ACADEMIC TOPICS

Extraordinary Fees

Attorneys fees claimed in the administration of a dead person's estate for work beyond normal estate administration, including filing collection suits, preparing tax returns, or requiring unusual effort beneficial to the estate. This claim is in addition to the usual statutory or court-approved legal fees. An attorney claiming extraordinary fees must submit proof of time, effort, and benefit to justify the claim, and the final determination is at the judge's discretion.

Expunge

To intentionally destroy, obliterate, or strike out records or information in files, computers, and other depositories. For example, state law may allow the criminal records of a juvenile offender to be expunged when he reaches the age of majority, to allow him to begin his adult life with a clean record. Or, a company or government agency may routinely expunge out-of-date records to save storage space.

Disbar

The removal of an attorney's license to practice law. This penalty is usually invoked by the state bar association where the attorney is licensed to practice and will prohibit the attorney from practicing law before the courts in that state or from giving advice for a fee to clients. Causes of disbarment include: a felony involving "moral turpitude," forgery, fraud, a history of dishonesty, consistent lack of attention to clients, alcoholism or drug abuse which affect the attorney's ability to practice, theft of funds, or any pattern of violation of the professional code of ethics.

Disbarment

Definition

The revocation of a lawyer’s license to practice law, usually as a result of a violation of professional ethics.

Disbarment may be imposed by the state bar association if a lawyer commits an offense that directly relates to his or her fitness to practice law. Such offenses may include dishonesty, fraud, felony, substance abuse, abuse of public office, or “conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.”

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