In re Gilbert
276 U.S. 6 (1928)

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U.S. Supreme Court

In re Gilbert, 276 U.S. 6 (1928)

In re Gilbert

Argued January 16, 1928

Decided January 23, 1928

276 U.S. 6

Syllabus

1. The right of one who was a master in the federal court to retain money paid him by a party in excess of the compensation found permissible by this Court cannot be determined by a state court in a suit between the master and such party. P. 276 U. S. 9.

2. A master cannot rightfully accept or retain anything as compensation unless sanctioned by proper order of court. P. 276 U. S. 9.

3. Respondent, as master in equity suits, was allowed fees which, by direction of the district court, were paid by the successful plaintiffs before the time for appeal expired and were taxed against their opponents. On appeals by the latter, this Court decided that the fees were excessive and were awarded by the district court in abuse of its judicial discretion. Upon return of the cases, the fees were retaxed against the defendants in the maximum amounts permitted by this Court's decision, but the respondent did not repay the excess to the successful plaintiffs, nor seek any further direction from either court respecting it. Held, that it was respondent's imperative duty to return the excess to the parties who paid it, whether they required it or not, together with six percent interest thereon from the date when the decision of this Court fixing the amounts allowable was announced, and that his conduct in retaining the excess was not "upright and according to law " -- the words of the oath taken at his admission to practice before this Court. P. 276 U. S. 9.

Rule, 275 U. S. 499, upon the respondent to make report of the fees and allowances paid him as master in several cases in the district court, and the amounts, if any, repaid by him, and, if he received compensation in excess of the amounts heretofore limited by this Court, to show cause why he should not be disbarred and punished for contempt.

Page 276 U. S. 7

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