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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lawyer's $2,000, 000 Lawsuit

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Despite the fact that contingency fees by attorneys representing families were disfavored in the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund was created for those who lost loved ones in the attack, a lawsuit was filed in federal court by an attorney representing a widow who died in the attacks. The attorney sought $2,000,000 as a contingency fee.

simmons jannace & stagg represented the widow against her lawyer.

The federal court, after hearing argument, issued an order and agreed that the Victims Compensation Fund did not provide federal court jurisdiction. The court also agreed with Simmons, Jannace & Stagg’s argument that it should abstain from exercising its jurisdiction. The court stated that given the pendency of the Surrogate’s Court proceeding, federal abstention doctrines mandated that the federal court abstain from exercising its jurisdiction unless and until the Surrogate’s Court proceeding was concluded.