News and Legal Articles

Legal Malpractice Verdict Not Reduced by Firm’s Contingent Fee


Here's an interesting math question: If a firm is hit with a malpractice jury verdict, is it entitled to subtract a portion of the damages award if it handled its former client's case on a partial contingent-fee basis?


That was the issue of first impression Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld presented to Dallas' 5th Court of Appeals recently after a jury found Akin Gump negligent in a legal malpractice suit and hit the firm with a $922,631 verdict. On appeal, the firm argued in its brief that attorney fees the former client paid Akin Gump should not have been part of the jury's verdict, because only judges can order disgorgement.


Texas Lawyer | December 15, 2008

Dallas attorneys Jeffrey Levinger and Michael L. Jones faced off Dec. 9 before the Texas Supreme Court in a case that could affect damage awards in legal malpractice suits as well as other types of litigation.


Their arguments came in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld v. National Development and Research Corp. and Robert E. Tang, an appeal of a jury verdict in a legal malpractice suit NDR and Tang, NDR's owner, filed against the firm. In 2007, the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas affirmed the judgment against Akin Gump, with the exception of $216,590 in damages that the jury awarded NDR and Tang for attorneys' fees and expenses they allegedly paid to appeal the judgment in the underlying suit. That suit arose from NDR's disputes with its former partners in a joint venture to build and operate power plants in China.


Texas Lawyer | October 11, 1993

Frustrated environmental insurance policyholders and the state's Office of Public Insurance Counsel have asked the Texas Supreme Court to revive a favorable ruling that the 3rd Court of Appeals refused to publish.


Dallas Business Journal | Week of August 20-29, 1993

Michael Jones has been a partner of Caolo Meier & Jones since 1990. Before that he was an associate as Michael Caolo & Associates.


Jones received his degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston. His litigation practice includes insurance coverage, environmental issues, contracts, product liability and creditors' rights.