The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined a suspended attorney was entitled to quantum meruit compensation for work done prior to the suspension. The matter was remitted for a hearing to determine the appropriate amount of compensation:
The nonparty-appellant, a suspended attorney, contends that he is entitled to legal fees in quantum meruit for work performed on behalf of the plaintiff in this personal injury action prior to his suspension from the practice of law; the suspension was unrelated to his representation of the plaintiff in this action. The Supreme Court should have granted the appellant’s motion for that relief.
22 NYCRR 1240.15(g) of the rules for attorney disciplinary matters provides as follows: “Compensation. A respondent who has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law may not share in any fee for legal services rendered by another attorney during the period of disbarment or suspension but may be compensated on a quantum meruit basis for services rendered prior to the effective date of the disbarment or suspension. On motion of the respondent, with notice to the respondent’s client, the amount and manner of compensation shall be determined by the court or agency where the action is pending or, if an action has not been commenced, at a special term of the Supreme Court in the county where the respondent maintained an office. The total amount of the legal fee shall not exceed the amount that the client would have owed if no substitution of counsel had been required” … . Ragland v Molloy, 2020 NY Slip Op 03933, Second Dept 7-15-20