• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

monetary inducement during a mediated settlement???

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

terilclark

New member
What is the name of your state?california
So during a mediated settlement that had worn me down for hours, my atty offered 10K off her bill when she saw I was super-resistant to signing anything with such a low offer...is that legal? She then raced out the door before I'd clearly said "YES I agree" and told the other party we were in agreement and done. Is any of that legal or ethical? I was in shock and went along til the next day when I protested.
 


quincy

Senior Member
What you describe sounds odd. However it would not be unethical for an attorney to reduce his fee if it helps to reach a settlement agreement.
 
Last edited:

Whoops2u

Active Member
An attorney on contingency might have a personal reason to get this thing settled quickly. As long as the client's interest was put before the attorney's self-interest, offering to reduce fees to sweeten the pot is not a problem. There is no way to know if there is a problem without a lot more facts.

What is your goal? Are you trying to remove yourself from agreeing to the settlement? Have you signed anything that indicates agreement?

Your verbal agreement to settle may not allow you to re-open negotiations--depending on what the underlying issues are and what has been done after the meeting. (Like a verbal representation to the court.)

https://apps.calbar.ca.gov/mcleselfstudy/mcle_home.aspx?testID=118

Personally, if an attorney offered to reduce his fees to me by $10,000 in ANY situation, every alarm bell in my head would go off. The only discount I've ever gotten from an attorney was a volume discount on evictions because we have good procedures that makes his job a bit easier.
 

quincy

Senior Member
If the settlement meeting went on for several hours, it appears that the the attorney did what he could to reach a settlement agreeable to his client. An attorney does not reduce his fee by $10,000 without good reason.

But there is much that remains unknown. These unknowns might change ethical and legal to unethical and misconduct on the part of the attorney.

Perhaps terilclark wlll return to offer additional information.
 

eerelations

Senior Member
Whatever was said, apparently it was said clearly enough for the attorney to believe an agreement had been reached. :)
OP is apparently disputing this. OP says her attorney jumped the gun before OP "clearly" said she agreed with this. So what did OP actually say? It would help to know what OP actually said before we can determine whether or not her attorney jumped the gun.
 

quincy

Senior Member
OP is apparently disputing this. OP says her attorney jumped the gun before OP "clearly" said she agreed with this. So what did OP actually say? It would help to know what OP actually said before we can determine whether or not her attorney jumped the gun.
I agree that what was said by terilclark to the attorney to make the attorney feel an agreement was reached is key.

I understand people often have second thoughts after making an important decision, though. It sounds to me as if a night of thinking more about the agreement made terilclark doubt the wisdom of settling.
 

Sponsored Ad

Top