Denver v. Roane - 99 U.S. 355 (1878)
U.S. Supreme Court
Denver v. Roane, 99 U.S. 355 (1878)
Denver v. Roane
99 U.S. 355
1. A., B., and C., who were partners as attorneys and counselors at law, agreed that the general partnership between them should terminate March 18, 1889; that thereafter no new business should be received by the firm, and that any coming to it through the mails should be equitably divided. It was also stipulated that the business then in hand should be closed up as rapidly as possible by them "as partners, under their original terms of association and in the firm name." They agreed, Aug. 13, 1869, that in case of the death of either of them, his heirs or personal representatives should receive one-third of the fees in cases nearly finished, and twenty-five percent in other partnership cases. A. having died, his executor filed his bill against B. and G. for a discovery, and to recover A's share in the fees received by them out of the partnership business which remained unfinished when the firm was dissolved. Held 1. that a court of chancery had jurisdiction to entertain the bill, and power to decree the relief asked so far as the fees had been collected; 2. that the partners having by the agreement of August 13 provided for the division of the fees in case of the death of either of them, the survivors were entitled to no allowance for winding up the business other than their share of the fees as specified in said agreement.
2. Where an attorney at law refuses to act as a partner, or to perform the functions of such in the prosecution of a cause which had been entrusted to his firm, and repudiates his obligations, he is not entitled to any part of the fees subsequently earned by his partners in the cause.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.