Monday, May 08, 2006

Special Assesments...

Criminal lawyers are well familiar with special assesments. For every count of conviction, a defendant must pay a $100 special assesment.

Now, Thomas Tew is asking that all members of the Florida Bar pay a $178 special assesment to help pay back victims of Louis Robles. Julie Kay has all the details in her Justice Watch column today. Here is the intro:

The plaintiff attorney in a federal class action lawsuit against The Florida Bar is calling for a $178 special assessment on each of the Bar’s 77,000 members to reimburse victims of disbarred Miami attorney Louis Robles. In motions filed by Miami lawyer Thomas Tew, who represents about 4,000 former Robles asbestos clients, Tew claims that the Bar is being disingenuous in its arguments for refusing to come up with a $13.5 million lump sum payment to cover the clients for the money they lost to Robles. “The Florida Bar evidently believes that the price tag for administering the [Client Security Fund] legally, $178 per active member, is simply too high,” Tew wrote in a recent response to the Bar’s motion to dismiss. “As a result, the constitutional rights of over 4,000 citizens who were swindled by their [Bar-regulated] attorney… have been trampled.”

Tew's proposal strikes me as odd -- why should an entire profession be required to pay almost $200 per person (approx. $15 million) because someone else committed fraud. Thoughts?


Jack R Blumenfeld said...

How much of that $ 178 goes to his fee? Since he proposes we tax all members of the Bar for the acts of one, how about taxing all members of the Bar for money for Wilson Dedge an innocent man kept in prison by a few members of the Bar- called State Attornies?

Anonymous said...

I will donate the $178.00 if Mr. Tew agrees to accept a fee based on 1/4000 of the class settlement. This is an example of an attorney trying to make himself richer off of his poor clients' suffering. 1/4000 of the settlement would come out to $3,375.00 per plaintiff. His fee should be $1,350.00 (if it is 40% per plaintiff). Instead, he is probably seeking $4,050,000.00 in fees (not to mention costs), or about 30% of the 13.5 million. That is outrageous when you look at what his clients are actually getting in return.

Hey Julie from the DBR, why don't you do a story about Tom Tew trying to have have us attorneys pay for his fee? Of course, it is possible I am wrong. Mr. Tew, why don't you respond and tell us what your fee should be in this case and provide some backup for it?