The Third Department determined the requested attorney’s fee was properly reduced from $2800 to $450 because the required form was not fully filled out:
Under Workers’ Compensation Law § 24, the Board has broad discretion in approving an award of counsel fees … . Pursuant to 12 NYCRR 300.17 (d) (1), as relevant here, an attorney “shall file an application upon a form OC-400.1 in each instance where a fee is requested pursuant to [Workers’ Compensation Law § 24].” In approving counsel fee requests in matters where the claimant was awarded benefits, the Board “shall approve a fee in an amount commensurate with the services rendered and having due regard for the financial status of the claimant and whether the attorney . . . engaged in dilatory tactics or failed to comply in a timely manner with [B]oard rules. In no case shall the fee be based solely on the amount of the award” (12 NYCRR 300.17 [f]).
Here, the Board found counsel’s OC-400.1 fee application deficient for failing to indicate the date each service was performed and the specific amount of time for each service. Instead, counsel listed four categories of service with a total time for each category, identifying only the starting date for the initial work. The regulation mandates that the form “be accurately completed” (12 NYCRR 300.17 [d] ). Notably, the record confirms that counsel was familiar with a bulletin, Subject Number 046-548, issued by the Board on May 28, 2013, explaining that “[t]he form must be filled out in its entirety, including the section for the date, description, and amount of time spent on each service.” The bulletin further cautions that no fee will be approved unless “completed in its entirety” (see 12 NYCRR 300.17 [h]). A requirement for such specificity is consonant with the Board’s obligation to “approve a fee in an amount commensurate with the services rendered” … . Matter of Fernandez v Royal Coach Lines, Inc., 2017 NY Slip Op 00368, 3rd Dept 1-19-17
ATTORNEYS (FEE, WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW, ATTORNEY’S FEE PROPERLY REDUCED BASED UPON FAILURE TO FULLY FILL OUT THE RELEVANT FORM)/WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW (ATTORNEY’S FEE, FEE PROPERLY REDUCED BASED UPON FAILURE TO FULLY FILL OUT THE RELEVANT FORM)