Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Philadelphia County at No. 4269 October Term, 1982.
Allen L. Feingold, Philadelphia, for appellant.
B. Fincourt Shelton, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Montemuro, Popovich and Watkins, JJ.
[ 345 Pa. Super. Page 368]
This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County directing the appellant, Allen L. Feingold, Esquire, to withdraw his appearance as counsel for Ruth and Jerry Woolard in the case of Woolard v. Burton, docketed at Court of Common Pleas, October Term, 1982, No. 4269. The order appealed also required that Feingold be paid a referral fee totaling no more than one-third (1/3) of any amount recovered in the Woolard v. Burton case, plus reimbursement for costs. We reverse.
The record reveals that on or about November 17, 1980, Jerry Woolard was involved in a vehicular accident with one Furman Burton in the City of Philadelphia.
Mr. Woolard retained the services of Attorney Feingold on a 50% contingency fee basis plus costs. A complaint in trespass was filed on October 27, 1982 on behalf of Jerry and Ruth Woolard demanding judgment in excess of $40,000.
The case produced a procession of interrogatories, requests for the production of records and motions for sanctions by each side for the opposing parties' alleged failure to act timely in supplying the requested information. This exchange lasted for one year before counsel for Burton filed a praecipe demanding a trial by jury.
The turn-about in the case came on November 16, 1983. This is the date that Fincourt B. Shelton, Esquire entered his appearance on behalf of the Woolards in their lawsuit against Burton.
It appears that by letter dated August 1, 1983, Attorney Shelton wrote to Attorney Feingold to inform him that the Woolards had retained his office "regarding all of their legal matters." He also wrote:
I am requesting that you enter your Withdraw of Appearance for Woolard v. Maloney, Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Civil Action Number 83-906. Also
[ 345 Pa. Super. Page 369]
please enter your Withdraw of Appearance for Woolard v. Burton, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia ...