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SILVERSTEIN v. HORNICK (03/22/54)

March 22, 1954

SILVERSTEIN, APPELLANT,
v.
HORNICK



Appeals, Nos. 244 and 245, Jan. T., 1953, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1951, No. 5497, in case of Rebecca Silverstein et al. v. Joseph Hirst et al. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Irvin J. Good and Joseph H. Lieberman, for appellants.

Benjamin R. Simons, for appellees.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Arnold

[ 376 Pa. Page 537]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

Plaintiffs filed a bill in equity against Joseph Hirst and Jay Hornick, defendants, to require them as trustees under a deed of trust to pay to plaintiffs rather than to Lena Orlow, Esq., additional defendant, certain distributions thereunder. They appeal from a decree refusing them relief.

In June 1948, Isadore Hirst, the owner of a number of theatrical businesses, discontinued gratuitous payments he previously had been making to plaintiffs his sisters. Having obtained a divorce at about the same time, he married one Betty Palmer on June 11, 1948, which very ill. He died December 28, 1948, not having left his sickbed.

Plaintiff-Weinstein consulted with a New York attorney, who then forwarded the matter to the firm of Orlow & Orlow, of which Abram Orlow and Lena Orlow, his wife, were the partners. Both plaintiffs then engaged their services, with Abram Orlow apparently giving the matter his personal attention, although Lena Orlow was also present at consultations and was consulted

[ 376 Pa. Page 538]

    and dealt with after the death of Abram Orlow in April, 1950.

It was plaintiffs' purpose to obtain resumption of the gratuities and to ascertain their positions and rights in Isadore Hirst's estate, as well as in trusts which he had established. It was orally agreed that plaintiffs pay a contingent fee of 15% of all money received, and Abram Orlow thereupon sent a letter to the New York attorney, stating, inter alia: "I agreed with them... that we were to share in the extent of 15% for any amount recovered made in their behalf at any time hereafter." Copies of this letter were also sent to each of the plaintiffs.

Although Abram Orlow made demands upon attorneys for Isadore Hirst, no money was obtained during the lifetime of Isadore Hirst. He was equally unsuccessful in his attempts to learn the details of ...


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