Spilker v. Hankin

188 F.2d 35 (1951)


Spilker (D) gave her attorney Hankin (P) seven notes in payment for legal services for a matrimonial action. The first was a demand note for $500, and the rest were for $250. D paid the first note and failed to pay the second. P sued D. D claimed duress, and that the fees were exorbitant and unconscionable and filed a counterclaim to determine if the note paid was payment in full. P was awarded judgment on the note, and the counterclaim was dismissed. Another action ensued by P when D refused to pay the remaining five notes. D's defense was misrepresentation and that she had paid P what the services were worth. P moved for a summary judgment on claim preclusion based on the prior judgment. That was denied, and the jury found for D. The Court of appeals reversed and ordered judgment for P. D appealed.