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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4212
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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THIS questios only forZDN lawDear ZDN LawFor your opinion

Resolved Question:

THIS questios only forZDN law
Dear ZDN Law
For your opinion and advise
D-defendant
My attorney is stating: (1,2 &3)
1 “The parameters of our professional relationship are entirely controlled by the terms of our fee agreement. I have no obligation, under those terms, to participate, or to assist you in any way, in trying to collect from D
My answer
Regarding contingency free agreement that you refer(after three years) as only our professional relationship as legal fees the”-monies” shall distributed between me and you, if you do not collect any judgment there are no fees due to you. Concerning same agreement you should ”provide legal representation to clients, through trial ,arbitration or settlement..”

What is your opinion and advaise

2. Regarding subject collection attorney :"MY DUTIES ENDED WHEN I OBTAINED A JUDGMENT “ Judgment we received in April 15,2011.
My answer: Regarding schedule in settlement agreement (signed May 10,2010) that was for period two years(2010- 2012) as well as schedule payment from (2012-2013 ) that you drafted yourself (without my involvement) for ‘D ‘you was actively involved in “collect “ monies from him and never for three years point out that you do as favor for me .And the fact that you did continue on and made efforts to collect, regardless what the contingent fee agreement stated I understood that part of your job is representing me was to not only get the judgment but to make sure it was paid to me and keep your interest as well ( during THIS TIME HE collect ALREADY 60 %his payment )
What is your opinion and advise regarding my answer
3. “ l am not going to send D new payment schedule, or to use some other tactics beyond the voluntary assistance I have been giving you as a favor, go ahead and do it or get a lawyer to do it for you. No one is stopping you.”
In mean time he indicate that he will file an attorney's lien on the judgment to his portion of any monies that I could collect from D
My question
It is really I could consider as a favor negotiate with D defendant. Does he should send him confirmation ?
What is your advise
4. What is different between contingent fee agreement and fee agreement ?
5.. Collection work after default which required experience and “collection” according the schedule in settlement agreement has different concepts( notions) XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
In regard to issue no. 1, what is the issue? Have we talked before regarding your case? Can you refresh my memory please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes we tolked before . You could find your answer


4-18-13 by my e-mail


XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
OK. I've found it and reviewed it.

1 “The parameters of our professional relationship are entirely controlled by the terms of our fee agreement. I have no obligation, under those terms, to participate, or to assist you in any way, in trying to collect from D
My answer
Regarding contingency free agreement that you refer(after three years) as only our professional relationship as legal fees the”-monies” shall distributed between me and you, if you do not collect any judgment there are no fees due to you. Concerning same agreement you should ”provide legal representation to clients, through trial ,arbitration or settlement..”

What is your opinion and advaise

A: My opinion on this is that he is correct, except for the fact that he has collected some of the money and has not distributed any to you. I imagine he is think that his fees come out first of whatever he collects and then he will distribute it to you. However, it's hard to tell what's going on when he won't disclose what he has collected yet on the judgment.

I agree with him that he is not responsible for collecting on the judgment. However, if he has partially collected, then there is something wrong with the scenario. It seems to me that he is only entitled to his portion of what is collected. So, again, my advice is to request a written accounting of his collection efforts to date to see what money he has received and where it has gone.


2. Regarding subject collection attorney :"MY DUTIES ENDED WHEN I OBTAINED A JUDGMENT “ Judgment we received in April 15,2011.
My answer: Regarding schedule in settlement agreement (signed May 10,2010) that was for period two years(2010- 2012) as well as schedule payment from (2012-2013 ) that you drafted yourself (without my involvement) for ‘D ‘you was actively involved in “collect “ monies from him and never for three years point out that you do as favor for me .And the fact that you did continue on and made efforts to collect, regardless what the contingent fee agreement stated I understood that part of your job is representing me was to not only get the judgment but to make sure it was paid to me and keep your interest as well ( during THIS TIME HE collect ALREADY 60 %his payment )
What is your opinion and advise regarding my answer

A: This is an interesting point. If he undertakes voluntarily efforts to collect on the judgment, then he has expanded his duties under the attorney-client agreement and represents you in this matter as well. I think that means that in those collection efforts, he owes you a duty of loyalty. I do not think, however, that this means you can demand that he continue the collection efforts. I think he is free to stop if he wants to.

But NO MATTER WHAT HE OWES YOU YOUR SHARE OF THE MONEY HE'S COLLECTED.


