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Thread: Suing a Lawyer

  1. #1
    TessKokko Guest

    Suing a Lawyer

    NEW YORK CITY...I retained a lawyer after I was rearended last year. A year later( oct 2001) my lawyer called asking we set up a deposition. I informed him that I couldnt leave my work without some prior notice to my boss. ( first 2 depositions were cancelled not by me ).After some persuasion I agreed. He then called me back 2 hours later, telling me instead of wasting money and time on a depostions we should settle. There was no offer on the table from the defendent, what was I suppose to settle on?..The deposition was scheduled for that coming Monday, I called on Friday and told the laywer, I couldnt possibly make the appointment, something important had arisen at work and I couldnt leave. He calls me Monday and informs me he/his firm couldnt handle my case anylonger and I should stop by his office and pay his bill. I asked that he send me a written letter stating he didnt want to handle the case and he became nasty.He refused and I told him I would report him to the Bar Association. which I have . He then tells me I should retain another attorney and he would forward my files over to them. He has put a lean on my case to collect a percentage of my settlement. I have no problem paying what he is due, but since he FIRED ME. I still have to give him a percentage?..My case is now sitting in his office collecting dust. He also wants me to pay up front before he sends the file to another attorney his out of pocket expenses. How does a lawyer get away with all this. He was the one that refused to finish what he started and yet he wants a percentage of the settlement. I have spoken to a few other laywers and even offered to pay the amount of the first laywer out of MY settlement, this way the new lawyer wouldnt have to "share". I was missinformed, spoken to like I was a 5 year old, his legal secretary became very rude and started yelling at me on the phone. He has lied to me concerning my loss wages, he wouldnt answer any of my concerns regarding the case. I have asked for copies of different paperwork everytime he called and none were ever given. I signed papers to retain him and when I asked for copies I was told they would be mailed. I havent seen anything yet!!..I want to bring this attorney to courst, but I cant find another attorney to sue him on my behave. It seems all lawyers stick together. If it was any other proffession, I would have had dozens of lawyers offereing their services. What are my options in this matter if anyone can direct me in the right direction PLEASE HELP !!

  2. #2
    danny krankey Guest
    a couple of things jump out at me regarding your case. first, did he agree to accept your case on a percentage basis? if he did ,any percentage of zero dollars is still zero, which is exactly how much he collected on your behalf. did you sign a contract? once an attorney believes he has a strong case that is the first thing they do. next, and maybe most important, be aware of your statue of limitations. i have heard of attorneys being held liable if they, through negligence, let the statue of limitations run out on their clients case. i'm not an attorney but these are just a couple of things i feel you may need to check. good luck.

  3. #3
    TessKokko Guest
    Thanks Danny**************I have the same concerns you wrote about. Thank you for taking the time to answer my message. Now if I can only find ANOTHER attorney to handle my accident case and another to sue the attorney I have/had /or what ever

  4. #4
    danny krankey Guest
    tess, i certainly think you are on the right track. if you believe strongly enough in what you are doing, and obviously you do, and you through enough mud on the wall some of it will eventually stick! keep it up!!

  5. #5
    TessKokko Guest
    Danny.....here is some more news...update...I had asked another attorney if he would take the accident case, and offered to pay what ever the lean was on the first attorney( the one thats causing all this mess )...from my settlement..This way the second attorney wouldnt have to share with the first. I got a call from the second attorney telling me the first send him a letter asking for 450 out of pocket expenses to be paid BEFORE he hands over the files. Since I have NO IDEA how any of these things work, I agreed to pay the 450, so the case can move on, and at a later time I would handle the the firsts attorneys conduct with maybe a civil suit or thru the Bar Association. Is this normal brocedure? I thought the out of pocket expenses were obsorbed in the settlement profit..I had signed papers that he recieved 1/3 of the settlement case. Which in NYC is normal brocedure.

  6. #6
    danny krankey Guest
    Tess, exactly what does the first attorney have? Is is worth$450? Is it info you can get on your own? If the info he has in his possession is worth the $450 I would pay it like you stated. And after all the dust clears go after him in civil court and the Bar Association. It's like I said earlier, if you believe strongly enough in your case stop at nothing. It's great if you have located a 2nd attorney. Keep it up.. Please keep me posted. Danny

  7. #7
    TessKokko Guest
    Danny...From what I was told from the second attorney, the 450 covers out of pocket expenses. like court filing fee..calender date ( what ever that means ) hiring a court stenographer for depositions..stamps.. letters mailed to me certified etc...this 450 does NOT clear the lean he has on my case. He still wants a percentage of the 1/3 the second lawyer is to recieve..I am not sure what percentage he is asking...he might ask for half or 3/4 of the 1/3 settlement...which means the second attorney has to give the first attorney, half of his profit ( 1/3 )..I'll give you an example...If lets say i settle for 20 thousand dollars...1/3 of the 20 thous..goes to the attorney....lets say 7 thous....the first attorney has a lean on the 7 thousand and wants a portion of that...maybe half maybe less or more...what I offered my second attorney was to cover what ever the second is asking...it might cost me around 4-5 thousand from my 13000 that was left after settling for 20 thousand.

  8. #8
    danny krankey Guest
    Tess, just a thought. Why don't you simply fire your first attorney, pay him his out of pocket expenses and be done with him. Judging from your first post you certainly have grounds to. If he puts a lein against any settlement you receive let the judge (or jury) that heres the case decide. It sounds like he wouldn't have a leg to stand on. By all means, do not let these attorneys intimidate you. Stand your ground. One last thing. Have you considered arbitration? Much quicker and a whole lot less expensive? Danny

  9. #9
    danny krankey Guest
    Tess, while just "clicking" around I ran across a site you may be interested in. Go to main menu and click "courts, lawyers, and litigation". I acutally ran across a post from someone wanting to know if they could fire their lawyer. Judging from most of the replies most responders were obviously lawyers. If nothing else perhaps you can let out a little frustration. LOL- Danny

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