I paid a lawyer $10,000 if i am found not guilty is there any way i can get any of my $ back from those that charged me?

Asked over 4 years ago - Hartsville, SC

my husband was locked up for distribution and i was charged with conspiracy. there were 3 people that wrote statements saying i was involved

Attorney answers (2)

  1. James D. Mosteller III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . the prior answer is essentially correct. you have a potential case for liable. if one or more of the three persons that wrote statements lives in their own home, they may have a homeowners policy to go after, since a number of those policies will respond to slander/libel causes of action. These are not easy cases, and part of the difficulty is collecting any money even if you do win.

  2. Ronald S. Pichlik

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Being found not guilty is not the same as being found innocent. In our system no one is ever found innocent. A not guilty verdict simply means that whatever evidence the state presented did not rise to the level in the jury's mind to overcome the presumption of innocence and prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You certainly can not recover your attorney fees from the state; the government has immunity from such a lawsuit. If you are able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the statements made by the witnesses were knowingly false at the time they made them you could theoretically file lawsuit to recover your attorney fees along with other damages from those witnesses. However, you will not simply be told you'll get your attorney fees back from these people if you are found not guilty. You would actually have to retain an attorney and sue these people in court. The difficulty with that type of case is that the attorney who would take it on would have to believe that there would actually be money that could be collected, (these type of cases are usually handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that the lawyer gets paid if money is recovered). It is not enough to simply win the lawsuit. You then have to be able to collect money or assets of value to satisfy the judgment. Personally, the only way I would be willing to take on such a case is if the client understood that I was taking the case on a hourly billing basis and they paid a significant retainer up front.

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