernardini

Attorney's fees awarded from Florida Insurance Guarantee Association

Another case involving attorney's fees was decided in favor of the claimant. The claimant was allowed to receive his attorney's fees from the Florida Insurance Guarantee Association. This is pretty rare. Although insurance companies are generally responsible for the attorney's fees of the successful party that sues them, the Florida Insurance Guarantee Association is usually immune from that rule. However, in Rahabi v. Florida Insurance Guarantee Association, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D2259, decided by Fourth District, the Court of Appeals held that the fact that the FIGA denied that the insured’' damages were caused by a covered loss in their answer and set forth other equivalent defenses allowed the claimant to obtain the insurance fees against the defendant.

Attorney's Fees, Contracts, Contingency fees & Termination of services

The Fourth District ruled that an attorney was not entitled to collect any fees from his former clients under a contingent fee contract when the contingency had not occurred. If no money was recovered, the attorney was not entitled to any fee, not even on a Quantum merit basis (Quantum merit usually means not a percentage, but an hourly rate). In this case, the attorney received nothing because no recovery was made. "If the client fails in his recovery, the discharged attorney will similarly fail and recover nothing." Rubin v. Guettler, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D2186.