Win at Michigan’s Court of Appeals in Favor of The Liblang Law Firm, P.C. is a Victory for Consumers

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In the recent ruling, Kennedy v Robert Lee Auto Sales, the Michigan Court of Appeals protected the interests of consumers by ensuring that reasonable attorney fees are covered by wrong-doers even in cases with low monetary value.

Dani Liblang, Founder Liblang Law Firm, PC

Without reasonable attorney fee awards, it would be economically impossible for consumer protection lawyers to represent their clients.

A now published Court of Appeals decision makes it clear that consumers need the protection of reasonable attorney fees. This ruling ensures that individuals seeking compensation as victims of fraudulent business practices will have their attorney fees covered. Without proper compensation many attorneys turn away from smaller cases, potentially leaving some individuals without any representation at all.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Michigan Consumer Protection Act both protect Michigan consumers who have been cheated by used car dealers. As part of those protections, the statutes allow for courts to award reasonable attorney fees as part of consumers’ damages.

According to court document No. 322523 Ingham Circuit Court ROBERT LEE AUTO SALES, LC No. 13-001377-CZ, in a recent auto fraud case represented by The Liblang Law Firm, P.C. the judge awarded $1,000.00 including costs. This left consumer protection attorney Dani K. Liblang only $324.46 in compensation for several months of work. Liblang filed an appeal citing unfair payment and the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed.

In Kennedy v Robert Lee Auto Sales, (court document No. 322523 Ingham Circuit Court ROBERT LEE AUTO SALES, LC No. 13-001377-CZ ) the court ruled that consumer protection attorneys are entitled to reasonable attorney fees for their work. In deciding what is reasonable, the court applied a Michigan Supreme Court case Smith v. Khouri, requiring the court to begin its analysis by determining the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services, multiplied by the number of hours expended in the case. The court also ruled that the lower court must consider the remedial purpose of the fee-shifting statutes, which is to provide a “reasonable return” so as to attract competent attorneys to handle ordinary consumer claims, even when the monetary value is low. The court also noted that: “…as is the case with most fee-shifting statutes, there is a punitive nature to the award of attorney fees under the MCPA and MMWA. Indeed, although the statutes are designed to protect consumers, the award of attorney fees acts, in some ways, as a penalty against those who have violated the respective acts.”

"This ruling protects the interests of consumers,” states Attorney Liblang. “Without reasonable attorney fee awards, it would be economically impossible for consumer protection lawyers to represent their clients.” The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., applauds the Court of Appeals' willingness to stand up for consumers and ensure their attorneys have the means to do their work.

About the Liblang Law Firm, PC

Dani K. Liblang is the founder of the Liblang Law Firm, PC, consumer and lemon law firm serving clients from throughout Michigan and the Detroit metropolitan area. She was recently named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers of Michigan.

The Liblang Law Firm continues to represent plaintiffs in personal injury, product liability, finance fraud, and toxic tort, as well as a variety of consumer and employment law issues. Additionally, the firm is extremely active, well versed and certified in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which allows clients to pursue non-traditional litigation methods such as arbitration, mediation, mini-trials and private judging.

The firm is located at 346 Park Street, Suite 200 in Birmingham, MI. Visit their website at: http://www.lemonlawlawyers.com/about.html

For more information contact Melinda Kollins 248 722-5408

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