Brief Fact Summary. The California State Bar is investigating an attorney for his claim that he spent over 100 hours on a simple divorce case, resulting in a bill of almost $3,000.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Determination of excessive fees must be made on a case-by-case basis.
The test is whether the fee is so exorbitant and wholly disproportionate to the services performed as to shock the conscience.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Was Bushman’s fee excessive under these circumstances?
Held. Yes. Bushman’s bill was completely unreasonable in this context. Suspended for one year.
“Under the circumstances, the fee charged by Bushman was so exorbitant and wholly disproportionate to the services rendered to the defendants as to shock the conscience.”
Discussion. Compare this result to Brobeck. Should a client’s previous wealth and-in the words of the California Rules of Professional Conduct-“sophistication,” be factors in determining which fees are reasonable?.