How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29267
Experience:  Lawyer
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds


I am currently being sued by my

Customer Question


I am currently being sued by my lawyer for unpaid lawyer fees. I do not disagree about being responsible for them at all. But, I am one of three defendants being sued by this lawyer for those fees. We are all equally responsible.

I have already paid exactly 1/3 of the bill. The other two defendants and I do not like each other, do not speak to each other and they also think that I owe them money personally, which is not true.

Can the defendants, during this small claims case, try to explain that I owe them money and therefor should not have to pay anything towards this lawyer bill because they claim I personally owe them more than the part of the bill they should owe an an equal party?

I dont think it should have any bearing on this case and if they do think I owe the money then they are certainly welcome to sue me separately so that I can counter-sue them.

This is in

  • Syracuse, NY - united states


Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

The fact that these defendants believe you owe them money has nothing to do with whether the three of you owe the lawyer money. That's not a defense to the issues that are being decided in this particular case. When three people all agree to do something, they are jointly and severally liable - all three of you have the obligation to ensure that the bill is paid. Any disputes between the three of you regarding who owes what are legally irrelevant.

If you were being sued in NY Supreme Court (the rather oddly named trial court) rather than Small Claims, the other defendants would have the ability to file a cross-complaint against you for the money they think you owe them, IF it's related to the fee dispute. And then you'd be able to file an Answer and Counterclaim against them. But that type of motion practice is beyond Small Claims, which tends to be very simplified.

You should also be aware that if the lawyer gets a judgment against all three of you, he's free to collect against whoever he likes, even if you already paid 1/3. But if he decides to take the rest of the bill from you, you'll be able to sue the other 2 parties for their contributions, as long as you agreed that the three of you would split the bill originally. You can also raise any other claims you have against them at that time, and they'll be able to countersue if they think you owe them money for something else.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.