Attorney Fee Award Should Be Made Payable To Attorney And Not Client

Henry M. Lee Law Corp. v. Superior Court, 204 Cal. App. 4th 1375 (2012)

Henry M. Lee represented Ok Song Chang in employment litigation resulting in a $62,000 judgment in Chang's favor following a jury trial. The trial court also awarded Chang $300,000 in attorney fees as a prevailing party under the applicable Labor Code provisions. After Chang substituted herself in propria persona for her former attorney, Lee moved to intervene in the action and to amend the post-judgment order awarding attorney fees to make the fee award payable to Henry M. Lee Law Corporation. Although the trial court denied the motion, the Court of Appeal granted Lee's petition for a writ of mandate, holding that "absent a contract determining a different disposition of an attorney fee award, attorney fees awarded under [the] Labor Code…in excess of fees already paid to the attorneys by the client, should be made payable directly to the attorney who provided the legal services."

Published In: Civil Remedies Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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