Kathleen Jackson v. Jeffrey Russell, Esq.

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Disposition: Award to Respondent

Issued by: Fee Arbitration Commission

Docket #: FAC# 19-169

Dated: August 16, 2019

Bar Number: 007525

A duly authorized Fee Arbitration Panel of the Fee Arbitration Commission of the Board of Overseers of the Bar, chaired by the undersigned, was designated to hear the matters raised in the Fee Arbitration Petition of Petitioner, Kathleen Jackson. A hearing on the petition was held on July 17, 2019 at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Bangor, Maine. In advance of the hearing, both parties submitted summaries of their respective positions along with supporting materials. Both parties appeared at the hearing and offered testimony. Petitioner represented herself. Respondent represented himself. The Parties agreed that Respondent had provided legal services to Petitioner pursuant to a Letter of Engagement. The Parties also agreed that Petitioner had paid Respondent a retainer in the amount of $5,000. Testimony at the hearing showed that Respondent billed Petitioner for legal services in the amount of $4,374.58 over and above the $5,000 retainer. Due to the existence of a valid Letter of Engagement between Petitioner and Respondent, Petitioner bore the burden of proof. See, Maine Bar Rule, 7(e)(12).

The panel found that Petitioner did not meet her burden of proof on the fees and costs she challenged. The panel found that the fees and costs for the legal services Respondent rendered to Petitioner were reasonable within the meaning of Rule 1.5 of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct. The panel found that Petitioner is responsible for and obligated to pay Respondent the remaining about due on Respondent's bills for legal services and costs-that is, $4,374.58.

The Panel has set forth its findings and conclusions in a separate document entitled, "Confidential Addendum" and which, in accordance with Rule 7(f)(1) of the Maine Bar Rules, the Chair rules to be confidential. The Confidential Addendum as well as the exhibits and testimony, submissions, and, documentary evidence submitted by the parties shall remain confidential in accordance with Rule 7(h) of the Maine Bar Rules.

This Award and Determination is in full resolution of all claims submitted to the Panel and decided by the Panel. The Panel members have authorized the Panel Chair to sign this Award and Determination on their behalf.

The undersigned has subscribed to this award on August 16, 2019.

Timothy C. Woodcock, Esq.
Chair, Panel 4
Fee Arbitration Commission