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lawyer problems

  • Thread starter barbarabandyszewski
  • Start date

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In a nut shell. I was in an accident, not my fault. The lawyer I went to sent out a demand letter ($21thouand) and the insurance company came back lower ($11thousand), this was all done without talking with me. When he faxed me over a dispursment sheet to sign I declined the amount. I found out a few weeks later that my lawyer had contacted the insurance company and informed them that he was no longer representing me and that a lien would be put on my settlement for his pay (he never followed up on this with a letter and he NEVER told me this). I met with him eariler this week and since a settlement amount was given by the insurance company he automatically gets 33% of the $11thousand (it's in the paperwork I signed when I've yet to get a copy of). For lack of a better term ... have I been screwed by my lawyer? Do I have any recourse?


Donna Evans

To Barbara
Regarding your attorney, what is going on in this country?????? Lawyers that do this without your consent, certainly report him to the bar association, good grief people,
we need to stop these Dr.s , and lawyers
from this kind of abuse,what state do you live in? this is awful, go get him..
email me if you want at
[email protected] Donna


Senior Member
Your rights depend on the state you are in
-- and what exactly it said in the retainer or fee agreement you signed.

At the outset, it is important that the client and the attorney agree on the parameters of what a reasonable value of the case will be and at what stage. For example if based on stories in the newspaper you will not settle unless you get $500,000, and after describing your injury to the attorney (and before getting all the facts) the attorney tells you he thinks the case can settle before trial for something between $10,000 to $20,000, that attorney should not be taking you on as a client and you should not be using that attorney.

No attorney should ever make a demand for a specific amount, or accept a settlement offer, without express authorization from the client. If you previously gave approval for the attorney to ask for that amount, or to settle for that amount, then the lawyer could be within his or her rights, although the better practice might be to reconfirm before settlement, as circumstances change and new evidence (some favorable, some unfavorable) is uncovered.

In most states the attorney is bound to notify the client of bona fide settlement offers received to allow the client to decide to accept or reject them. While what constitutes a bona fide settlement offer varies by state and circumstances, in many states NOT communicating a bona fide settlement offer would be grounds for disclipline by the bar authorities.

If you fire your attorney, or she or he "fires" you, the attorney is generally entitled to be paid for the work done on your behalf. The old attorney will have an attorney's lien on the case, and collect from the proceeds; in some states, the attorney also has a lien on the files and need not release them until the fee is paid, while in other states failure to turn over the files is grounds for discipline.

In contingency fee cases, such as nearly all accident matters, the almost uniform state practice is for the old attorney to get his or her share of the fee from the ultimate settlement or judgment. At that time some money goes to the old attorney and some to the new attorney based on the agreement and/or the value added. If the lawyers can not agree on a basis for allocation, the court or a bar committee often decides.

One more thing, most lawyers contacted about taking on a case that another lawyer has dropped get concerned. They often fear the client may be unreasonable or unpleasant, the facts and circumstances may not be what the client is stating, or there are other problems with the case. In addition, they know they will earn a lower total fee as they have to share it with the former lawyer, and perhaps engage in an unpleasant dispute to resolve it.

This is intended as general information only and NOT LEGAL ADVICE. You are not my client, and I have no obligation of any kind to you. To retain a lawyer, go to http://AttorneyPages.com


Sorry ... this happened in Nevada. Do you think I could "fire" him (still waiting on the "contract" I signed with him) and finish this on my own. The issue now is agreeing on a settlement amount with the insurance company. I also want to report him ... I'm tied of "just letting it slid", I want to shout it from the rooftops that what he did was wrong, and, I'm gonna help make sure it's not done to someone else!

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