Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–623.27. Representation; attorneys; fees.

(a) A claimant may authorize an individual to represent him or her in any proceeding before an administrative law judge under § 1-623.24(b). The claimant shall pay the fee for the representation.

(b)(1) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “successful prosecution” means obtaining an award of compensation that exceeds the amount that was previously awarded, offered, or determined. The term “successful prosecution” shall include a reinstatement or partial reinstatement of benefits which are reduced or terminated.

(2) If a person utilizes the services of an attorney-at-law in the successful prosecution of his or her claim under § 1-623.24(b) or before any court for review of any action, award, order, or decision, there shall be awarded, in addition to the award of compensation, in a compensation order, a reasonable attorney’s fee, not to exceed 20% of the actual benefit secured, which fee award shall be paid directly by the Mayor or his or her designee to the attorney for the claimant in a lump sum within 30 days after the date of the compensation order.

(c) A person who receives any fees, other consideration, or any gratuity on account of services rendered as a representative of the claimant in an administrative or judicial proceeding under this subchapter, or who makes it a business to solicit employment for a lawyer, or for himself in respect of any claim or award for compensation, unless such consideration or any gratuity is approved as part of an order, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for each offense shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. This provision applies to all benefits secured through the efforts of the attorney, including settlements provided for under this subchapter.

(d) Repealed.

(e)(1) In all cases, fees for attorneys representing the claimant shall be approved in the manner herein provided. If any proceedings are had before the administrative law judge or any court for review of any action, award, order, or decision, the administrative law judge or court shall approve an attorney’s fee for the work done before the administrative law judge or court, as the case may be, by the attorney for the claimant.

(2) An approved attorney’s fee, in cases in which the obligation to pay the fee is upon the claimant, may be made a lien upon the compensation order due under an award, and the administrative law judge or court shall fix in the award approving the fee such lien and manner of payment.