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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37818
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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changed document signed by judge

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I attended an expedited hearing for myself at the workers comp court in California on 1/31/13 to find that I had been taken off the calendar the day before by the judge, my attorney and defense attorney due to a settlement document they signed on the 30th instead. I signed a stipulation document at my attorneys office 1 week prior to our court date, but the one the judge and defense attorney and EDD signed had been whited out on some dates and other things scratched off the document they all signed. I know that is not the one I signed because I have both of them in front of me. That doesn't even sound ok. What can I do about this? my attorney will not return my calls he prefers to text instead that "he will call me to explain" and will not connect on the phone with me. Also why is it that my attorney wrote into my stipulation that only he would receive the penalties and interest from ttd that I have been trying to collect since 2009 and call it attorney fees? Is this normal? He told me I would not get the penalty fees only him. What sort of law is that? He is not the one who has went this long without it. If I only have so many days to do something about this document that everyone signed but me please advise.Thanks


California law expressly prohibits an attorney from settling a matter for his or her client without advance written consent. Otherwise, the client must sign any final settlement agreement or stipulated order. See LEVY v. SUPERIOR COURT, 10 Cal.4th 578 (1995).

You can contact your attorney and tell him that unless he immediately moves to set aside the settlement (assuming that it's already entered by the judge), that you will contact the State Bar and ask for a formal investigation. And, you will contact a legal malpractice lawyer and sue for malpractice.

The judge's order can be set aside on grounds of fraud or mistake. However, before you start down the road of trying to "do-it-yourself" out of this predicament, you may want to contact your attorney and discuss the issue to make certain that the settlement as entered is not in your best interests.

I'm not trying to minimize the attorney's alleged violation of law or professional rules -- but, sometimes, economic reality must take precedence -- and you need to make certain that you're not shooting yourself in the foot by crying foul.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

If you need to contact me again, please use this link, and the system will send me an alert. Please Click the following link for IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION. Thanks and best wishes!

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