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lobomick

Guest
Was involved in auto accident. Insurance company offered $9,000 to settle. Did not accept this. Retained an attorney. Attorney informed us that can receive no less than $9,000 since that was what was offered. Case went before arbitration. Award was for $5,000. In "Contingent Fee Agreement" clause states "Clients' shall receive no less than $9,000 from any recovery." Are we still entitled to a the full $9,000 offered in the first place??? what do I do now?
 


I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lobomick:
Was involved in auto accident. Insurance company offered $9,000 to settle. Did not accept this. Retained an attorney. Attorney informed us that can receive no less than $9,000 since that was what was offered. Case went before arbitration. Award was for $5,000. In "Contingent Fee Agreement" clause states "Clients' shall receive no less than $9,000 from any recovery." Are we still entitled to a the full $9,000 offered in the first place??? what do I do now?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My response:

For an attorney to write that, as you have stated, appears to be suicidal. Could you please re-check your copy of the Retainer Agreement and quote the EXACT phrase and the EXACT clause as and where it appears?

Thank you.

IAAL



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By reading the “Response” to your question or comment, you agree that: The opinions expressed herein by "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE" are designed to provide educational information only and are not intended to, nor do they, offer legal advice. Opinions expressed to you in this site are not intended to, nor does it, create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information. No electronic communication with "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE," on its own, will generate an attorney-client relationship, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. You further agree that you will obtain your own attorney's advice and counsel for your questions responded to herein by "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE."

 
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lobomick

Guest
The clause that I quoted followed the following statement in the Contingent Fee Agreement and was handwritten by the attorney.
"1. In the event of recovery by the plaintiff/plaintiffs against the defendent/defendents, the attorney shall receive therefrom Forty Percent (40%) of any and all recovery, together with reimbursements for costs." Then there was the handwritten clause as previously quoted -- "Clients' shall receive no less than $9000 from any recovery."

Whom is this suicidal for ?? me or him??
 

I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lobomick:
The clause that I quoted followed the following statement in the Contingent Fee Agreement and was handwritten by the attorney.
"1. In the event of recovery by the plaintiff/plaintiffs against the defendent/defendents, the attorney shall receive therefrom Forty Percent (40%) of any and all recovery, together with reimbursements for costs." Then there was the handwritten clause as previously quoted -- "Clients' shall receive no less than $9000 from any recovery."

Whom is this suicidal for ?? me or him??
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My response:

For him. How can he predict how much of a recovery there would be, if any? To me, this means, should you be awarded a recovery or judgment of, let's say, $1.00 (One Dollar), the attorney himself MUST dig deep into his own pocket to pay you the other $8,999.00, and he wrote it, "Clients' shall receive no less than $9000 from <<ANY>> recovery." Well, $1.00 is a recovery, isn't it? So, as it stands, right now, if you were to say to your attorney, "I'm satisfied with the Arbitrator's Award - - I want the $5,000.00, and oh, by the way, write me a check for the other $4,000.00, because you promised me, in writing, "NO LESS THAN $9,000.00" from any recovery, and I want THIS recovery."

However, I think what he means is, his "baseline", before he can charge his percentage fee, begins at $9,000.00, and he takes a fee from any recovery above that "baseline."

But, that's only my guess. I think a judge would interpret the quoted language as I have stated, and would hold it against the attorney because it's his contract, and he wrote it - - not you.

Food for thought. Ever wanted to give an attorney the "night sweats"?

IAAL

------------------
By reading the “Response” to your question or comment, you agree that: The opinions expressed herein by "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE" are designed to provide educational information only and are not intended to, nor do they, offer legal advice. Opinions expressed to you in this site are not intended to, nor does it, create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information. No electronic communication with "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE," on its own, will generate an attorney-client relationship, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. You further agree that you will obtain your own attorney's advice and counsel for your questions responded to herein by "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE."

 
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lars coltrane

Guest
I agree and disagree. I think the baseline idea is correct. The lawyer intended to make sure that no fee be taken from any award that was less than 9,000. The placement of the clause and the language does not tell me that the lawyer is guaranting a settlement of not less than 9k.

The really important thing to learn from this is that no case, no matter how good, is ever a lock for a large award. There are too many variables.

Sorry to hear about the arb. award.
 
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lobomike

Guest
The main reason for the 9k was that was what the insurance company was offering and we felt why go to an attorney unless he truly felt he could get more. He told us that there could NOT be a settlement of less than 9k because that is what was offered. this guy has done virtually nothing, its been going on for four years! You just get so disgusted, now I now if we ask for the other 4K - we'll have to fight to get it - question is do we have to get another attorney ?? or get this be something for a local magistrate??? thanks for all the input
 

I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lobomike:
The main reason for the 9k was that was what the insurance company was offering and we felt why go to an attorney unless he truly felt he could get more. He told us that there could NOT be a settlement of less than 9k because that is what was offered. this guy has done virtually nothing, its been going on for four years! You just get so disgusted, now I now if we ask for the other 4K - we'll have to fight to get it - question is do we have to get another attorney ?? or get this be something for a local magistrate??? thanks for all the input<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


My response:

Well, first of all, you didn't tell us what kind of Arbitration this was - - U.M. Arbitration (which is binding), or Judicial Arbitration (which can be binding or nonbinding). If it was Judicial, Nonbinding Arbitration, then have your attorney file a "Request for Trial de Novo." If he won't, or if it was binding arbitration, then tell him, "Fine. Then dig into your pocket for the rest of my money, or I'm going to another attorney and sue you for malpractice and breach of contract. What's your pleasure, pal?"

IAAL

------------------
By reading the “Response” to your question or comment, you agree that: The opinions expressed herein by "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE" are designed to provide educational information only and are not intended to, nor do they, offer legal advice. Opinions expressed to you in this site are not intended to, nor does it, create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information. No electronic communication with "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE," on its own, will generate an attorney-client relationship, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. You further agree that you will obtain your own attorney's advice and counsel for your questions responded to herein by "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE."

 
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lars coltrane

Guest
I agree with IAAL in learning more about whethter the arb. was binding, nonbinding, um or other.

But, I see this differently. You were not happy with the 9k offer and you wanted to get more. So you hirer a lawyer and go into arb. Did the lawyer tell you that if you go to arb. you risk getting a lower award or did he guarantee that the award would be no less than 9k. Make a distinction between the offer and the award. Your case did not settle, it went into and there is a difference.
 
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lobomike

Guest
As I understood it arb was binding with no chance of appeal. It is not a case of wanting more necessarily, the lawyer constantly told us that he could get more than 9k offered and always said that award could NOT be less than 9k. also don't they always say - get it in writing! and as we read the contract we feel that we are owned the whole 9k. just feel like have gotten run around from beginning. have a great holiday, remember what the holiday is for!
 
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lars coltrane

Guest
Did you sign an agreement to enter into binding arbitration? Perhaps the agreement contained language regarding a hi/lo award. Do you know if the case was against your own insurance carrier? Who was the arbitrator? A retired judge or lawyer, and how was he/she selected?

 

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