A Montgomery County law firm that was fired just 10 weeks after receiving a $1 million retainer from a major asbestos defendant is not required to return the money because it was explicitly labeled “non-refundable” and the client was a sophisticated party that controlled all terms of the fee agreement, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The unanimous three-judge panel’s decision in Ryan v. Butera Beausang Cohen & Brennan upholds the 1997 decision by U.S. District Judge John R. Padova to dismiss the case.

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