Legal Eagles Fees

Article Courtesy of Palm Beach Post

By Pat Beall

Published December 18, 2006

Barry Silver is a little loose with the time sheets. That made it tough for Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Edward Fine to figure how much the Boca lawyer earned for successfully representing a local husband and wife in what everyone - including the judge - expected to be an unsuccessful appeal.

"The hourly charge as determined by the Court including the multiplier is $550.00 per hour or $9.00 per minute," Fine wrote. Then comes the big 'but': "Mr. Silver apparently as a matter of practice does not keep accurate time records."

Silver still came away with a court-ordered fee of $123,750, his reward for taking on the case of retired Marine George Andres and his wife, Anna. The couple was ordered by the Indian Creek Phase III-B Homeowner's Association Inc. to take down an American flag waving from their 13-foot flagpole. ("Andres told the HOA to 'tell it to the Marines,''" says Silver. "It's not a white flag.")

The couple eventually complied, but the association then foreclosed on their home to collect legal fees.

Silver successfully appealed the foreclosure for free. Having won, it's the Indian Creek association that has been ordered to pay his fee.

Silver hardly has the cash in hand - the association is appealing - but the Boca attorney says he might plow the seed money into creating a team of lawyers willing to take on similar public interest cases in Palm Beach County.