Your previous attorney is under no obligation to communicate with you as he is no longer your attorney. He/she will communicate with the insurance company with regard to a lien which should be for time spent in addition to any costs. Though there were only two one-page letters written I'm sure the attorney also investigated the incident, sent out representation letters, etc.
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If you retained a new attorney to settle your case, that attorney should be negotiating the fee with your prior attorney. If not, and if you discharged your attorney without cause, the attorney is entitled to a reasonable fee which may be the full agreed contingency fee.
The insurance company will issue a joint check. Unless you and your attorney can agree on the amount of his fee, the disputed portion of the settlement should be put into an attorney trust account pending resolution through fee arbitration or otherwise.
Once you have a settlement with the carrier and a check in hand, call the attorney. You and the attorney will have to come to some agreement for you to be able to negotiate the settlement draft.
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The State Bar of California allows attorneys to charge a reasonable fee. What constitutes reasonable is an issue of much discussion and dispute - the reason retainer agreements are written and designed to head off any misunderstandings. In the case of the 1/3 contingent personal injury matter, many retainer agreements set forth that should the client terminate the relationship, the attorney will be compensated for time and costs at a certain rate or at an amount calculated to reflect said attorney's contribution and influence on the ultimate outcome of the case.
Of course, disagreements can arise between a disgruntled client and a rejected lawyer, and that is why local county bar associations offer fee dispute arbitration.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
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* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.Ask a similar question
Get another attorney who can negotiate down the lien, and maximize your settlement. Find a lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you get the lion’s share of the settlement, not your lawyer. Thus, don’t get hurt twice by paying a huge fee. Good luck.
Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.comAsk a similar question