Gaw | Poe LLP successfully defends client at arbitration against leading Hawaii law firm

SAN FRANCISCO – January 16, 2018 – Gaw | Poe LLP announced today that it obtained a successful result at arbitration for one of its longtime clients. Gaw | Poe LLP represented the respondent, a man named Ronald Barranco, in a phased arbitration matter brought by his former attorneys at Cox Fricke LLP, a U.S. News Tier 1 law firm for commercial litigation, and the Law Office of Jack Naiditch.  In the second phase of the arbitration, Mr. Barranco’s former attorneys claimed that they were entitled to over $4 million in damages and attorney’s fees for the work they had performed for him on a contingency fee matter before they had unilaterally terminated their services for him in that proceeding.

The arbitration hearing took place on September 1, 2017 and featured 10 hours of testimony from five percipient witnesses and two expert witnesses.  Following this hearing and briefing by the parties, Arbitrator Keith Hunter awarded Mr. Barranco’s former attorneys only a total of $147,277.53 in damages, attorney’s fees, and expenses, or approximately 3.5% of what the claimants had sought.  The parties have subsequently stipulated to confirm that award in federal court.

“I am very pleased with this result,” said Gaw | Poe LLP partner Randolph Gaw. “Fundamentally, I believe that an attorney has no right to fire a contingency fee client against that client’s will, and then come back to demand a payday when the client gets a successful result with new counsel.  With this award, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not the only one who has that belief.”

The arbitration is captioned Cox Fricke LLP, et al. v. Ronald Barranco, No. 16-0549-A, and was held before Dispute Prevention & Resolution Inc. in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The arbitration was divided into two phases, and for the second phase featuring the $4 million claim, Mr. Barranco was represented by Gaw | Poe LLP attorneys Randolph Gaw and Mark Poe.  Cox Fricke LLP and the Law Office of Jack Naiditch were represented by the attorneys of Cox Fricke LLP.

About Gaw | Poe LLP

Gaw | Poe LLP is a San Francisco Bay Area boutique law firm focusing on business litigation, antitrust litigation, and catastrophic injuries. Founders Randolph Gaw and Mark Poe are graduates of Stanford Law School and have practiced extensively with some of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the world. The firm is experienced at handling disputes on behalf of a wide range of clients from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to high net worth individuals. For more information, please visit