Tammie L. Couch v. Stephen C. Smith, Esq.
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Disposition: Award to Petitioner
Issued by: Fee Arbitration Commission
Docket #: FAC# 19-400
Dated: September 4, 2020
Bar Number: 008720
A hearing in the above matter was held on August 6, 2020, before a duly authorized Fee Arbitration Panel of the Fee Arbitration Commission of the Board of Overseers of the Bar. This Panel was designated to hear the controversy existing between the above-named parties as set forth in the Petitioners Petition. The members of this Panel were Chair Carrie Folsom, Esq.; Zachary I. Greenfield, Esq.; and public member Paul F. Bolin. The Hearing was held telephonically. The Petitioner was present and testified. The Respondent appeared and testified. Based upon the evidence introduced, the Panel finds as follows:
Measuring the findings with the factors set forth in Rules 1.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Panel finds that there was no written agreement regarding fees between Petitioner and Respondent and therefore, pursuant to Maine Bar Rule (7)(12), the burden of proof of any agreement and the reasonableness of any fees is on Respondent. The Panel finds that Respondent has only partially met this burden, and the amount in dispute, $5,000.00, one-half ($2,500.00) may be retained by Respondent, and the remaining half ($2,500.00) shall be returned to Petitioner.
To preserve the confidentiality of the written materials and the testimony submitted at the hearing, the findings of fact and conclusions are not set forth in the Award and Determination. This Award and Determination is accompanied, however, by a separate supplemental document which sets forth the findings of facts and conclusions of the Panel. By ruling of the Chair, the attached supplemental document shall not be considered part of the award, which is a public document. In accordance with Maine Bar Rule 7(h), the supplemental document shall be confidential and shall not be open to the public or disclosed to any person except as otherwise set forth in Maine Bar Rule 7(h).
The Award and Determination is in full settlement of all claims submitted to the Arbitration Panel.
The undersigned have subscribed to this award on September 4, 2020.
Carrie Folsom, Esq.
Chair, Panel 2
Fee Arbitration Commission