§ 131.55. Attorney fees and costs.
(a) In all cases, claimants counsel shall submit a copy of the fee agreement, and a copy of any statement or claim for disbursements, costs and expenses. No agreement or claim for fees or other disbursements, costs or expenses by claimants counsel shall be valid, and no payments shall be made pursuant thereto, unless approved for payment by the judge before whom the matter is heard or by the Board as provided by law. Except as otherwise approved, no further fee, cost or expense is to be charged.
(b) Under section 440 of the act (77 P. S. § 996), in a disputed claim under the act when the employer or insurer has contested liability in whole or in part, the employee or a dependent, in whose favor the proceeding has been finally decided, will be awarded attorney fees and costs against the employer or insurer, unless the employer or insurer had a reasonable basis for contesting the petition.
(c) Claimants counsel may file an application for quantum meruit fees at or before the filing of proposed findings of fact, proposed conclusions of law and briefs, and if there are no proposed findings of fact, proposed conclusions of law or briefs requested, at or before the close of the record. The application shall detail the calculation of the fee requested, shall itemize the services rendered and time expended and shall address all factors enumerated in section 440 of the act in support of the application.
(d) Within 15 days after service of the application for quantum meruit fees, an opposing party may file a response to the application detailing the objections to the fee requested.
(e) A decision on the fee award will be made based on the record of the case and, if filed, the application and response. If deemed appropriate by the judge, a hearing may be held and evidence presented.
(f) The application and response will be made exhibits of record and shall be served on unrepresented parties and counsel of record as provided in § 131.34(a) (relating to other filings).
(g) Subsections (a)(f) supersede 1 Pa. Code § § 35.1 and 35.2 (relating to applications generally; and contents of applications).
The provisions of this § 131.55 amended under sections 401.1, 435(a) and (c) and 1608 of the Workers Compensation Act (77 P. S. § § 710, 991(a) and (c) and 2708); section 2205 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 565); and section 414 of The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act (77 P. S. § 1514).
The provisions of this § 131.55 adopted March 29, 1991, effective March 30, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 1401; amended December 6, 2002, effective December 7, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6043; amended December 19, 2014, effective December 20, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 7837. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (346000).
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