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Can my lawyer keep my equitable distribution payout to apply toward their fees?

Pittsburgh, PA |

Got a equitable distribution and my lawyer is trying to keep it.

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Attorney answers 1


In PA, what you are describing is called an equitable attorney lien. The attorney had to be the one to get the fund out of which he seeks to be paid and it must have been agreed that counsel look to the fund rather than you. The lien is limited to costs, fees, etc. from the case that generated the fund. And finally, there must be equitable considerations which necessitate the recognition and application of the charging lien. See Johnson v. Stein, 254 Pa. Super. Ct. 41, 385 A.2d 514 (1978). If you want to fight this lien, you are going to need an attorney. This will most likely involve some court time.

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