Won a labor board decision against employer for past wages. When I gave decision to lawyer, I knew that the bank accounts were still active. Three months later the banks claim (according to the lawyer) there is no active company with the names of the LLC. If the employer has changed the name of his LLC, but the restaurant is still active at the same address, using the same name and with the same owner, what can I do to collect against him? I am certain the name was changed to avoid collection. Additionally is it possible the lawyer collected the judgment, kept the money and lied about it to me?
Anything is possible. A lawyer would be very foolish to jeopardize their license to practice law by stealing from a client. Unless your former employer claims to have paid the judgment, it is not likely.
Your lawyer may be able to show the new LLC is an alter ego of your former employer and amend the judgment to add that new LLC. You should consult a debt collection attorney.
It is highly unlikely an attorney would jeopardize his license to practice law and his freedom over the collection of one judgment. However, I suppose it is possible.
The more likely scenario is that the former employer is playing a shell game with his business, trying to keep you from easily collecting money. That is a very common occurrence.
You will need to hire an attorney to engage in aggressive collection efforts. Check your prior engagement contract and you will probably find collection was not within the scope of the prior lawyer agreement. Find an attorney who is very adept at collection and who knows how to play the shell game better than your former employer.
Good luck to you.
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When lawyers do what you suggest, they lose their license.
If the LLC just has a new name, that's pretty easy to figure out. It is the entity (through its tax identification number) that owes the judgment, no matter what it's new name.
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.
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