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My mother’s personal injury case has settled. We have signed a settlement agreement with them. However, the settlement check has not been sent because my mother has an active chapter 13 bankruptcy case. For this reason, no funds can be disbursed until it has been approved by the trustee and bankruptcy judge.
A large firm based in Atlantic City had the case first. However, the attorney chose to quit when I asked about the direction of the case. He was basing the entire case on my mother’s physical injuries and dismissing her cognitive injuries which were much more significant. I found another large firm in Philadelphia to take the case after the AC firm quit.
Both firms presented me with a long list of unsubstantiated expenses. When I requested substantiation to ensure the expense amounts were correct and had been incurred as a result of my mother’s case, both firms became enraged. I explained that my request was not a matter of trust, but merely a sound business operational practice and that I was certain their firms didn’t arbitrarily pay unsubstantiated invoices.
I found that my current Philadelphia firm had made a number of costly mistakes on their expense list including the submission of falsified expenses by one of their attorneys and paying a doctor for a service that had not occurred and for which they had no invoice.
I also found mistakes on the Atlantic City firm’s expenses as well. Most notably charging us for an expense for which they received a refund.
The two lawyers from the two firms are upset and are now working together to drag this process out in an attempt to “make us pay” for questioning the expenses. Instead of just admitting, “Hey, we made a mistake” and adjusting the expense list accordingly, they continue do everything in their power to drag out the process. I’m not trying to avoid paying the expenses, I just want to make sure they are legitimate.
My question to you is this:
Okay. Thanks for the information. You certainly can fire your firm now and retain a new firm to complete the process. However, that would only delay something that seems to be very close to the end. It would also cause you to incur additional legal fees because it will take more time for a new attorney to get up to speed and finish things than having the current firm complete the process (since the attorneys there are already familiar with your case and what remains to be completed).
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