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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Attorney
Category: FL Real Estate
Satisfied Customers: 6421
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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I have a insurance claim in kissimmee ,fl, the insurance

Customer Question

i have a insurance claim in kissimmee ,fl, the insurance company has already issue me the claim payment,but the public adjuster who abandoned my contract before the claim settled, requested payment. I told the public adjuster that he has already abandoned my contract before settled, he is not qualified to get any payment from me, the Public adjuster sent email to my attorney, but the public adjuster never claim to court ,never sue me, never file claim to court, the public adjuster just sent emails to my attorney requested for payment $2000, THEN, MY ATTORNEY hold my this $2000 just because the public adjuster sent him email want the money, do my attorney has the legal right to hold this $2000? there is no court file ,or no court claim.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: FL Real Estate
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

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Answer will follow in the pane below as per above parameters….

1. Can you please upload a copy of the contract you signed with the public adjuster for us to view?

2. What does the contract say about his right of payment if he does not complete the work?

3. Did the contract you signed allow the public adjuster to file a lien against your settlement proceeds for his payment?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i attached the contract, which public adjuster abandoned to you ,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hi, my attorney hold the public adjuster payment $2000 as Disputed Ownership of Trust Funds. but what is the definition of Disputed Ownership of Trust Funds. do my attorney have this legal right to hold it? he regard the public request payment as disputed part,but the public just sent him email, never file to court or never put lien,
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

The law is here and it states as follows:

(f) Disputed Ownership of Trust Funds. When in the course of representation a lawyer is in possession of property in which 2 or more persons (1 of whom may be the lawyer) claim interests, the property shall be treated by the lawyer as trust property, but the portion belonging to the lawyer or law firm shall be withdrawn within a reasonable time after it becomes due unless the right of the lawyer or law firm to receive it is disputed, in which event the portion in dispute shall be kept separate by the lawyer until the dispute is resolved. The lawyer shall promptly distribute all portions of the property as to which the interests are not in dispute.

So, yes the lawyer has a duty to hold that money until your claim is resolved with the public adjuster. You or the public adjuster can do this by entering into a voluntary settlement agreement as to the dispute and then sending a signed and notarized version of that agreement to the lawyer so he can distribute the 2k accordingly.

If the public adjuster and you cannot come to agreement, then either one of you may file a declaratory judgment action to obtain an order regarding your rights under the agreement you signed with the public adjuster. See this law. That order than can be presented to the lawyer for disbursement of the 2k.