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Daily Journal Weekly Appellate Report Podcast: Heller Ehrman v. Davis Wright Tremaine


Keker, Van Nest & Peters of counsel Steve Hirsch was interviewed for a Daily Journal Appellate Report podcast discussing his recent California Supreme Court victory representing Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in a case that tested the reach of law firm dissolution agreements. The court held that a dissolved law firm has no property interest in the profits generated by its former shareholders’ work on hourly fee matters pending at the time of the firm’s dissolution. “A mere possibility of unearned, prospective fees cannot constitute a property interest,” the Court wrote.

In December 2010, Heller’s bankruptcy administrator filed suit to claw back earnings from its former shareholders at their new firms. The administrator sought to set aside a Jewel waiver, which was part of Heller’s dissolution plan and encouraged its shareholders to move to new firms and reduce its expenses. The provision waived Heller’s claims to hourly fees generated after the departure date of its former lawyers.   

Listen to the podcast here.