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Griffin v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., No. 09-30734

By FindLaw Staff on September 27, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In Griffin v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., No. 09-30734, plaintiff's appeal from the district court's grant of his ex-attorney's motion to intervene and judgment in favor of intervenor granting imposition of a statutory lien upon plaintiff's recovery pursuant to a contingency fee agreement, the court reversed the order where the district court lacked supplemental jurisdiction over intervenor's claim in intervention against plaintiff.

As the court wrote:  "Appellee Robert A. Lee, an attorney, represented Appellant Sylvester Griffin in the underlying lawsuit in this case, in which Griffin sought reformation of a trust of which he was a beneficiary [the "Trust"]. Griffin also advanced various state law claims, including fraud, against Defendants below, who included successor Trustee JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. ["Trustee"], and its officers. After Lee was allowed to withdraw from his representation of Griffin, he sought recovery of attorney's fees. Lee filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) and Motion for Additional Conservatory Relief. He sought imposition of a statutory lien upon Griffin's recovery, pursuant to a contingency fee agreement [the "Agreement"] and Louisiana Revised Statute § 37:218. The district court granted the Motion and permitted Lee's intervention. After a bench trial, the district court entered Judgment in favor of Lee and against Griffin on the Petition of Intervention, and awarded Lee $16,068.00 in attorney's fees based on the Agreement. Because we find that the district court lacked supplemental jurisdiction over Lee's claim in
intervention against Griffin, we VACATE and REMAND with instructions that the district court DISMISS the Petition of Intervention for lack of subject matter jurisdiction."

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