Robertson v. Gordon
226 U.S. 311 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Robertson v. Gordon, 226 U.S. 311 (1912)

Robertson v. Gordon

No. 56

Argued November 15, 1912

Decided December 16, 1912

226 U.S. 311

Syllabus

A contract between attorneys for division of fees construed according to the definite meaning therein expressed.

Quaere whether evidence to prove that there was a condition precedent to be performed before a contract took effect is admissible without a cross-bill.

Under a contract by attorneys for division of fees, if the attorney claiming did any work, whether more or less, there is no failure of consideration.

Where an agreement to leave a dispute as to amounts due under a contract to certain third parties provides that, in case of their refusal to act, no rights are affected, it is not permissible after such a refusal to bring in an attempt of another tribunal to adjudicate the claim.

The decision of a court that has no jurisdiction of the subject matter or the parties is not res judicata.

An act of Congress directing the Court of Claims to determine the amount due attorneys for fees in an Indian litigation to be apportioned by certain attorneys named amongst all entitled to share as agreed among themselves concerns only the amount, and not the manner of distribution, United States v. Dalcour,203 U. S. 408, and so held as to the Act of June 21, 1906, c. 3504, 34 Stat. 325.

In this case, a contract between two attorneys agreeing to share equally all fees received from an Indian litigation held not to have been superseded by a decision that one was entitled to a much larger share than the other made by the Court of Claims under authority of an act of Congress authorizing it to determine the total amount due to all attorneys.

34 App.D.C. 539 reversed.

The facts, which involve the construction of a contract between attorneys for division of fees, are stated in the opinion.

Page 226 U. S. 312

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