The Florida Bar

Fee Gouging is not Malpractice

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Classification:Billable Hours
Date Published:12/01/1992
Title:Fee Gouging is not Malpractice
Source:Daily Report/Katie Wood

Georgia's high courts says clients can't sue over billing charges. While charging an excessive fee may subject a lawyer to disciplinary action, it's not sufficient grounds to sustain a legal malpractice action, the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled.
The high court's 6-0 decision Tuesday reverses a Court of Appeals ruling that would have allowed a former client to proceed with a malpractice claim against Jonesboro lawyer John Clayton Davis for allegedly charging an excessive fee. David v. Findley, (S92G0457) Dec 1, 1992.
Davis received more than $220,000 in attorneys fees for handling two real estate transactions and administering an estate. He charged an 8% fee for the real estate deals and a 5% fee for the estate.
Both the Code of Professional Responsibility and the disciplinary standards of the State Bar of Georgia prohibit lawyers from charging a "clearly excessive fee".
Article includes full text of Davis v. Findley.


[Revised: 07-28-2006]