Bus. & Prof. Code Section 6148 Did Not Compel Different Result.
The First District, Division 2 in Estate of Wong, Case No. A132295 (1st Dist., Div. 2 June 27, 2012) (published) decided that attorneys were not foreclosed from obtaining a court award for fees from a probate estate for performing ordinary services under Probate Code section 10810. Nothing in the probate statutory scheme requires a written fee agreement between the executor and his/her attorney. However, executor challenging the award of ordinary service fees to attorneys without a retention agreement vigorously relied on Business and Professions Code section 6148, which usually does require a fee agreement between attorney and client. However, the fees were to be paid from the estate itself, not the client (the personal representative) so that a written agreement is not required even under section 6148(a) [written agreement required in cases in which the potential expense to a client is likely to exceed $1,000]. So, the award of $72,358.51 in statutory fees and $10,134.95 in costs was affirmed on appeal.