Descripción de editorial
This case involves application of the doctrine of res judicata in an action brought by two attorneys to collect fees allegedly
due them from a former client. The collection action was filed in the magistrate division of the district court. On motion
for summary judgment filed by the defendants (one of them being the former client), the trial Judge held that the claim was
barred by an adjudication previously made in favor of the client in another action instituted by one of the attorneys to enforce
a lien for recovery of the fees. The court also awarded costs and attorney fees to the defendants for defending the instant
action and, further, denied a motion by the attorneys for an award to them of fees incurred as the result of a continuance
granted to the defendants during the proceedings. The trial court's determinations were upheld on appeal to the district court.
We also affirm the trial court's judgment. The case comes to us with the following background. The appellants, Stanley Cole and Mark Taylor, practiced law together.
Their office was in Rupert, Idaho. Taylor represented Floyd Kunzler (one of the defendants herein) in a dispute involving
the administration of the estate of Kunzler's father in neighboring Cassia County.[Footnote 1] Kunzler was an heir in the
estate, and, for a time, served as personal representative of the estate. During pendency of the estate proceeding and before
the assets remaining in the estate had been distributed to the heirs, Taylor and Cole severed their business relationship.
In that process, Cole evidently assumed control over their account receivable for fees allegedly due from Kunzler. Cole filed
a petition in the estate proceeding, seeking an adjudication and enforcement of the right of Cole and Taylor to an attorney's
lien under I.C. § 3-205,[Footnote 2] in the amount of $5,238.20, against the assets of the estate distributable
to Floyd Kunzler.