fees, many veterans will be unable to secure counsel to bring such actions, because obviously there is no reason why counsel should work gratuitiously. The Courts have it in their power in providing for fees to prevent any extravagant allowances or improvident grants.
Counsel for the Government, quite properly, in protecting not only the Government, but also the veterans, calls attention of the Court to 38 U.S.Code § 3405, which prohibits certain fees or compensation. Section 3405, however, is a part of the legislation relating to benefits to veterans. The purpose of Section 3405 is to prevent unscrupulous persons from receiving compensation or fees for obtaining benefits for veterans from the Veterans Administration. Again, I repeat, this is a very salutary provision. It does not, however, apply to counsel fees in litigation.
The Court is of the opinion that it has power to award counsel fees in an action brought by a veteran or beneficiary of a veteran, for benefits under the various laws relating to veterans, and to provide that such counsel fees shall be paid out of the recovery. Naturally this power should be exercised conservatively and with due regard to the interests, not only of counsel, but principally of the veteran. There should be no undue dissipation of the veteran's benefits for counsel fees. The Courts can be trusted to perform this function.
The Court further deems that this is a proper case for the exercise of the power. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Court may allow as much as 25 percent of the recovery, but no more. The Court is going to use the analogy of the Federal Tort Claims Act and allow a fee of 25 percent of the recovery.
The Court may add that many of these counsel fees may be eliminated if the Veterans Administration retreated from its intransigent attitude of litigating case after case, even on points which have been decided against the Government in other cases, either by this Court or the Court of Appeals.
The Court will grant the motion and allow a fee of 25 percent of the recovery as counsel fees.
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