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      RS 23:1143     


§1143.  Excessive fees or solicitation of employment; penalty; withholding attorney fees; approval by workers' compensation judge

A.  Whoever exacts or receives a fee or gratuity for any services rendered on behalf of a claimant for compensation, except in the amount determined by the workers' compensation judge, or solicits the business of appearing before the office on behalf of a claimant, or makes it a business to solicit employment for an attorney in connection with any claim for compensation under this Chapter, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than twelve months, or both.

B.(1)  An attorney may withhold, as proposed attorney fees, a sum not to exceed twenty percent of all amounts recovered in his trust account which funds shall remain the property of the claimant, pending approval of such fees by the workers' compensation judge.

(2)  An application for approval of fees shall be filed by the attorney within thirty days after the payment of the final weekly benefit, settlement of the claim, or payment of the judgment, whichever occurs later.  Otherwise the funds shall be returned to the claimant.

Acts 1990, No. 202, §1; Acts 1997, No. 88, §1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 2001, No. 672, §1; Acts 2004, No. 647, §1, eff. July 5, 2004.

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