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Feingold v. Pucello

Pennsylvania Superior Court
654 A.2d 1093 (1995)


Facts

On February 2, 1979, Barry Pucello (defendant) was involved in an automobile accident and was referred to attorney Allen Feingold (plaintiff). Feingold called Pucello to discuss the details of the case and set up a doctor’s appointment for Pucello. Feingold never mentioned the fee arrangement. After Feingold and Pucello spoke on the phone, Feingold began work on the case. Feingold’s work included securing an admission of liability from the other driver involved in the accident with Pucello. At the end of February, Feingold sent a formal contingency fee arrangement to Pucello. The arrangement called for a 50/50 split of any recovery. Pucello rejected the fee arrangement and told Feingold he could keep all the information in Pucello’s case file. Pucello hired another attorney. Feingold sued Pucello in quantum meruit. The trial judge found for Pucello concluding that there was no meeting of the minds regarding representation and that recovery in quantum meruit would only be appropriate if Pucello had actually retained Feingold and then fired him halfway through the case. Feingold appealed, arguing that Pucello orally agreed to Feingold’s representation and that Pucello benefited from Feingold’s services because Feingold set up a doctor’s appointment for Pucello and secured an admission of liability from the other driver.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Olszewski, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Beck, J.)

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