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If you terminate an attorney who settled you claim without your permission...

Orlando, FL |

... and he said he settled for say $10,000 and his contingency agreement gives him 1/3 of the settlement, and then your new attorney or you yourself handle the case and get $15,000 can the lien he applied for his service before being terminated grow to be 1/3 of the $15,000? If so how is this justified? If he is fired for incompetence, neglect, criminal behavior or other good reasons why should he be worthy of getting a percentage above what he obtained?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If the case is settled, there is not going to be more money. Did he say settled or that he got an offer? He is entitled to be compensated for his work. It is not a matter of being "worthy," it is a matter of you paying him for the work he did. If you are dissatisfied with his representation, consult another lawyer.

    The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  2. Dear Poster: There are too many "ifs" in your post to properly answer this question. This all depends. What was your actual written agreement with the first attorney? Did your first attorney obtain a settlement? Did your first attorney do any work? What is the status of your case now? Did you fire your initial attorney? Usually, there is a justified lien by the initial attorney.

    The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that you should undertake with careful considerations. The use of Avvo, Inc.'s question and answer forum is only to provide general information and in no way forms an attorney-client relationship between the you and the attorney answering your question.


  3. In e very personal injury case I have handled consent of the client is required for settlement, however I would like to know what was contained in your contract. If you feel that your attorney did something unethical (settle without your consent) you could report him to the local bar association or the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. In any event if you retain a new attorney the 1/3 fee would be split between both lawyers. You should not have to pay more than 1/3.