I bought a used car for $32,000.00 with a mayor mechanical problem. Dealer declared in bankruptcy.
My lawyer sued the lender, they failed to inspect the car, and asked us to continue making the monthly payments.
After paid more than $18,000.00, my lawyer settled with the bank for $12,000.00. He only gave me $7,000.00.
When I ask my lawyer for the other $5,000.00 he just does not responds to my question, ignoring my letters and emails.
I have contacted the lender and I got copy of the check, back and forth, and also the settlement documentation where one of the condition was the check to be under my lawyer name.
The settlement check says: "Pay to the order of XXXXXXXXX" (my lawyer names) and about the bottom almost at the middle of the check my name.
The worse, the Lender reported to the IRS I got the $12,000.00 and they want to collect taxes on it.
You need to use the Find a lawyer feature of Avvo. This is for legal questions. Your facts above seem to indicate that you don't understand that your lawyer's fee comes from the gross recovery (assuming this was a contingent fee matter.)
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
In NJ, we take attorney ethics seriously. Read this regarding fees in NJ: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/oae/atty_disc/atty_disc.htm. It is very easy to challenge a fee in NJ. Also, don't assume that your attorney committed malpractice. Ethics issues, fee disputes and malpractice are all separate issues. You are describing one of the first two.
As Mr. Doland noted, the find a lawyer feature on Avvo produces great results for those looking to hire an attorney.
You are entitled to sue your lawyer for the funds due you, but he is entitled to earn a fee pursuant to the terms of your retainer agreement with him. In NJ, a contingency fee MUST be in writing. An hourly fee need not, but is best to protect both parties, especially if this is the first time you have utilized this attorney. The Rules of Professional Conduct and Rules of Court require that a fee be "reasonable." If it was an hourly, it must be reasonable for the work done as well as the size of the recovery. As noted by my colleagues, in NJ a dispute regarding a fee can be submitted to the Fee Arbitration Committee in the county in which you reside.,
I can give you the names of an attorneys (I can be reached at 973-994-9080), but I cannot represent you as I am a member of a District Attorney Ethics Committee, and if the matter is resolved, you may still have a grievance to file against the attorney.
The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.