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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10206
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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This is for Ely: I was suing my previous attorney for filing

Customer Question

This is for Ely:
I was suing my previous attorney for filing a Rule 11 Agreement without my consent.
The first trial in SC Court I entered in the wrong amount.
Judge dismissed the case without prejudice.
I refiled the same matter in SC Court again, this time with the correct amount.
The judge dismissed that case with prejudice.
In the second trial the counter claim was for the attorney's fees, $500.00.
The question:
How do I file in County Court?
I believe the Judge in SC Court was in error, how do I get the matter remanded back to SC Court or can I?
If I do not pay the $500.00 for the attorney's fees, if he sues me can I counter claim and bring the reasons, the Rule 11 Agreement without consent, as to why I did not pay the $500.00?
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 8 days ago.
Hello and thank you for requesting me. I am currently offline, so I will opt out and open this up for other experts. All the best.
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name is Maverick. Please give me a few minutes to review, analyze and/or research your inquiry and I will be back. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Maverick replied 7 days ago.

There are some facts that need to be flushed out here. I would suggest a phone call option for which the cost is $59.00. Please see my offer.

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Customer: replied 7 days ago.
What facts do you need?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 3 days ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using the forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today. (Your prior expert opted out).

I am sorry to learn of this situation. If I understand the situation correctly, below would be the answers to your questions:

  • (1) A "dismissal with prejudice" means the case cannot be refiled (in any court).
  • (2) Your recourse would be to file an appeal of the judge's entry of the dismissal with prejudice order - this must be done within 30 days (Ct of Common Pleas); 10 days (Circuit Ct) - see SC Rule of Court 203:
  • (3) I am a little unclear from your post as to whether or not the court has already awarded attorney's fees, or if the motion for fees is pending (Usually this is in the form of a post-judgment motion for fees, it is not a separate lawsuit).
    • (a) If the order for fees is pending, you can contest the basis of the award (i.e. are the attorney's fees authorized by statute or contract - if they are not, then the attorney's fees cannot be awarded); you can contest the amount (only "reasonable" attorney's fees can be awarded - although $500.00 is usually deemed "reasonable", you can contest the work and amount).
    • (b) If the order for fees was already issued, you are going to have to pay the fees - if you do not the other party will be entitled to pursue you for collections - this will increase the amount that you owe (You will owe not only the attorney's fees, but also the cost of collecting those attorney's fees, your $500.00 attorney fee award will quickly mushroom into thousands).
    • (c) If this really is an entirely separate lawsuit, you have the same recourse as noted above - you can contest the basis for the fees (i.e. it must be authorized by statute or by contract, and the amount must be reasonable). But you cannot re-plead the underlying cause of action, and the judge's ruling in the underlying dispute is not at issue (so you cannot use the court's ruling or your arguments as to its fault or impropriety as a basis to contest the attorney's fees award).
Customer: replied 24 hours ago.
First this is Texas, so the SC Rule does not apply.
The judge entered the award via a counterclaim by the attorney for his fees.
There is no motion.
And, how many days after the appeal period has ended do I have to pay the attorney?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 22 hours ago.

Dear Customer,

My apologies - I misunderstood the SC in your initial post as South Carolina.

The information I posted above is still applicable to your Texas claim - the entry of a "Dismissal with Prejudice" will bar you from bringing your action again in any form.

You have 20 days from the date of entry of judgment to appeal an adverse ruling in Justice of the Peace court in Texas - Texas Rule 143.