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Can a fired lawyer receive a settlement after his demand has been denied within the 2 year statute?

Orange, CA |

I let my attorney go in Jan. 2013. A DEMAND was sent without my authority. The Attorney sent the demand the next day for settlement which was denied less than a week later. I had signed a contingency agreement which included " He would not send a demand without my approval . . I now have spoke with opposing insurance company and the Attorney put a lien on the monies that I may receive? In the mean time the ins. co. did closed the claim and I had it reopened. I need to start over with my claim since the Attorney had made so many errors on facts, Therefore, the demand was denied. FYI I opened the case myself in April 2012 and the Ins. Co. had already admitted fault .. I was able to reopen my claim since I was NOT being represented by a Attorney at that time.

I am afraid to obtain a new lawyer now. I feel I had been himiliated, embarrassed, cheated and left with no way to turn to but my own wits. I have the facts and paperwork together but just don't understand how to present it.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Generally the written contract you had with your prior attorney controls. If it was a straight contingency fee, he should not get paid, but there is a term called quantum meruit where the attorney is entitled to the value of the services performed. If he sent out a demand without your approval, you have a good argument that he breached the contract. I know you feel you were burned, but I would highly recommend getting counsel to represent you. Your new attorney can help make sure your prior attorney doesn't get paid and you maximize your recovery.


  2. Your focus is misplaced. I would not worry right now about your former attorney's lien - you can dispute that when and if there is a settlement or judgment. Right now you need to focus on prosecuting your case.
    I am not sure what you mean by "reopening" your claim. If you have a statute of limitations deadline approaching you need to file a lawsuit by that date; your negotiations with the insurance company will not suspend the running of the limitations period.
    I recommend that you retain a new attorney immediately.

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  3. I agree with the others that have commented on here that your focus should be on prosecuting your current case and not on the attorneys lien agreement. The lien agreement is capable of negotiation at the conclusion of your case.
    I specialize in insurance coverage and practice in Orange County. I would be happy to discuss the details of your case with you free of charge. Please do not hesitate to give me a call.