Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. v. Gutierrez

No. 3D17-1255, 2018 WL 3642906 (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 1, 2018). The Firm represented two law firms and their client in an attorneys’ fee lien dispute brought by the client’s former lawyers. The client’s former lawyers claimed entitlement to a portion of a contingency fee generated from representing the client, even though the client had discharged her former lawyers several years prior. The Firm successfully defended against the lien claim. Meanwhile, the former lawyers filed a separate lawsuit, in which they sought a portion of the contingency fee under multiple contractual and tort theories. The Firm obtained summary judgment on all claims based on the defenses of res judicata and collateral estoppel. The former lawyers appealed both decisions, but the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the lower courts’ rulings. The former lawyers also were ordered to pay the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the Firm.