In a full-throated defense of his work relating to a client with whom he’s now embroiled in litigation over $5.5 million, high-profile personal injury lawyer Benedict Morelli called the dispute a “shame,” said his actions in the case have been “stellar,” and maintained he did not need his client’s return signature once he put in writing that he would be charging an additional 10% contingency fee for appellate work in the client’s record-setting case.

The 10% was to come on top of the original 33.3% fee that Morelli and a separate lawyer who’d been representing the severely injured client have collected on, meaning Morelli would walk away with the bulk of 43.3% of the client’s eventual $55 million settlement. (The settlement came after Morelli first helped the man secure a state record-setting $20 million pain-and-suffering damages amount.)

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