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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33760
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Good Morning, I am representing myself. I lost a case and

Customer Question

Good Morning,
I am representing myself. I lost a case and a judgement has been filed. The winning attorney, agreed to accept a lower offer, and would only accept a payment on the date he specified, we said we could not do it on that date. We agreed to pay it a day earlier and he refused. So now he is charging us the judgement amount, plus his time for talking to us, plus time in daily interest. He is playing games, saying he would not give a "satisfaction of judgement" unless I paid all amounts, and he will not give us the amount. We are thinking about paying the court instead, but believe he will add more money onto the bill, since he will have to deal with the court. Previously, the attorney double billed us, but the judge upheld it. So my questions:
1) what is the best way to proceed, to save us the most money? Pay the court, or pay the attorney?
2) What releases do I need besides a satisfaction of judgement?
3) The judge did not catch the double billing by the attorney. To file another motion, it will cost us more money, since I will have to pay the winning attorney's time for his review of my motion. Is there anyway I can bring this to the court's attention, without incurring more fees? Can I use small claims against the prevailing attorney who double charged us?
Thanks in advance for your time.
***** *****
Magic Carpet Ride LLC
cell(###) ###-####
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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""1) what is the best way to proceed, to save us the most money? Pay the court, or pay the attorney?""
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Unless the judge has ordered you to pay the money to the clerk, they won't accept it. The court system just gives a party a judgment, but doesn't act as a third party intermediary for payments unless the judge specifically orders it. So you would have to pay the plaintiff directly.
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However, you are under no legal obligation to "pay him for his time" as he is not representing you as your attorney. You are only responsible for the judgment amount, any court costs that were awarded, and any daily interest since the judgment was awarded. I believe that the judgment interest rate is 8% a year.
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I would send a written certified letter to the attorney requesting a payoff amount good for some future date, maybe 15 days in the future, so you have proof of making the request.
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Then if he doesn't respond, I would ask the clerk what the total judgment amount was that was ordered, add 8% interest annually for however long it has been outstanding, then then send a cashier's check for that amount along with a request that a satisfaction of judgment be filed within 30 days or you will file a formal Bar Complaint for abuse of process.
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""2) What releases do I need besides a satisfaction of judgement?""
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That is all you need.
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""3) The judge did not catch the double billing by the attorney. To file another motion, it will cost us more money, since I will have to pay the winning attorney's time for his review of my motion. Is there anyway I can bring this to the court's attention, without incurring more fees? Can I use small claims against the prevailing attorney who double charged us?""
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The attorney on the other side can't charge you his fees unless you have hired him or the judge orders you to pay the attorney fees. So if you filed a motion for clarification, the attorney can't add on any further fees other than what he was already awarded.
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I would suggest contacting the local clerk's office and pointing out the double billing and ask them what normally happens in a situation like this. They can't give you legal advice, but they might be able to just get the judge to review it, identify the mistake, and issue an amended judgment based on a clerical error.
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thanks
Barrister