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Advocate4You
Advocate4You, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 115
Experience:  Experienced attorney specializing in mortgage fraud and other legal issues.
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In case of a fee dispute, can an attorney file an attorney

Customer Question

In case of a fee dispute, can an attorney file an attorney lien at court on the monies awarded to the client without serving her a "Notice of Client's right to Arbitration" first?
= does filing a lien count as a legal action or not?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Advocate4You replied 2 years ago.
Hello. To answer your first question, yes, filing a lien is a legal action. Under the California rules of professional responsibility (rule 3-300) you must be given notice in the form of informed written consent if your attorney takes action that is adverse to you. You are right that you must be served with a notice of rights before the attorney files suit.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the Retainer Agreement between me and my attorney does include that I agree that the attorney have a lien in case of unpaid fees. Would they still had to give me a Notice of Right to Arbitrate before filing the lien?
Expert:  Advocate4You replied 2 years ago.

Absolutely. Before a California attorney can proceed to court to collect attorney fees, the client must receive this notice.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am acting now as my own attorney for the original case where I was awarded monies that they put a lien against. The case is still not closed as the Findings and Order After Hearing is not yet finalized and filed. Can I file a complaint with the court letting them know about the fee dispute and that they filed the lien without giving me the Notice of Right to Arbitrate? If so, how?
Expert:  Advocate4You replied 2 years ago.
This appears to be an ethical issue. Prior to filing a complaint with the court, you may want to contact the California State Bar. Remember that if you answer a lawsuit filed by the attorney with the fee dispute or if you file a legal action against the attorney AFTER you have received notice of your right to arbitrate then you cannot later request arbitration. However, it does not appear that this applies because based on what you have stated you never received notice.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Just that it is all clear, finally:

I understand that the best way is to file a complaint with the California Bar Association,
but theoratically can I file a request with the court to remove the lien since the case is still open, or the court has no jurisdiction in that (originally it was a simple case to increase child support)?
Thank you very much, you've been wonderful....:)
Expert:  Advocate4You replied 2 years ago.
By the way, the legal authority for my answer comes from the California Business and professions code article 13, section 6201
Advocate4You, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 115
Experience: Experienced attorney specializing in mortgage fraud and other legal issues.
Advocate4You and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Advocate4You replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome. You could file a motion with the court in regard to the lien, however, it may be helpful to obtain an opinion in regard to whether the attorney was required to give notice prior to filing the lien in the first place.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I thought that you said that filing a lien is a legal motion and therefore he was supposed to give me a "Notice of Right to Arbitrate" before doing that. Now I am confused.

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