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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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In my personal Injury case, Automobile Accident, I hired an

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In my personal Injury case, Automobile Accident, I hired an attorney who did nothing on the case. He than basically hired me to do the case...so I provide all the services for my own case. I researched it, gathered all the information and than organized it to be presented to the Insurance company. The case is settled, my attorney has agreed to a flat fee, we await the cost of the totals to be paid from Medicare/Medical and the rest will be mine. Here is the question to be answered. Now that everything is settled i want to give my attorney my Invoice for the work i did on the case. Based on his contract he was to provide these services to me and techinically he did by having me to do the work. So technically he provide the work, so therefore he owes payment of the Invoice. If he refuses to pay the Invoice than he has admitted to not fully providing his services as stated in the contract so therefore he would be in breach of the contract. And if that is the case he loses all monies except for actual work he did on the case. I want to hold back all the monies from the case until he settles this Invoice with me. Can i hold back the monies? Can I charge this Invoice? If i go to arbitration will i win? Is there an attorney who take this case and can it be charged to the attorney? Good Luck
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. It is indeed unusual for an attorney to contractually hire you on your own case.

The problem is that if the money is paid in settlement, it is paid to the attorney who then is supposed to put it in the escrow account and take off his fee, and give the rest to you.

So the problem is that you could not hold back the money not because you should not, but because he would have it to begin with in his escrow account.

There is no precedent or rule under the guidelines that attorneys follow for this kind of situation (California Rules of Professional Conduct, The State Bar Act - Business & Professions Code §§ 6000 et seq., etc) because it is quite unique. You are in "uncharted waters," so to speak.

Ergo, someone in your situation may wish to:'

1) Charge this invoice, and have it be paid in addition to the settlement that you are entitled to;

2) If the attorney refuses to pay, then you should indeed consider arbitration via the Bar - specifically, the Mandatory Fee Dispute Program - here. Even though the invoice that he owes you is a contract and not "his fee" per se, given that you are his client to begin with, the Bar is likely to hear this matter under that program anyways. Attorneys fear Bar oversight and normally agree to amicable solutions to avoid such a matter, but if it comes to it, the arbitrator shall make a proper decision.

Is there an attorney who take this case and can it be charged to the attorney?

JustAnswer experts are not allowed to take customers on as clients. May I recommend the CA Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

While some attorneys work for a fee upfront, some may take it on a contingency basis, meaning they do not get paid unless you do. Usual set up is their take is 33% settlement, 40% win at hearing, etc. It is negotiable.

Best of luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
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