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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118731
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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The attorney that represented me original court case, he did

Customer Question

The attorney that represented me for the original court case, he did not wish to work on the appeal, so he did not. I won the court case and the appeal that was brought against me from some guy that said he worked for me and I owed him money. I had money owed to me it is NOT a settlement, the court was not even aware the General Contractor owed me this money. The GC received a mechanics lien so my payment for work performed was put in escrow with the attorney for the GC's company. Once the appeal phase ended the attorney for the GC issued a check in my name, which my attorney asked him to send to him directly. Now my attorney won't give me the check. I do owe my attorney some money but this is not a settlement. The attorney should not have sent my check to my no longer attorney. The check is in my name only and he has had it since November. My husband says he looks at this as stealing. He says that the attorney has no right to make you sign it over to him. This was not a settlement this was money owed for a job done no one gave me this money as compensation for the ridiculous lawsuit brought against me by a guy I never even met. I do plan on paying the balance owed to the attorney but I don't beleive he has the right to make me sign it over to him. The check is for alot more than I owe him. Please let me know what you think. thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
By law, as soon as the escrow should be released, the attorney is bound to release the money to you. The rules of professional conduct require him to do so. If you owe him money then he needs to sue you for that money due him for whatever you owe. If he refuses to release your money to you, then your next step is filing a complaint to the NY Appellate Division Attorney Disciplinary Board in your proper judicial district where you and the attorney are located. The appellate division will investigate the attorney's conduct and make him turn over the money to you that he has in his escrow account.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
just to be clear he has my actual check made payable to me he wants me to sign it over to him and then he will deposit it to an escrow then give me my money after he takes his balance out of it. i just want the check it is NOT a settlement check he should not have received the check and I believe the attorneys that sent the check to him are also in the wrong NO ESCROW needed.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If the check is made to you and is not part of a settlement or judgment, he has no right to hold it and refuse to turn it over to you. If he has a claim against you for some fees due, he knows he has to sue you in small claims and take you to court to get a judgment and he cannot just hold a check in your name as hostage. He is blackmailing you and you can report this to the Appellate Court Disciplinary committee.