Former Lawyer Neglects Case – Hupy and Abraham Takes No Fee
Jennifer Jahns was a passenger in friend’s automobile and was severely injured in a crash on August 3, 2007, in Beaver Dam, WI. She and her family hired a Milwaukee personal injury firm they thought would protect her interests. Unfortunately, by January 2009, Ms. Jahns had to hire Hupy and Abraham because she was getting no return phone calls from her lawyers. The only apparent insurance proceeds available for Ms. Jahns’ injuries was a $25,000 policy collected by her prior attorney in May 2008, a fact she was not informed about. Ms. Jahns’ medical expenses exceeded $50,000 and the hospital where most of her treatment occurred, had filed a lien against her case in excess of $33,000.
In 2010, Hupy and Abraham filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Jahns to determine if the $25,000 was indeed the only insurance proceeds available for her injury claim. The insurer, for the at-fault party, retained a lawyer to bring an action against Ms. Jahns’ prior law firm for taking the $25,000 settlement check and not returning a signed release. It should be noted that Ms. Jahns’ prior law firm has had multiple complaints filed against it with the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation for similar irregularities in its handling of client funds. Hupy and Abraham was able to get the hospital lien dismissed, negotiated a significant reduction in the amount to be repaid to her health insurer and determined that the $25,000 was the only insurance policy available for her injuries.
Michael Hupy and his partners agreed that, in the interest of justice, no attorney’s fees should be charged due to the duration of Ms. Jahns’ case, her need for future medical treatment and limited amount of insurance proceeds. Ms. Jahns’ prior law firm did not agree and wanted a portion of the $8,333.33 attorney’s fees. The presiding judge in the matter ordered mediation to resolve the issue of the disputed attorney’s fees. The case was resolved with a minimal payment to her prior lawyers. Hupy and Abraham would not take any fees.
It should be noted that at no time would her prior law firm agree to reduce its one-third fee, even though taking no attorney’s fee was proposed by Hupy and Abraham and the mediator. Hupy and Abraham puts its clients’ interests first and will always fight as hard as it can to get them justice.
It should also be noted that a few months after this case resolved, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revoked the license of Ms. Jahns’ previous lawyer, calling the handling of this trust account a Ponzi scheme. For more, see attached article, http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/weigel20-fh83k1i-184189041.html.
After having his license revoked, the lawyer is still associated with his former law firm in some capacity. In fact, his name appeared as a contributor to information in the firm’s print ad in a publication as recently as May 2013.