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A provision of a retainer agreement requiring a client to pay her lawyer’s costs in the event of a successful fee collection action has been voided by a Manhattan appellate court as against public policy.

Patricia Dow hired attorney Jeffrey Ween in 1998 to represent her in a dispute with her co-op board over her right to sublet a commercial studio and over water leaks in the NoHo building as well as disturbances from a ground-floor garage. The matter settled in March 2003. Ween sued in July 2004 for more than $74,000 in allegedly unpaid legal fees.

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