Thursday, October 25, 2012
Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 7 NFP)
For publication opinions today (1):
In State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Ken Nunn Law Office, a 19-page opinion, Judge Brown writes:
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) appeals the trial court’s order denying its motion for summary judgment against the Ken Nunn Law Office (“Nunn”). State Farm raises one issue, which we restate as whether the court erred in denying its motion for summary judgment. We reverse and remand. * * *
Nunn initiated a lawsuit on behalf of Henderson against Beal on or about March 2, 2010. Henderson sent a letter to Nunn dated March 22, 2010 stating that he was not satisfied with the way the case had been handled by Nunn and that he no longer needed Nunn’s services. * * *
[A. Attorney Fee Lien] We decline to expand upon this State’s previous articulations of the boundaries of the reach of an equitable lien for the protection of attorney fees where the proceeds of the compromise have been transferred to the attorney’s former client and thus decline to hold that a charging or equitable lien may be enforced against a party other than Nunn’s former client under these circumstances where prior to settlement Nunn was no longer counsel for Henderson and was paid its expenses. See Hanna, 5 Ind. App. 163, 31 N.E. at 847-848. We conclude that Nunn may not seek payment of Henderson’s attorney fees from State Farm under an equitable attorney fee lien, and State Farm is entitled to summary judgment on this basis.
[B. Quantum Meruit] Further, Nunn may not seek payment of Henderson’s attorney fees from State Farm based on a theory of quantum meruit. * * *
Based upon the designated evidence, we conclude that the court erred in denying State Farm’s motion for summary judgment and failing to enter summary judgment in favor of State Farm and against Nunn. For the foregoing reasons, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
NFP civil opinions today (3):
NFP criminal opinions today (4):
Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 25, 2012 09:42 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions