ESTATE OF ISRAEL LEVINE, Deceased
ESTATE OF ISRAEL LEVINE, Deceased (2323/06) — This is a petition pursuant to SCPA 2110 to fix legal fees. The petition is brought incident to a contested probate proceeding which settled pursuant to a written stipulation after several conferences with the court.
Petitioner is the former attorney for the guardian of the property of decedent's disabled son. He petitions the court to fix his fee in the underlying probate proceeding in the sum of $16,830.50, plus disbursements of $452.46, for services rendered from October 31, 2006 thru January 11, 2010.
The court received a letter from petitioner's pro se former client, who contends petitioner's submissions lack sufficient detail to warrant an allowance of more than $10,000.
Petitioner submits an affidavit of legal services for the entire period of his representation, along with detailed contemporaneous time records for the limited period of October 31, 2006 through June 30, 2007. In addition, he provides the court with invoices, which cover the entire relevant period.
Petitioner's submissions set forth services performed, inter alia, preparing and filing objections to probate, participating in document production and drafting document demands, and participating in court ordered conferences, negotiations, and the drafting of the settlement agreement, the tens of which provided a substantial benefit to decedent's son.
Upon review of petitioner's affidavit of services, while taking into consideration the missing detail resulting from petitioner's partial substitution of invoices for contemporaneous time records (see, Matter of Phelan, 173 AD2d 621), and with due regard to the guidelines set forth in Matter of Freeman, 34 NY2d 1 and Matter of Potts, 123 Misc 346, aff'd 213 AD 59, aff'd 241 NY 593, legal fees are fixed in the reduced sum of $15,830. Disbursements are fixed in the reduced sum of $324, after disallowance of expenses for meals, travel, postage, and copying.
This decision constitutes the order of the court.
January 15, 2013