Maine Revised Statutes

§325. Costs; attorney's fees allowable

1. Costs and attorney's fees.  Except as otherwise provided by law, by the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure or by rule of court, each party is responsible for the payment of the party's own costs and attorney's fees. In the event of a disagreement as to those costs or fees, an interested party may apply to the board for a hearing.
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
2. Restriction on attorney's fees.  An attorney representing an employee in a proceeding under this Act may receive a fee from that client for an activity pursuant to the Act only as provided in this section. The fees and payment of fees to all attorneys for services provided to employees under this Act are subject to the approval of the board. The board may approve the payment of attorney's fees by the employee for services provided to the employee pursuant to this Act. Any attorney who violates this section must forfeit any fee in the case and is liable in a court suit to pay damages to the client equal to 2 times the fee charged to that client.
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
3. Rules.  The board shall adopt rules to prescribe maximum attorney's fees and the manner in which the amount is determined and paid by the employee. The maximum attorney's fees prescribed by the board in a case tried to completion may not exceed 30% of the benefits accrued, after deducting reasonable expenses incurred on behalf of the employee, or be based on a weekly benefit amount after coordination that is higher than 2/3 of the state average weekly wage at the time of injury. The board may by rule allow attorney's fees to be increased above or decreased below the amount specified in the rule when in the discretion of the board that action is determined to be appropriate.
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
4. Attorney's fees for lump-sum settlements.  Attorney's fees for lump-sum settlements pursuant to section 352 must be determined as follows:
A. Before computing the fee, reasonable expenses incurred on the employee's behalf must be deducted from the total settlement, including:
(1) Medical examination fee and witness fee;
(2) Any other medical witness fee, including cost of subpoena;
(3) Cost of court reporter service; and
(4) Appeal costs; and [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
B. The computation of the fee, based on the amount resulting after deductions according to paragraph A, may not exceed:
(1) Ten percent of the first $50,000 of the settlement;
(2) Nine percent of the first $10,000 over $50,000 of the settlement;
(3) Eight percent of the next $10,000 over $50,000 of the settlement;
(4) Seven percent of the next $10,000 over $50,000 of the settlement;
(5) Six percent of the next $10,000 over $50,000 of the settlement; and
(6) Five percent of any amount over $90,000 of the settlement. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
5. Attorney's fees in cases in which the injury occurred prior to January 1, 1993.  In cases in which the injury to the employee occurred prior to January 1, 1993, the amount of the attorney's fees is determined by the law in effect at the date of the injury and is payable by the employer. If the employee attended a mediation pursuant to section 313 after January 1, 1993 and was represented by an attorney, the attorney's fees may include compensation from the date of the mediation session.
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
1991, c. 885, §A8 (NEW). 1991, c. 885, §§A9-11 (AFF).