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Was sued by a former lawyer for attorney fees can I file a motion to compel arbitration? Live in Ct. bar has ADR.

Waterbury, CT |

Ct has ADR but it is not mandatory. I am in disagreement with the final bill, was in bk, filed chapter 7 wife filed 13 then converted to 7 remaining fees were discharged in her 7. He represented us jointly but work at the end was done primarily on her behalf. She is the breadwinner, I am making very little money. I want to go to ADR to dispute bill, there is no arbitration clause in the contract signed with the attorney. Can I file a motion to compel ? I want to fle the motion and then appeal it if it is denied instead of filing an answer to the complaint.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

Generally speaking, arbitration can only occur if the parties have an arbitration clause.

HOWEVER, if your lawyer belongs to the Connecticut Bar Association ( (860) 223-4400), their bylaws REQUIRE the lawyer to submit to binding fee arbitration before the Connecticut Bar Association (they provide this as a free service and the arbitrators are volunteers). Yes, you can file a motion to compel arbitration and it would normally be granted under our version of the Connecticut Arbitration Act.

Please note the bankruptcy court retains jurisdiction to review the fees of lawyers that practice before it.

If a lawyer's fee arrangement is not in writing, our version of the rules of professional conduct generally do not allow the lawyer to charge ANY fee.

I am admitted to practice in Connecticut and limit my responses to CT law.

Asker

Posted

Thankyou so much this was very helpful. Wilk file motion to compel with stay and look into having banjruptcy court review fees as well.

Asker

Posted

Intetesting bc my wife did not have a signed agreement/contract ( he sent me a copy of an unsigned contract so I am not even sure I signed anything other than a contract signed five or six yeats ago) He is charging me for work done on her behalf and discharged in bk. Possibly she never owed him anything in the first place. Will file my motions and proceed with ADR. Thank you again

Houston Putnam Lowry

Houston Putnam Lowry

Posted

The Connecticut Statute of Frauds says you don't have an obligation to pay the bills of another (a guaranty) unless you have promised to do so in a writing signed by you.

Asker

Posted

Filed arbitration motion and am waiting. The lawyer filed a motion against arbitration because he doesn't agree. We will see what happens.

Posted

The attorneys fees are subject to the Bankruptcy Court. Your attorney would have to file an application for fees with the Court and you should have been provided a copy of the application / motion for fees. You need to contact your Chapter 7 Trustee and see if it is too late to file an objection to the fee application in the Bankruptcy Court.

Attorney is Licensed in Arizona, California, and Colorado only. The opinions and comments offered are in the nature of general business advice relating to generic questions that might be raised. The use of this site is not intended to form an attorney client relationship of any kind. The reader is advised that every situation is different and you should always consult in person with a licensed attorney for the particular jurisdiction in question when your legal rights may be effected.

Asker

Posted

It was much more complicated. There was an adversary proceeding filed against us. The original lawsuit spawned many more lawsuits. Basically took every dime we had including our house. We can't go through one more lawsuit. We are going to go the ADD route and hope they can help. The lawyer I am in conflict with represented me in the adversary and b k. My wife had a different black attorney. I don t think b k court can set fees in an adversary.

Asker

Posted

Mean b k attorney not black attorney! Typo