Letter of May 17, 1979

HILL & HANSEN
A Law Corporation
722 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California 94111
May 17, 1979
Donald & Bonnie Beck
P.O. Box 1012
Ukiah, CA. 95482

Re: Claim against People’s Temple
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Beck:

Per the telephone conversation this afternoon between Mr. Beck and myself, I am enclosing the Contingent Fee Agreement and a General Authorization for each of you. By the Contingent Fee Agreement, you authorize us to represent you in any claims you may have against the People’s Temple, and further represent that you have made no fee agreements with any other attorneys regarding this matter.

As I outlined to you on the telephone, we plan to file a claim with the Receiver of the People’s Temple by May 31, 1979, and will later filed suit against both People’s Temple and the Estate of Jim Jones.

If you haven’t already dropped the things in the mail which I mentioned on the phone, let me just confirm what we need:

1. Copies of any out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of the tragedy in Guyana; in your case I believe you said that entails only a copy of the canceled check for burial and funeral expenses.

2. Any sort of documentation of money or property given to the church while you were members.

3. A short statement, (one from each of you, not more than a couple of pages each), describing your relationship with the church, your involvement, your money and time commitments, the jobs you performed. The statement IP best put together chronologically, beginning when you first joined the temple.

4. Also, including your statement your expectations for the future in the church. For example, did you expect eventually to go to Guyana yourselves, did you expect to continue in the church and devote your lives to it, did you expect to always live communally with other members, did you expect to be taken care of by the temple and old age, etc.

I realize that I’ve expanded my requests over what I asked for on the phone. If you have any questions, please give me a call.

Again, it’s very important that we get these things from you SOON. The claims must be filed by May 31, 1979.

Very truly yours,
[signed] Beth Moen
Beth Moen
Paralegal


CONTINGENT FEE AGREEMENT
RE: G. DONALD & BONNIE BECK vs. PEOPLE’S TEMPLE

IT IS HEREBY AGREED by and between the undersigned (CLIENT) and HILL & HANSEN, A LAW CORPORATION (HILL & HANSEN) that:

1. HILL & HANSEN shall provide one or more attorneys to represent CLIENT in the claim arising out of wrongful death & breach of contract with power of attorney to execute all documents necessary to legally assert the claim. The designation of a specific attorney or of more than one attorney for the representation of CLIENT shall be at the sole discretion of HILL & HANSEN.

2. In the event that a recovery is obtained for CLIENT, either by settlement or court judgment, HILL & HANSEN shall be entitled to a fee equal to the amounts expended by HILL & HANSEN in the course of representation of CLIENT plus:

      a. thirty-three and one-third (33 1/3) percent of any sum recovered before suit is commenced; and

b. forty (40) percent of any sum recovered after commencement of suit.

CLIENT grants to HILL & HANSEN an assignment and lien on CLIENT’s claim and lawsuit to the extent of HILL & HANSEN’s fees.

3. Should note recovery be obtained for CLIENT, HILL & HANSEN shall receive nothing for the services it has provided.

4. CLIENT will advance $ -0- for payment of the costs of litigation. HILL & HANSEN may at any time require a reasonable advance to cover the expenses and costs of litigation.

DATED: [handwritten date] May 24, 1979

[blank line] CLIENT (Print Name)
[blank line] CLIENT (Signature)
[blank line] ADDRESS
[blank line] TELEPHONE (Home & Work)

HILL & HANSEN
A Law Corporation
722 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA. 94111
Telephone: 415-398-2434
BY: [blank line]


GENERAL AUTHORIZATION
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

RE: G. DONALD BECK

Please show and supply my attorneys, HILL & HANSEN, their associates and agents, all records of any kind they desire: all medical records, x-rays, documents, reports, clinical abstracts, histories and charts of every kind and description relative to treatment, prognosis, diagnosis, care and hospitalization; all Police, Highway Patrol, Sheriff, or other investigation reports; all employment records; previous medical records; any files of attorneys; and any other records of any nature they desire. My attorneys are investigating and/or proceeding on a claim on my behalf and your cooperation is applying the information requested and allowing copying of the documents will be appreciated. A xerox copy of this General Authorization has the same effect as an original by me.

[blank line]
G. DONALD BECK

Dated:

HILL & HANSEN
Attorneys at Law
722 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California 94111
Telephone: (415) 398-2434

Originally posted on May 24th, 2013.

Last modified on August 30th, 2014.
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