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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 474
Compensation of attorney or counsellor
Judiciary (JUD) CHAPTER 30, ARTICLE 15
§ 474. Compensation of attorney or counsellor. The compensation of an
attorney or counsellor for his services is governed by agreement,
express or implied, which is not restrained by law, except that no
agreement made hereafter between an attorney and a guardian of an infant
for the compensation of such attorney, dependent upon the success of the
prosecution by said attorney of a claim belonging to said infant, or by
which such attorney is to receive a percentage of any recovery or award
in behalf of such infant or a sum equal to a percentage of any such
recovery or award, shall be valid or enforceable unless made as
hereinafter provided. An attorney may contract with the guardian of an
infant to prosecute, by suit or otherwise, any claim for the benefit of
an infant for a compensation to said attorney dependent upon the success
in the prosecution of such claim, subject to the power of the court, as
hereinafter provided, to fix the amount of such compensation. Whenever
such a contract shall have been entered into between an attorney and a
guardian of an infant, upon the recovery of a judgment, or the obtaining
of an award in behalf of the said infant, or upon any compromise or
settlement of such claim, the attorney may apply, upon notice to the
guardian, to the judge, justice or surrogate before whom the said action
or proceeding was tried, or to whom an application for compromise or
settlement was made, in case the said action or proceeding was tried, or
the said application was made at a court held within this state; or to a
special term of said court, in case the said action or proceeding was
tried before some person other than a justice thereof, or said claim was
compromised or settled after said suit was begun, or in case of the
death or disability of the judge or justice before whom the action was
tried; or to special term of the supreme court in case the recovery,
award, compromise or settlement was not had in any court of this state.
Such application shall set forth briefly the contract, the services
performed by the attorney and pray that there be awarded to him a
suitable amount out of the recovery, award, compromise or settlement
obtained through his efforts as attorney on behalf of the infant. The
court, judge or surrogate to which such application is made, upon being
satisfied that due notice of the said application as been given to the
said guardian, shall proceed summarily to determine the value of the
services of said attorney, taking such proof from either the attorney or
the guardian by affidavit, reference or the examination of witnesses
before the said court, judge or surrogate, as may seem to be necessary
and proper, and shall thereupon make an order determining the suitable
compensation for the attorney for his services therein, which sum shall
thereafter be received by the said attorney for his services in behalf
of the said infant; and no other compensation shall be paid or allowed
by the guardian for such services out of the estate of said infant. If
a copy of such order awarding the compensation with notice of entry be
thereafter served by the said attorney upon the adverse party to the
said litigation or the person making such compromise or settlement and
upon the custodian of the funds recovered, in case there be such
custodian, such award shall become and constitute a lien to the amount
thereof on behalf of the said attorney upon such recovery, award,
settlement or fund.