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I had a case settle over a year ago and the lawyer has still not released the settlement to me. What should I do?

Chicago, IL |

I had a personal injury case settle a year ago and the lawyer will not release my settlement to me. It appears he spent it since he says I will have to wait until he closes additional cases before he has the funds to pay me. What can I do to receive my settlement?

Attorney Answers 10

Posted

You should immediately contact the Illinois Attorney Disciplinary Commission. There is no excuse for spending a client's funds !

Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Padove strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Burtonap@aol.com (219) 836 2200

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Posted

If your lawyer has spent your settlement money, he has committed a serious ethical/disciplinary violation. Go to www.iardc.org and follow the link to report him to our licensing board. Before you do that, make very certain of your suspicions as this is a serious matter.

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Posted

I agree with my colleagues. Contact the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, 130 E Randolph Dr Chicago, IL 60601, (312) 565-2600. You may also be able to claim money from the client protection program. Here is information on how to file a claim: http://www.iardc.org/clientprotection.html

I am sorry this happened to you, and wish you the best of luck.

Atty: 845-704-7777. This answer is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not take action based upon this information without consulting legal counsel. This answer is not intended to create, and does not create, an attorney-client relationship. PLEASE REMEMBER: All claims and legal matters have statutes of limitations and/or other important time periods that apply to them. This means that you must take action on all claims or legal matters within the required time period(s) or your claims could be barred by the statute of limitations or dismissed. Contact our office or another competent attorney immediately to discuss the particular facts of any claim or legal issue you might have in order to learn what time periods apply to your particular situation.

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3 comments

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

Any chance you could let the Illinois attorneys answer Illinois ethics questions?

Daniel DeMaria

Daniel DeMaria

Posted

If I had not been absolutely sure about the answer I certainly would have.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

I suppose you wanted your points. Fair enough.

Posted

Report him to the bar association. Misappropriation of funds is a serious offense.

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1 comment

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

The Illinois State Bar Association does not handle disciplinary issues.

Posted

Report him to the board of professional responsibility.

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11 lawyers agree

Posted

Perhaps liens must be negotiated, or, worse yet, Medicare has a lien, which can take time to resolve.

However, this sounds wrong and you deserve an accounting and some answers.

Call your lawyer and if you cannot get an immediate appointment, contact the ARDC.

Did you sign a release? A settlement breakdown?

Good luck.

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL
773-944-9737
Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
Website: www.hofflawyer.com
Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

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Posted

Call the diciplinary board.

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Posted

I also agree with my colleagues. Contact the ARDC and write a full report. The Commission will investigate whether the funds are still being held. You may not be the only client affected by this type of conduct. You may also want to go to the ARDC website iardc.org to see if their are any similar public allegations against this lawyer.

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3 comments

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Posted

Even easier, ARDC usually does this via phone and will do the writing up for you. Let's hope this is not what it appears to be and is merely confusion or miscommunication.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

I agree. Hopefully it's a misunderstanding. I did not know the ARDC handles phone complaints. I'm not sure I am glad to know it now. :-(

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Posted

Good point. :)

Posted

Report him to the state Bar

Attorney Stacy E. Pepper is licensed in all State and Federal Courts in Mississippi. He is a founding Partner in the law firm of Pepper & Odom, P.C. Nothing posted here constitutes any attorney client relationship and is meant for educational purposes only. Office hours are 8:00 a.m till 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone: 601-914-9219 Facsimile: 888-456-2160 www.pepperodom.com

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Posted

I would think this is a red flag....there's no reason to wait for other cases to be resolved in order to get paid on your case. I would request and immediate sit-down and explanation!

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