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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37950
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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based on ABA Rules of Professional Conduct 1.8 (i) A lawyer

Resolved Question:

based on ABA Rules of Professional Conduct 1.8
(i) A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except that the lawyer may:
(1) acquire a lien authorized by law to secure the lawyer's fee or expenses;


Questions
1) What is the meaning "authorized by law" , is that means the lien should be authorized by the court or ??? OR
2)Can attorney can lien the settlement of the case he is handle to pay his legal bill even his legal bill is not due and payable without court approval

thanks
Eugene
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

In this instance 'authorized by law' means any method permitted to obtain a lien is allowable. Some jurisdictions allow the attorney to file for a 'mechanic's lien' without a judgment based on services done but not paid for. That type of a lien is 'authorized by law' and is permitted. Otherwise it requires the party to go to court and secure a judgment before they can place a lien (which is likewise what is meant by that comment, since that behavior is authorized).

An attorney can place a lien against the settlement without going to court based on contract and conditions of his fee agreement. Many contingency based attorneys if terminated early do just that, they lien against the work they have done so if there is a judgment and settlement, they get paid along with the new attorney if there is one, or first if the settlement was do 'pro se'.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

how and where do you file mechanical lien ?


Below is our agreement with the attorney


X Lien.

Client hereby gives Lawyer a lien on any and all of Client's property, materials or proceeds which come into possession of Lawyer during the course of its representation of Client to secure payment of monies due Lawyer from Client.

The only unpaid bill we received was on Aug 9, 2013 6:15 PM. The due date for payment of this bill should be Sept 8, 2013


can the attorney inform the informing the lawyer of the other party that ‘there is a lien for my legal fees (to be calculated to the present date later today)” Can attorney has the right to do such action


Thanks

Eugene
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Eugene.

A mechanic's lien is file in the county recording office where the party against whom the lien is being recorded resides. If they have property, the lien is recorded against their property that they own in that county.

In addition the new attorney, if informed by the old attorney if the lien, has to take it into consideration AND does not have to sacrifice his own fees. So then if you did not inform the new attorney of the past attorney or his lien, you may be compelled to pay twice out of your settlement amount, since the new attorney does not have to sacrifice his own share in this instance.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37950
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Dimitry ,


Hope you have a happy weekend


 


I am very sastify with the first response , but I think your misunderstand my follow up question


 


Currently we have on going case against a certain unit owner which owe us several month of common charge , The issue is when our attorney who is handle the said case send me a bill dated on Aug9 , and requested me to pay the bill right away , but in our agreement , we have 30 days to review and pay , the attorney get mad and inform the lawyer of the other party (unit owner ) that ‘there is a lien for my legal fees (to be calculated to the present date later today) and imply any settlement between the unit owner and me , the attorney of unit owner should pay his legal bill first because we owe him money


 


When I question him why he lien the settlement for his legal fee , he cited ABA Rules of Professional Conduct 1.8.i.1 (which is my first question ) do you think he is right or he violate any professional conduct


 


Thanks


Eugene

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Eugene,

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday yourself. I am happy to hear that you are satisfied with my first response--please let me review the second question to see if I misunderstood it.

You posted:

Currently we have on going case against a certain unit owner which owe us several month of common charge , The issue is when our attorney who is handle the said case send me a bill dated on Aug9 , and requested me to pay the bill right away , but in our agreement , we have 30 days to review and pay , the attorney get mad and inform the lawyer of the other party (unit owner ) that ‘there is a lien for my legal fees (to be calculated to the present date later today) and imply any settlement between the unit owner and me , the attorney of unit owner should pay his legal bill first because we owe him money

Legally he is within his rights to do so. He is owed money if you haven't paid the bill. I do agree that if you had 30 days to pay, you are not yet in breach of contract, but the debt is valid--as a consequence that obligation can be disclosed and used as a means to place a lien against the settlement amount. He does not have to wait 30 days to place this interest, he can do so the moment the debt is valid. While it is possibly shady, it is not illegal.

 

 

When I question him why he lien the settlement for his legal fee , he cited ABA Rules of Professional Conduct 1.8.i.1 (which is my first question ) do you think he is right or he violate any professional conduct

I do not see this violating the professional conduct in this instance based on my explanation above. I do apologize for the confusion, I thought you replaced the attorney with someone else, but in this case letting the other side know that he has an interest in the settlement is not a violation.

 

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Dimitry ,


Thanks for the response, now I am confuse and let me ask the last question


From you explanation of ABA Rules of Professional Conduct 1.8.i.1 in your first response


 


'authorized by law' means any method permitted to obtain a lien is allowable. Some jurisdictions allow the attorney to file for a 'mechanic's lien' without a judgment based on services done but not paid for. That type of a lien is 'authorized by law' and is permitted. Otherwise it requires the party to go to court and secure a judgment before they can place a lien (which is likewise what is meant by that comment, since that behavior is authorized).

An attorney can place a lien against the settlement without going to court based on contract and conditions of his fee agreement


 


I don't think the attorney meet any above condition, am I correct?


 


Thanks


Eugene


 


 


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Eugene,

No, you are not correct in this situation. Notice from my initial response that in some jurisdictions simply letting the parties know of the debt is sufficient. That is what he had done, and by doing so placed a known interest against the judgment. He can likewise go to court and seek a judgment, or file formal papers, but then he would end up adding all those expenses plus his legal fees to the amount owed to him--you really would not want him to do that, as what I described is not just legal but permitted in these instances.

Good luck.


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