Pensacola lawyer charges $28K to help client collect $496.62
Jeremiah J. Talbott’s license suspended for 60 days for running up fees
The Florida Supreme Court suspended Pensacola based personal injury lawyer Jeremiah J. Talbott’s license for 60 days for running up his attorney’s fee to more than $28,000 in a case in which his client recovered $496.62 from his former employer.
According to a Florida Bar press release, Talbott was guilty of churning legal fees by performing unnecessary work to run up the bill for his services. Talbott’s client, Christopher Moss, was a driver-operator at a local construction company, Pav’R Construction Inc. and quit his job rather than pay for equipment his employer claimed he broke while on the job. After he quit, his wages were withheld for one pay period to compensate the company for some of the broken equipment. Moss hired Talbott to argue in court that he was due $496.62 in withheld wages.
After several months of back and forth legal filings, Breton and PRC agreed to pay Moss the $496.62. After several months of haggling, the company paid Moss the full amount that he asked for.
A complaint filed by the Florida Bar to the Florida Supreme Court stated that Talbott ‘exaggerated the amount of fees owned by claiming he did numerous secretarial tasks and paralegal tasks at his $350 per hour legal rate rather than delegating those tasks to his legal staff, according to the Florida Bar.
Talbott was charged with conducting frivolous litigation, failing to expedite litigation, filing exaggerated billing sheets with the court and filing extensive and unnecessary discovery to increase attorney fees without a reason, according to the Florida Bar.