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Lawyer hired at spouse law firm

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Peylite

Member
What is the name of your state? PA

Long story short my lawyer (John) ran up 30-35k in fees communicating with my spouses lawyer over a 6 month span (can provide more details on how the charges were incurred if they are relevant). Once I was unable to pay off the balance at the end of the month, John told me that he was no longer able to work any issues with me until payment was made in full. Within a month or two I got a letter from my spouses law firm stating that John is now working for their law firm.

It has been 2-3 months since receiving this letter. My first reaction was shock followed by confusion on how is this possible. I didn't want to make a rash decision and really wanted to maul it over. After giving it a lot of thought I'm still troubled by this.

thank you for reading please help. What are my options?
 


Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
You still owe your lawyer or his old law firm (depending on your fee agreement) for the legitimate work he did on your case. He can no longer represent you in the matter that you have with your spouse, but so long as he does not represent your spouse in that matter or share any confidential information about you with the spouse's lawyer there is no ethical violation. His new firm is responsible for ensuring that he is cut off from participating in that case.
 

TigerD

Senior Member
$6k a month communicating with the opposing counsel? That is outrageous.
Talk to the your firm and dispute the billing and consider escalating the fee dispute. It is more likely that your lawyer negotiated his new position on your dime.

TD
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
$6k a month communicating with the opposing counsel? That is outrageous.
Talk to the your firm and dispute the billing and consider escalating the fee dispute. It is more likely that your lawyer negotiated his new position on your dime.

TD
I was thinking the same thing!!
 

quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? PA

Long story short my lawyer (John) ran up 30-35k in fees communicating with my spouses lawyer over a 6 month span (can provide more details on how the charges were incurred if they are relevant). Once I was unable to pay off the balance at the end of the month, John told me that he was no longer able to work any issues with me until payment was made in full. Within a month or two I got a letter from my spouses law firm stating that John is now working for their law firm.

It has been 2-3 months since receiving this letter. My first reaction was shock followed by confusion on how is this possible. I didn't want to make a rash decision and really wanted to maul it over. After giving it a lot of thought I'm still troubled by this.

thank you for reading please help. What are my options?
Here is a link to Pennsylvania's Rules of Professional Conduct, with comments:

 

Peylite

Member
Here is a link to Pennsylvania's Rules of Professional Conduct, with comments:


Thank you. I found this

"to detect and resolve conflicts of interest from the lawyer’s change of employment or from changes in the composition or ownership of a firm, but only if the revealed information would not compromise the attorney-client privilege or otherwise prejudice the client."

it would be impossible for me to prove where johns loyalty falls with me or his current employer. That is a dilemma only they would know. A few things that John pulled up that we could use in court to help me out she has since changed (after 3 years of constant behavior). That could be just chance but on this side of the fence it makes my head itch.

Is there any way to have my spouse change law firms?


As for the fees (it was closer to 7-8 months) I averaged a round 4K the last 2 months were 10-11K, They would talk on the phone 2-3 times a day 2-3 times a week as well as 2-3 emails per week each set of emails were replied to 2-3 times. Each email cost $45-$60 and the calls were $45-120 each. as for the emails I was never CC'ed on but didnt think anything of it. Since then my new lawyer CC me on everything regardless of context.

Thank you for the Mull. My son plays a game that has MAUL and i see it all the time and went with it without thinking. Thanks for pointing that out it gave me a laugh!
 

quincy

Senior Member
Thank you. I found this

"to detect and resolve conflicts of interest from the lawyer’s change of employment or from changes in the composition or ownership of a firm, but only if the revealed information would not compromise the attorney-client privilege or otherwise prejudice the client."

it would be impossible for me to prove where johns loyalty falls with me or his current employer. That is a dilemma only they would know. A few things that John pulled up that we could use in court to help me out she has since changed (after 3 years of constant behavior). That could be just chance but on this side of the fence it makes my head itch.

Is there any way to have my spouse change law firms?


As for the fees (it was closer to 7-8 months) I averaged a round 4K the last 2 months were 10-11K, They would talk on the phone 2-3 times a day 2-3 times a week as well as 2-3 emails per week each set of emails were replied to 2-3 times. Each email cost $45-$60 and the calls were $45-120 each. as for the emails I was never CC'ed on but didnt think anything of it. Since then my new lawyer CC me on everything regardless of context.

Thank you for the Mull. My son plays a game that has MAUL and i see it all the time and went with it without thinking. Thanks for pointing that out it gave me a laugh!
It is a pretty good bet that John's new firm is keeping him far away from your spouse's case and your spouse's lawyer.

Because you do have a new attorney, he should be able to address any concerns/fears you have about the confidentiality of the information you shared with your original lawyer.

You can have your attorney's law firm go over with you the bills from your old attorney. I can't tell you if the amount you've been charged is reasonable or not. You should be able to determine this better after going through all of the charges one by one, and comparing these charges with the fees agreed upon in your contract with your first attorney.

Good luck.
 
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