Shukla v. Sharma

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Insurance Law

New York Law Journal

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Judge Carol Amon

Chittur & Associates (C&A) represented Sharma and his codefendants from June 2010 until withdrawal on Jan. 13, 2011. Under a May 2010 retainer defendants agreed to pay C&A $20,000 in advance. They also agreed to hourly billing rates of $600 and $350, respectively, by Chittur and his associates, and assumed responsibility for all out-of-pocket expenses. The agreement further specified defendants' payment of 2 percent monthly interest on unpaid charges, and of attorney's fees incurred in litigating a fee dispute. Defendants fell into arrears, and failed to pay C&A's Dec. 31, 2010, final invoice for $181,551. Noting defendants' prior failure to address the claim that the Dec. 2010 invoice was an account stated, and rejecting defendants' claim that the fee amount was unreasonable, the court ordered entry of judgment in C&A's favor for $179,615—plus 2 percent monthly interest thereon from Jan. 7, 2011—and $16,080 for litigating its fee application. C&A's submissions—including but not limited to the retainer agreement, time records and affidavits concerning time charged—supported its claim for $179,615 as an account stated to which it was entitled as a matter of law under White Plains Cleaning Srvs. v. 901 Properties and Jaffe v. Brown-Jaffe.

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