SHUTTLEWORTH, WILLIAMS, HARPER, WARING & DERRICK, PLLC v. GARY K. SMITH, SMITH, SABBATINI & MCLEARY, PLLC (Tenn. Ct. App. March 5, 2010)
This dispute is between an attorney and his former firm. All parties to this suit appeal the trial court's interpretation of their operating agreement about how the fees and expenses generated by the withdrawing member's cases should be apportioned among them. The operating agreement gave the firm discretion to value the services provided by its other members, but the trial court correctly determined that the firm's claimed value was not reasonable.
We reverse the trial court's holding with regard to the withdrawing lawyer's interest in a member's share of the expenses he is obligated to pay the firm. The trial court is affirmed on the issue of sanctions and as to its refusal to make an award to nonparties.
Opinion may be found at: