Walsh Pancio congratulates founding partner, Hon. Joseph Walsh, who served as the lead trial counsel for the Plaintiff in the matter of Elliott Greenleaf PC v. Richard Demarco. The Montgomery County lawsuit involved competing claims to an $11.3 million referral fee for a personal injury settlement. Both parties filed Declaratory Judgment Actions seeking a Court declaration of their entitlement to the referral fee.
Following a non-jury trial before the Honorable Richard P. Haaz and post-trial submissions by the parties, the Court issued a written decision finding in favor of the law firm of Elliott Greenleaf and against its former employee, attorney Richard Demarco.
The Court ruled that Elliott Greenleaf was entitled to receive the entire referral fee of $11,330, 804 pursuant to a legally enforceable referral fee agreement with the law firm who settled the catastrophic injury case several years prior. The Court also found that Richard Demarco was not a party to that referral fee agreement and did not have an equitable or legal interest in the referral fee. The law firm who settled personal injury case agreed that it owed a referral fee and had held the amount in escrow pending the outcome of this case.
The case represents an important decision applying well-settled law pertaining to the enforceability of referral fee agreements between attorneys in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.