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LegalEagle1
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Experience:  Practicing attorney licensed for over 23 years.
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If a lawyer is removed from a civil case that eventually settles

Resolved Question:

If a lawyer is removed from a civil case that eventually settles can the dismiss lawyer file a motion for fees or is a lawsuit required? The motion came after the settlement.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. I would like to assist you with you question today.

Most states, including New York, allow fired lawyer to recover in quantum meruit. Quantum meruit is a Latin phrase meaning "what one has earned". In the context of contract law, it means something along the lines of "reasonable value of services". So in a case where an attorney has been dismissed from a case he the court may allow him to recover the value of the attorney's services. This is determined on a case by case basis. While the court will look at the fee agreement in making a determination regarding an appropriate fee to pay, the fee agreement will not control what is ultimately allowed.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

_________________________________________________________________
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No it does not answer my question. Please read the question. Does the judge have authority to retain part of the settlement the tell the previous attorney to file a motion for fees?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not fire the lawyer he signed off after he released two affidavits without my approval. He released the affidavits and when the asst da asked to re open depositions than he signed off. He could not oppose what he did.
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
Your initial post did not mention that the court took possession of the settlement proceeds. Can you tell what type of case this was? Was the action brought under a statute that allowed for the award of attorney's fees?

Who was the Asst DA representing? Was this lawsuit against a government entity?

Also there may be a delay in my reply to you. I have to step away from the computer for a brief period.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not fire the lawyer he signed off after he released two affidavits without my approval. He released the affidavits and when the asst da asked to re open depositions than he signed off. He could not oppose what he did releasing the two affidavits without my approval.

I also asked can a judge retain money from my settlement after the fact? After my settlement was on the record the judge told the attorney to file a motion for fees. My research show he would have to file a lawsuit.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I refused to sign the agreement because issues were added that I had not agreed on. The night I settled the case my attorney presented to me NY State Dpt of Corrections offered $750,000.0 but I would have to pay attorney fees. I understood it was only $25,000.00 to my present attorney.

After the settlement was on file the judge later told the previous atty to file a motion for fees. The lawsuit was a discrimination lawsuit. I am a black physician and four caucasian nurses did not want to work with me because of the color of my skin. NY State supported that racism. I was walked out of the facility on 96 trumped charges. I went to arbitration and the Hon. Arbitrator ruled I was the only doctor in the hearing who had a clue about medicine. He set a precedent ruling. I was discriminated against, I was to receive all back pay, bonuses accrued time, etc. His ruling was upheld by the Hon Justice Spago of the NY State Supreme Court.

The lawsuit was brought under title 7 of the civil rights lawsuit. Darren Longo is the NY Asst. DA representing the defendents. NY Civil Law entitles me to atty fees as a NY State employee.

May we continue later. I have an appointment. Thank you very much for continuing this discussion.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I refused to sign the agreement because issues were added that I had not agreed on. The night I settled the case my attorney presented to me NY State Dpt of Corrections offered $750,000.0 but I would have to pay attorney fees. I understood it was only $25,000.00 to my present attorney. The settlement contain the judges order he would retain $360,000 in a fund. I absolutely refused to sign a judges order.

After the settlement was on file the judge later told the previous atty to file a motion for fees. The lawsuit was a discrimination lawsuit. I am a black physician and four caucasian nurses did not want to work with me because of the color of my skin. NY State supported that racism. I was walked out of the facility on 96 trumped charges. I went to arbitration and the Hon. Arbitrator ruled I was the only doctor in the hearing who had a clue about medicine. He set a precedent ruling. I was discriminated against, I was to receive all back pay, bonuses accrued time, etc. His ruling was upheld by the Hon Justice Spago of the NY State Supreme Court.

The lawsuit was brought under title 7 of the civil rights lawsuit. Darren Longo is the NY Asst. DA representing the defendents. NY Civil Law entitles me to atty fees as a NY State employee.

May we continue later. I have an appointment. Thank you very much for continuing this discussion.
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
I appreciate you letting me know the additional facts. I want to be clear on what you are saying? Have you signed a settlement agreement, or did you orally agree to a settlement and then refuse to sign the agreement because additional terms and conditions that were not discussed were included in the proposed settlement agreement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I orally agreed. I was forced to agree to pay attorney fees.I worked for NY State Department of Corrections. All employees are covered by legal fees. I have not signed the agreement. The judge is threatening to uphold the agreement.
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
Let's back up then. Initially you stated the case was settled. That implied to me that you had reached an signed a settlement agreement. Now you are saying that you made an oral agreement to settle and refused to sign the written settlement because it contained additional terms that were not discussed and to which you had not agreed.
Correct?

