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Judge v. Parker McCay

500 F. Supp. 2d 521 (2007)

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Judge v. Parker McCay

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

500 F. Supp. 2d 521 (2007)

Facts

Glenn Judge (plaintiff) was an insurance adjuster and a lawyer but was not an active member of any state’s bar. Judge worked regularly on insurance-defense cases with law firm Parker McCay, P.A. (Parker) (defendant). Judge’s neighbor Timothy Carroll was injured in a construction-site accident and inquired whether Parker would be interested in representing Carroll and his wife. Parker faxed Judge a retainer agreement that Carroll signed in the hospital and his wife signed later. Judge did not tell the Carrolls he would be receiving a referral fee from Parker, and the Carrolls did not consent to a referral-fee agreement. Parker filed an action on behalf of the Carrolls and obtained a verdict of nearly $1.9 million. After the verdict, Judge called the Carrolls and, for the first time, asked about receiving a fee. Parker received legal fees for the civil suit and for Carroll’s workers’-compensation claim. Parker refused Judge’s demand for a referral fee. Judge sued Parker for breach of contract, claiming that Parker had orally agreed to pay him a referral fee of one-third of the fee Parker received in the civil suit and one-fifth of Parker’s fee in connection with the workers’-compensation claim. Judge and Parker cross-moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dalzell, J.)

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