3. “ l am not going to send D new payment schedule, or to use some other tactics beyond the voluntary assistance I have been giving you as a favor, go ahead and do it or get a lawyer to do it for you. No one is stopping you.”
In mean time he indicate that he will file an attorney's lien on the judgment to his portion of any monies that I could collect from D
My question
It is really I could consider as a favor negotiate with D defendant. Does he should send him confirmation ?
What is your advise

A: Well, he's right in that you can collect on the judgment yourself. He's also right that his contingency fee agreement entitles him to a lien on any amount you collect. If you collect on it, yes, you are doing him a favor (just the same as he is saying he's doing you a favor). In reality, both of you have an equal interest in the collection, so it's not really a favor at all. In regard to the confirmation issue, it's up to you guys whether you confirm with each other or not. There are no written rules on this. So if you make a deal with the Defendant, it would be smart of the defendant to tell the lawyer because the Defendant will want the judgment released if he pays it off to you.

4. What is different between contingent fee agreement and fee agreement ?

Contingent fees are payable by their terms only if the lawyer wins the case and collects. A regular fee agreement is paid like a regular bill, the lawyer does the work and then you pay him.

5.. Collection work after default which required experience and “collection” according the schedule in settlement agreement has different concepts( notions)

Not sure what you mean here exactly. But in general, collection work is different from litigation work. It's a different part of law and a different issue altogether than the one's faced prior to obtaining a judgment.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My answer to#1


My question that he actively participate already over three years. And the fact that he did continue on and made efforts to collect, regardless what the contingent fee agreement stated it means it was his interest


How it works. Depending he has interest he participate or not .He should tell me from beginning. Ethical problem does not count?


My answer to #2


We do not have attorney-client agreement. We have only contingency fee agreement and settlement agreement..What is solution?


My answer to question#3
A. Way he mentioned as a favor if under law I can collect on the judgment myself with out his permission.?


B. In regard to the confirmation issue. I mean my attorney should tell D ,that I can talked with him regarding collection


My answer to question #5


I mean collection experience only becomes necessary after a default is declared and not cured .But we have only judgment .In mean time attorney collect. It is different collection ?


 

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
1. He is not contractually obligated to collect the judgment for you. But he does have an interest in doing so. The only ethical issue I see is that he has collected money and not disbursed any to you.

2. The contingency agreement is an attorney-client agreement.

3. He has told you it is a favor, but it really is not a favor. He is not correct in calling this a favor.

4. Your attorney does not have to tell D that you can talk to him. You can talk to D now to collect the judgment without the attorney's input or permission.

5. Collection simply means receiving payment on the judgment. Yes, if the D is refusing to pay the judgment, then there are actions one can take to force the collection. The work after obtaining the judgment is outside the obligation of the contingency fee agreement. If the attorney does not want to work to collect, then he does not have to. If you do work to collect, this does not legally entitle you to more of the money collected than you are entitled to under the contingency fee agreement. This simply is not what the law provides in this circumstance, although I can see your point in that if you do work to collect the judgment then you should get a bigger share.
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4212
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
TexLaw and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Two more question that I forgot .1.As I mentioned settlement agreement (S.A.)was for period two years(2010- 2012) Since D could not pay off attorney drafted new schedule payment from (2012-2013 ) (without my involvement) . When I ask him to send same letter for period 2013-2014 he refuse to send .WHAT is the reason?. Maybe he understood that he did wrong to send for period 2012-2013, after S.A You stated ‘If he undertakes voluntarily efforts to collect on the judgment, then he has expanded his duties under the attorney-client agreement and represents you in this matter as well” He expanded only for 2012-2013 or further ?


2. In May 4,2013 you stated:’’ What I would do is send your attorney a request for a release of his lien on the remainder of the judgment and for a copy of the relevant portions of your file so that you can attempt to collect from the defendant for your self.” .Your advise now same

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 


You replied



Saturday, July 27, 2013 10:34 PM EST




Two more question that I forgot .1.As I mentioned settlement agreement (S.A.)was for period two years(2010- 2012) Since D could not pay off attorney drafted new schedule payment from (2012-2013 ) (without my involvement) . When I ask him to send same letter for period 2013-2014 he refuse to send .WHAT is the reason?. Maybe he understood that he did wrong to send for period 2012-2013, after S.A You stated ‘If he undertakes voluntarily efforts to collect on the judgment, then he has expanded his duties under the attorney-client agreement and represents you in this matter as well” He expanded only for 2012-2013 or further ?