Has a settlement check be written, and disbursed? In other words have you gotten any money yet?

You mentioned the settlement was on the record, did you appear in court and orally agree to settlement terms?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I orally agreed in court. The check has not been written because I refuse to sign with prejudice. Rule 41 (a) I do not have to sign with prejudice. Also medicare future payments were added if I needed treatment in the future related to this. NY State paid the legal fees for the defendants.How can they charge me with legal fees? Thank you for continuing to answer my questions. I just really want to know if I can be charged with legal fees?
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
I apologize for the delay in responding. I was away from the computer most of the day.

I just really want to know if I can be charged with legal fees?

Yes you can be charged legal fees. As I initially stated in New York your attorney that was dismissed is entitled to assert a claim for quantum meruit. Absent you reaching an agreement as the fees for the first lawyer, the court would determine was is the reasonable value of the services the lawyer provided.


You may want to see if it possible to negotiate with the dismissed lawyer what fee he is to receive. Then if all the terms are acceptable you can settle. If you settle the case and receive money you will have to agree to dismiss the case with prejudice.

Is this case in Federal or State court? Rule 41(a) is federal rule the state counterpart is CPLR 3217.

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/CVP/32/3217

I do not understand what you mean by "Also medicare future payments were added if I needed treatment in the future related to this"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If the defendant's attorney fees are paid by New York State why do I have to pay lawyer fees? I am a New York State employee. This will be my last question Thank You Very Much.
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
The defendant's fees are being paid by the defendant. Plaintiff's fees are typically paid by the plaintiff. In some cases such as civil rights or whistleblower cases the court can order the defendant to pay the plaintiff's fees. The court will make this determination after the plaintiff wins the case based upon a court verdict or decision awarding a judgment or relief against the defendant.

In your case you are resolving the case by settlement. When a settlement agreement is reached the agreement will usually allocate how the parties attorneys are to be paid. It may not detail the amounts to be paid. But it will state if the defendant is responsible for paying the defendant's attorney.

Again if your want to resolve the issue of attorneys fees prior to signing the settlement agreement. You should try negotiate the amounts to be paid to your current and previous attorney prior to settling the case. If you reach an acceptable agreement then put that in writing and settle the case.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

_________________________________________________________________
Please rate my answers with a positive rating (three or more stars) as this is the only way I receive credit and compensation for my work. If you have additional questions or need more information, please ask.

My goal is to provide with best assistance that I can. Please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also keep in mind that the law may not always be settled or may not support the position you want. My role is not to tell you what you want to hear. but to provide you accurate information as to what the law provides. Please do not rate me poorly just because the information I have provided does not support the outcome you desire.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-legaleagle1 also begin your question with “For LegalEagle1”
_________________________________________________________________
Use of this service does not create any attorney client relationship. Information provided is intended to explain general legal principles and assist you in finding an attorney in your area.

Please click "Great" or better to rate service.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So even though I am a New York State Employee the state is not required by law to pay my fees?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I agreed to a settlement, I did not sign because of the additional terms and conditions added. My attorney said the agreement was under 41 (a)
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
So even though I am a New York State Employee the state is not required by law to pay my fees?

Being an employee of the state would not entitle you to have your fees automatically paid. As I stated above, in some cases such as civil rights or whistleblower cases the court can order the defendant to pay the plaintiff's fees. You should review the civil complaint you filed in your case and discuss with your attorney if the causes of action you filed might entitle you to an award of attorney's fees if successful.

But keep in mind when parties agree to settle a case, they the settlement usually encompasses all issues including attorney's fees.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

_________________________________________________________________
Please rate my answers with a positive rating (three or more stars) as this is the only way I receive credit and compensation for my work. If you have additional questions or need more information, please ask.

My goal is to provide with best assistance that I can. Please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also keep in mind that the law may not always be settled or may not support the position you want. My role is not to tell you what you want to hear. but to provide you accurate information as to what the law provides. Please do not rate me poorly just because the information I have provided does not support the outcome you desire.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-legaleagle1 also begin your question with “For LegalEagle1”
_________________________________________________________________
Use of this service does not create any attorney client relationship. Information provided is intended to explain general legal principles and assist you in finding an attorney in your area.

Please click "Great" or better to rate service.
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Category: Legal
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Experience: Practicing attorney licensed for over 23 years.
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