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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I may have to file a claim in Minnesota conciliation court

Resolved Question:

I may have to file a claim in Minnesota conciliation court against a law firm who has failed to pay my professional fees as an expert witness. I remember being told once that additional charges can be assessed against a defendant for failing to pay professional fees in particular. Is this correct and, if so, is there any law or statute that I can refer to substantiate my claim for additional damages? Thank you!!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be happy to answer your question.

Attorneys and law firms are in fact held to a higher standards and can be subject to additional fees and costs when they fail to make payment for professional services, such as an expert witness fee.

Please review some detailed information related to this issue at the link below and let me know if you have any related follow up questions:

http://lprb.mncourts.gov/articles/Articles/Honoring%20Financial%20Obligations.pdf

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. There is no reference in this article as to how much of a penalty can be assessed. It is my recollection that a certain percentage of the professional fees can be assessed in addition to the amount owed. Also, what can I refer to to corroborate my claim for a penalty? Is there a Minnesota statute which addresses this?
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Dear XXXXX,

This information and extra penalties are based on the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct which govern all Minnesota licensed attorneys and you would have to file a complaint against the attorney / law firm with the Minnesota state Bar and the Bar will conduct an investigation and would assess any penalty / compensation upon conclusion of their investigation into this lawyer / law firm failure to pay for the professional services.

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
In the past, I have had difficulties collecting fees from Minnesota attorneys and attempted to file a complaint with the Minnesota Bar Association. They do not get involved in collecting outstanding debts or assessing penalties in conciliation court claims. I know that there is a specific percentage of the amount owed that can be claimed as a penalty and I intend to find out what it is. I plan to ask other attorneys at this site. Thank you anyway.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your post. A different professional here. I see that you opted out from having the previous professional assist you. Are you still seeking help?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Yes I am. There are two specific pieces of information that I am looking for; 1.) The percentage of what's owed to me that I can claim as a penalty in conciliation court, and 2.) The Minnesota statute or case law that addresses this. I cannot claim additional damages in conciliation court without anything to substantiate it. I was told several years ago by a Minnesota attorney (whose name I no longer have) that there are specific penalties for not paying professional fees owed and I recollect that he referred to either a statute or some case law. As an expert witness, I would fall into this category. I look forward to hearing from you.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your follow-up. I will do my best to help and believe I have assisted you in the past.

I have just spent about 30 minutes running through all the legal databases that I have at my disposal and do not see a specific statute pertaining to penalties. All I found was that while there was at one point a specific Opinion put forth by the Minnesota Officers of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, it was later repealed. Here is that repeal:

http://lprb.mncourts.gov/articles/Articles/Opinion%20No.%207%20Repealed%20by%20the%20LPRB.pdf

The laws that govern are located in
Disciplinary Rule 1-102(A)(4), which provides that a lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, and in Disciplinary Rule 1-102(A)(5), which provides that a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Neither provide specific fines or listings of additional obligations against the professional firm. Instead, they leave the fines and penalties at the hands of the courts.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is there any way you could check to see what, if any, penalties have been imposed by the conciliation courts themselves?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your patience.

My apologies but conciliation court opinions are not published, I really cannot provide you with a framework here. I have attempted to find them in the legal databases but as this is small claims, their information is simply not listed unless this particular case gets appealed and placed into a higher court.

Good luck.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 35641
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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