2. In May 4,2013 you stated:’’ What I would do is send your attorney a request for a release of his lien on the remainder of the judgment and for a copy of the relevant portions of your file so that you can attempt to collect from the defendant for your self.” .Your advise now same



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 

Two more question that I forgot .1.As I mentioned settlement agreement (S.A.)was for period two years(2010- 2012) Since D could not pay off attorney drafted new schedule payment from (2012-2013 ) (without my involvement) . When I ask him to send same letter for period 2013-2014 he refuse to send .WHAT is the reason?. Maybe he understood that he did wrong to send for period 2012-2013, after S.A You stated ‘If he undertakes voluntarily efforts to collect on the judgment, then he has expanded his duties under the attorney-client agreement and represents you in this matter as well” He expanded only for 2012-2013 or further ?

2. In May 4,2013 you stated:’’ What I would do is send your attorney a request for a release of his lien on the remainder of the judgment and for a copy of the relevant portions of your file so that you can attempt to collect from the defendant for your self.” .If your advise now same.What does it mean :"copy of the relevant portions of your file so that you can attempt to collect from the defendant for your self"

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your response. I apologize for the delayed reply.

You ask:

" When I ask him to send same letter for period 2013-2014 he refuse to send .WHAT is the reason?"

I would only be speculating if I told you that I knew.

You ask:

"If your advise now same. What does it mean :"copy of the relevant portions of your file so that you can attempt to collect from the defendant for your self"

I do continue with this same advice. You would want to see the documents which the attorney has which shows the Defendant's current address and contact information, the judgment, the amount that he has collected, and the amount still due. You would further want to see information that the attorney has regarding the Defendant's bank account, including any cancelled checks that have come in. If you know the Defendant's bank account, you can get the court to grant you a writ of garnishment to allow you to seize the money in that account.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Please, you did not answer #1. He expanded only for 2012-2013 or further ? If you could

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
1.As I mentioned settlement agreement (S.A.)was for period two years(2010- 2012) Since D could not pay off attorney drafted new schedule payment from (2012-2013 ) (without my involvement) . When I ask him to send same letter for period 2013-2014 he refuse to send .WHAT is the reason?. Maybe he understood that he did wrong to send for period 2012-2013, after S.A You stated ‘If he undertakes voluntarily efforts to collect on the judgment, then he has expanded his duties under the attorney-client agreement and represents you in this matter as well” He expanded only for 2012-2013 or further ?

A: There are several questions here. I will try to address them all. First of all, when he agreed to undertake collection it implies a duty to act as your attorney during that collection. This means that he owes you a duty of loyalty and has to keep your interest in mind. The reason he has decided to no longer pursue the collection is unknown to me. If I speculate, I imagine it is because he does not feel it is worthwhile. In other words the Defendant is not paying and there is no easy way to get him to pay or get to his money. When the attorney has decided he no longer wants to pursue this, this ends his obligation, as there is no attorney-client agreement that he will act as your collector in these matters. Further, the attorney-client agreement is voluntary. When a case is not in litigation, the attorney-client relationship may be ended by either party at anytime, unless specifically provided otherwise in a written attorney-client agreement. Your written contingency agreement only requires him to act as your attorney during the litigation period of your case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Litigation period of my case is finished. His duties ended when he obtained a judgment. I understood that litigation period could start again when I will represented by collection attorney.
But I will attempt to collect from defendant myself. In meantime he stated:” I have not yet filed an attorney's lien on the judgment I obtained for you. That lien is already in place as to you, automatically by operation of law, as a result of our contingent fee agreement. Filing it on the judgment would not prevent you from collecting from D - it would simply provide notice to any person doing collection on your behalf my portion of any monies collected would have to be paid to me. I will not release any such lien until I have been fully paid”. What is solution?
Be sure that you will be paid I need start new question or i can continue.? Please let me know.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
But I will attempt to collect from defendant myself. In meantime he stated:” I have not yet filed an attorney's lien on the judgment I obtained for you. That lien is already in place as to you, automatically by operation of law, as a result of our contingent fee agreement. Filing it on the judgment would not prevent you from collecting from D - it would simply provide notice to any person doing collection on your behalf my portion of any monies collected would have to be paid to me. I will not release any such lien until I have been fully paid”. What is solution?

There really is no solution here. He does have a right to file the lien and to be paid on anything you collect. Unless he agrees to voluntarily release the lien, you have no recourse.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You stated"Your written contingency agreement only requires him to act as your attorney during the litigation period of your case." This is reason that i stated that litigation period of my case is finished. His duties ended when he obtained a judgment. I understood that litigation period could start again when I will represented by collection attorney.
But I will attempt to collect from defendant myself. In meantime he stated

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
"I understood that litigation period could start again when I will represented by collection attorney."

I should be more precise. His duty under the contract to act as your attorney was for litigation only through obtaining the judgment. Post-judgment litigation is not covered.
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4212
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
TexLaw and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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