39-71-614, MCA

Montana State Fund v. Uninsured Employers' Fund and Folda [05/11/10] 2010 MTWCC 10 Section 39-71-611, MCA, restricts who can be ordered to pay attorney fees to insurers, but does not carry a similar restriction as to who can receive them.  However, § 39-71-614, MCA, provides that the amount assessed against an insurer must be based exclusively on the time spent by the attorney in representing the claimant. . .  .  Therefore, a party to a workers’ compensation case who is not a claimant cannot recover attorney fees under § 39-71-611, MCA.
Pinnow v. MSF [02/24/06] 2006 MTWCC 9 Pursuant to §§ 39-71-613, -614, MCA, the Court believes the 20 percent contingent fee is reasonable. Pursuant to § 39-71-614(3), MCA, the Court believes the parties entered into a binding contingent fee agreement and no mutual mistake of fact or any other defense has been raised upon which this Court could void that binding agreement.
[1999] Bustell v. AIG Claims Service and The Ins. Co. of PA [11/14/03] 2003 MTWCC 66 While the attorney fee regulation of the Department of Labor and Industry, ARM 24.29.3802, was expressly enacted under section 39-71-613, MCA (1999), subsection (2) of that section generally authorizes it to establish attorney fees. The provision in section 39-71-614(2), MCA (1999), limiting the Court to the Department's schedule when awarding attorney fees is mere recognition of the Department's authority under section 39-71-613, MCA. Affirmed in Bustell v. AIG Claims Service Inc., 2004 MT 362 (No. 04-124)

[1999] Bustell v. AIG Claims Service and The Ins. Co. of PA [11/14/03] 2003 MTWCC 66 Attorney fees which can be awarded by the Court must be based on the hours worked by the claimant's attorney and either his usual and customary hourly rate or the rate established by the Department of Labor and Industry, whichever is less. 39-71-614(2), MCA (1999). Affirmed in Bustell v. AIG Claims Service Inc., 2004 MT 362 (No. 04-124)

[1985] Riley v. W.R. Grace [9/10/99] 1999 MTWCC 56 Attorneys fees must be awarded under a specific statutory provision. Section 39-71-613, MCA (1985) is not applicable to claim for attorneys fees following Declaratory Judgment action involving insurer's right to offset death benefits because the action did not involve a "hearing" as described within that statute. Fees are awarded under section 39-71-612, MCA (1985) because the dispute concerned "the amount of compensation due." The amount of attorneys fees is governed by section 39-71-614, MCA (1985), which awards fees based on the time spent by the attorney, not upon a contingency agreement.

Ingebretson v. Louisiana Pacific Corp. [11/06/95] 1995 MTWCC 92 Claimant’s attorneys were entitled to fees for the time spent in pursuing attorneys fees prior to remand of the case by the Supreme Court where that same effort went toward proving entitlement to a penalty, but fees were not allowed for time spent post-remand in establishing the amount of fees to be awarded by the Court.

Ingebretson v. Louisiana Pacific Corp. [11/06/95] 1995 MTWCC 92 Where ARM 24.29.3802(2) provides that an attorney representing a workers’ compensation claimant shall submit a written attorney fee agreement to the DOL “within thirty days of undertaking representation of the claimant,” no recovery is allowed for work performed more than 30 days prior to execution and submission of the fee agreement.

Ingebretson v. Louisiana Pacific Corp. [11/06/95] 1995 MTWCC 92 Under section 39-71-614, MCA (1991), and regulations adopted by the Department of Labor and Industry, the maximum recovery for attorneys fees is $75.
Ingebretson v. Louisiana Pacific Corp. [11/06/95] 1995 MTWCC 92 Claimant’s first attorney was entitled to fees even though representation was later assumed by other attorneys where the first attorney’s work contributed to claimant’s success and there is no allegation of duplicated effort.