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A 40 percent contingent-fee agreement between New York law firm Graubard Miller and Alice Lawrence, the 83-year-old widow of real estate developer Sylvan Lawrence, was not unconscionable on its face, an appellate court said Tuesday, even though the agreement was executed in the final months of a decades-long estate litigation in which the firm had already received $18 million in hourly fees and three partners had further requested and received $5 million in “gifts.”

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