Roy Frye starts a case against THC with attorneys Andrew Zacks and Paul Utrecht. Claiming that THC can’t charge contingency fees because the organization is not registered with the State Bar, although its attorneys are. In San Francisco Superior Court its ruled that THC did not commit fraud but the rest of the case must go to trial.
Category: Frye v Tenderloin Housing Clinic
THC Goes to CA Supreme Court: Frye v. THC
THC attorney Steve Collier won a great jury verdict for tenants of the President Hotel, 935 Geary Street. After the verdict attorneys who routinely battled THC in Ellis eviction cases told the plaintiffs in the case that THC had wrongfully charged them fees. The attorneys convinced plaintiff Roy Frye to sue THC on the grounds that its contingency fee agreement with him was void on the grounds that THC had not registered with the State Bar.
The Court of Appeal, which had many judges hostile to THC’s pro-tenant agenda, saw the case as a great way to put THC’s law office out of business. Its published decision held that THC could not do contingency fee agreements because it did not register. THC did not register because it would have required our organization to have an all-attorney Board. The Court did not consider then that the overwhelming majority of nonprofit law organizations lacked all attorney boards and had not registered; the court’s decision against THC would equally impact virtually every nonprofit law office in CA.
The articles below explain the path leading to the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in favor of THC. Nonprofits can use contingency fee agreements and they do not need to register with the State Bar of have all-attorney Boards.
Tenderloin Clinic Wins Suit Over Attorney Fees
Housing attorney Andrew Zacks loses his claim that Tenderloin Housing Clinic is not really a nonprofit agency after THC wins Suit over legal fees. The case is to be appealed by Zacks who hopes to force the clinic to disgorge hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees the clinic has collected over the years.
Nonprofit Legal Agencies Must Register with State Bar
A state ruling states that; nonprofit organizations can’t practice law in California unless they’ve registered with the State Bar. Nonprofits grapple with where that leaves them and there ability to enter contingency fee agreements. The issue will go back to trial.
CA Supreme Court Takes Up Tenderloin Law Clinic Case
State supreme courts agree to review a ruling that; required all members and directors of non-profit law groups be attorneys, required the non-profit to be registered to the state bar, and prohibited contingency agreements. This comes after many non-profits including Tenderloin Housing Clinic were greatly effected by these rulings.
THC Ordered to Remove Non Attorneys
In the summer of 2004, a Court of Appeal ruling required THC to remove non-attorneys from our Board. Due to its impact on nonprofits in California dozens of groups submitted amicus briefs to the California Supreme Court on our behalf. The court voted to take THC’s case, and non-attorneys are returned to the board.
THC Wins Major Victory At CA Supreme Court
The California Supreme court rule unanimously to uphold the right for non-profit advocacy groups to practice law.
A link to the ruling is below;