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DON G. LAMPARSKI v. SIKOV (03/02/89)

argued: March 2, 1989.

DON G. LAMPARSKI, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF HENRY C. LAMPARSKI, JR., DECEASED
v.
SIKOV, LAMPARSKI & WONCHECK, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION, APPELLANT. DON G. LAMPARSKI, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF HENRY C. LAMPARSKI, JR., DECEASED, APPELLANT V. SIKOV, LAMPARSKI & WONCHECK, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION



Appeal from the Order Entered February 26, 1988 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil No. G.D. 85-14042.

COUNSEL

Seymour A. Sikov, Pittsburgh, for appellant (at 465) and appellee (at 540).

Maureen D. Harvey, Pittsburgh, for appellee (at 465) and appellant (at 540).

Cirillo, P.j., and Tamilia and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 493]

These cross appeals are from an order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County dated February 26, 1988 which adopted the recommendations and conclusions of an appraiser and directed Sikov, Lamparski & Woncheck ("SLW"), a professional corporation engaged in the practice of law, to pay Don Lamparski, executor of the estate ("executor") of Henry C. Lamparski, ("decedent") a sum of $53,085.50.

Executor appeals from the order which valued decedent's shares of SLW at $53,685.50. Executor contends that the trial court erred in its valuation because it did not place a value on the contingent fee cases which were referred to Sikov and Love, P.A., another law firm. The referral occurred prior to the time of decedent's death but the cases were not disposed of until after the date of death, and

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 494]

    consequently the fees generated therefrom were not collected until after the date of death. SLW also appeals from this order which valuated decedent's shares.*fn1

The decedent was an attorney and a holder of fifteen shares of SLW on the date of his death, September 3, 1984. At that time, there were thirty shares of stock in SLW outstanding. Executor filed a complaint in equity against SLW, Irving Sikov and William Woncheck,*fn2 in which he asked the court to order an accounting, appoint a receiver and marshal to account for the assets of SLW, dissolve SLW, and pay the decedent's estate fifty percent of the net value determined of SLW.

Pursuant to 15 Pa. ยง 2901 et seq., the court appointed an appraiser to hear testimony and to determine the value of decedent's fifteen shares. The court appointed Edwin Martin, Esquire, and, following a three day hearing, he submitted his conclusions and recommendations to the court. The report reveals that the ultimate issue to be determined was the value of the fifteen shares of stock held by decedent, and that the parties disagreed over the proper treatment of numerous pending personal injury cases which had been referred to the professional corporation of Sikov & Love, P.A., prior to decedent's death. According to the appraiser's report, these cases were subject to contingent fee arrangements, and any fee recovered by Sikov & Love would be divided equally with SLW.

After hearing testimony, the appraiser determined that the net asset method of valuation should be used to establish the value of decedent's shares as of September 4, 1984.*fn3 The appraiser stated that notwithstanding the executor's

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 495]

    contention that future referral fees should be classified as assets of SLW and so valued, he must value the stock as of September 3, 1984, and consequently he would place no value on these cases.*fn4

Furthermore, he stated that while he was making his valuation as of the date of decedent's death, most of the evidence relating to net asset value was generated from financial documents which related to the year ending December 31, 1984. He stated that the balance sheet of SLW for the year ending December 31, 1984, showed that the thirty shares of SLW had a value of $52,751.00. In a footnote to his report, the appraiser noted that neither party presented a financial statement of SLW for the period ending August 31, 1984. He stated that this would have been helpful because decedent's date of death was only several days thereafter. The appraiser also noted that the evidence presented of the corporate accounts as of September 3, 1984 did not contain sufficient facts from which a net asset value could be calculated. To calculate the fair value of the shares as of September 3, 1984, the appraiser added $53,420.00, an amount representing the bonuses paid to Sikov and Woncheck on December 21, 1984 to the December 31, 1984 value. The report thus concluded that the value of SLW as of September 3, 1984 was $106,171.00 and that decedent's fifteen shares had a value of $53,085.50.

On February 26, 1988, the Honorable Raymond Scheib adopted the appraiser's recommendations and ordered SLW to pay executor $53,085.50. Both parties then filed appeals from the order dated February 26, 1988.

Executor raises one issue for our consideration. He claims that the trial court erred in failing to include the attorney's fees from the cases referred to Sikov and Love, in ...


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