Blanchard v. Bergeron

LOCATION: State University of New York Albany

DOCKET NO.: 87-1485
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 489 US 87 (1989)
ARGUED: Nov 28, 1988
DECIDED: Feb 21, 1989

Edmond L. Guidry, III - on behalf of the Respondents
William W. Rosen - on behalf of the Petitioner

Facts of the case

The plaintiff Arthur Blanchard filed a suit against James Bergeron and the St. Martin Parish Sheriff`s Department. He claimed that Bergeron, that worked as a sheriff`s deputy, beaten him.

The issue was trialed by the jury, who decided to establish the compensation for 5,000 dollars to be offset be the respondent. After that, the Blanchard attempted to return payment for his attorney. The district court ruled the remuneration of 7,500 dollars to offset the payments for rendered services to his lawyer.

However, Bergeron brought a claim to the appellate court, which found that the fees for the lawyer were restricted by the agreement on unpredictable expenses, concluded between Blanchard and his advocate. The terms of contract established the fee of contingency in the amount of 40 percent. The order changed the point regarding the establishment of compensation by the trial to 40 percent of 10, 000 or 4, 000 dollars.

The plaintiff brought a claim before the United States Supreme Court to revise the issue. The judges accepted this complaint because of occurred federal conflict. The case study reflected that judgment underlined that the compensation for attorney should not be restricted to the level established in the plaintiff's agreement on unpredictable fees with his advocate. Under the Bergeron process definition, it should be in accordance to the statute that imposed the obligation for defenders to pay a relevant fee to all prevailing plaintiffs if the judgment confirmed this opinion.

The case brief in Blanchard v. Bergeron finds that the Appellate Court ruling regarding attorney`s payments compensation that should be regulated under the contingency provisions, had to be reversed.


Media for Blanchard v. Bergeron

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 28, 1988 in Blanchard v. Bergeron

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 21, 1989 in Blanchard v. Bergeron

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinions of the Court in two cases will be announced by Justice White.

Byron R. White:

One of these cases is from the Fifth Circuit, Blanchard against Bergeron.

For the reasons stated in the opinion on file with the clerk, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Justice Scalia has filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.