they paid the fee after having had the entire settlement proceeds in their possession. The court will therefore not disturb defendants' recovery of this fee.
5. John Mulholland and Christopher Kerns had a legitimate dispute as to whether the contingency fee on the LCB recovery should be 25% or 30%. They reached a genuine compromise of 27.5%, and the court will not disturb that compromise.
6. John Mulholland had a right to terminate his attorney-client relationship with the defendants at will, subject to certain responsibilities discussed below. Dorsett v. Hughes, 353 Pa. Super. 129, 509 A.2d 369 (1986); Sundheim v. Beaver County Bldg. & Loan Ass'n, 140 Pa. Super. 529, 14 A.2d 349 (1940).
7. Kerns was terminated for cause, but not for wrongful acts, that is to say that he was not terminated for illegal or immoral acts. Lampl v. Latkanich, 210 Pa. Super. 83, 231 A.2d 890 (1967); In re Woodworth, 15 F. Supp. 291 (S.D.N.Y. 1936), aff'd, 85 F.2d 50 (2d Cir. 1936); Fracasse v. Brent, 6 Cal. 3d 784, 494 P.2d 9, 100 Cal. Rptr. 385 (1972).
8. An attorney who is terminated (for reasons other than wrongful acts), thus making the performance of his contract impossible, is entitled to a quantum meruit recovery for his services. Sundheim v. Beaver County.
9. Any inadequacy in Kerns' representation of the plaintiffs goes to the amount of the quantum meruit recovery.
10. Because Kerns was terminated for cause, but not for wrongful acts, defendants are entitled to compensation quantum meruit for the reasonable value of their services before termination.
11. The court has found no Pennsylvania authority that limits common law quantum meruit recovery of attorneys' fees to cases in which detailed time records were kept and are presented. Quantum meruit is a very fact sensitive determination and courts in other jurisdictions that have not had detailed hourly records on which to base recovery have found other ways to calculate reasonable compensation. See, e.g. La Mantia v. Durst.
12. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has directed this court as to the factors to consider in setting reasonable attorneys' fees in La Rocca Estate.
13. Considering all the factors relevant to the determination of attorneys' fees listed in La Rocca Estate, and considering the state of readiness of the case for trial at the time of dismissal, and considering the responsibility that defendant Kerns bears for the failure to move the case forward after alienating opposing counsel and the trial judge and for the duplication of work by the plaintiffs' second attorney that became necessary when defendants failed to find a way to advance the underlying suit, and weighing all these factors together, this court finds that the reasonable value of the defendants' services for which they were not compensated is $ 30,000.00.
An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this 30 day of April, 1993, after a bench trial in this case, it is hereby ORDERED as follows:
1. On plaintiffs' claim for damages as a result of defendants' alleged breach of the second fee agreement whereby defendants collected a 25 percent contingency fee on plaintiffs' settlement with Western Casualty and Surety Company, judgment is entered in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiffs.
2. On plaintiffs' claim for damages as a result of defendants' alleged breach of the second fee agreement whereby defendants' collected a 27.5 percent contingency fee on plaintiffs' settlement with the Liquor Control Board, judgment is entered in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiffs.
3. On plaintiffs' request for a declaratory judgment that defendants are not entitled to any additional fees from settlement proceeds achieved in the underlying case after defendants' dismissal, judgment is entered in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiffs; and
4. On defendants' counterclaim for recovery of attorneys' fees based on quantum meruit for work performed in the underlying case before their dismissal, judgment is entered in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiffs in the amount of $ 30,000.00.
William H. Yohn, Jr., Judge