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Philippines Fee Dispute Is Ruled On As Tuy 7% and Murphy 3% End of an Era at SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 2 – In 2014 a dispute about Philippines assets from the Marcos era was placed before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla. 

 On June 16, 2020 Judge Failla held a proceeding concerning two lawyers still seeking attorneys fees and payments from the Philippines government, now of Duterte. Inner City Press covered it.

Judge Failla asked former Philippines' counsel Ken Murphy and Salvador Tuy about fees they are requesting. She asked Murphy if it's the case, to use her football analogy, he didn't get the ball over the goal line.  

 Murphy replied, Only because I wasn't being paid... I worked a lot. I am asking for $580,000.  

  Tuy for his part said, They are claiming there is no issue about my fee. Back on May 9 I said, my retained with 7% was cleared all the way to Executive Secretary. 

Judge Failla: Is this the retainer agreement? 

Tuy: Yes. I feel I am owed $280,000. 

 Judge Failla: I may ask for that in writing. Please mute your phone. Mr Amatorio, your client the Philippines, what is their position? 

Amatoria: Under President Aquino, Mr Murphy got paid. But the current administration, no more.  The current administration, they are very stringent about hiring foreign counsel. 

On November 30, the case was again on for a proceeding, this time by video with a public call in number. Inner City Press called in; the parties were told the press was on the line.

They balked. One said he had expected to be able to "approach the bench" and speak privately with the judge. To her credit, Judge Failla's deputy said this is not how it works. Still, it appears that a separate, non public telephone conference took place. Another public call was set, for December 2. Inner City Press again covered it.

 In this proceeding, Judge Failla ruled on who gets what, in terms of attorney's fees, citing quantum meruit. Tuy got 7%, and Murphy 3%. It's Tuy, then, to order the transcript.

The case is District Attorney of New York County v. The Republic of the Philippines et al., 14-cv-890 (Failla). 


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