Sullivan v. Pappalardo, No. 11-1830 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Debtors engaged the attorney to represent them in bankruptcy proceedings. They owed more than $115,000 in unsecured debt with no realistic prospect of payment. In a retainer agreement, he estimated that legal fees plus court costs would total around $4,000. Debtors paid $3,684 on account. Their Chapter 13 plan, 11 U.S.C. 1321-1322, was approved by the bankruptcy court and the lawyer filed an application requesting an additional $8,173.36 in attorneys' fees and expenses. The trustee objected. The bankruptcy court set the total fee and expense figure at $3,684, finding that the case was relatively uncomplicated. The district court and First Circuit affirmed, agreeing that the attorney billed an excessive number of hours.