Here’s an interesting math question: If a firm is hit with a malpractice jury verdict, is it entitled to subtract a portion of the damages award if it handled its former client’s case on a partial contingent-fee basis?
That was the issue of first impression Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld presented to Dallas’ 5th Court of Appeals recently after a jury found Akin Gump negligent in a legal malpractice suit and hit the firm with a $922,631 verdict. On appeal, the firm argued in its brief that attorney fees the former client paid Akin Gump should not have been part of the jury’s verdict, because only judges can order disgorgement.
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