I am sorry to hear this;
the attorney works on behalf of the client, and therefore the attorney owes the client a fiduciary duty. The client is entitled to receive copies of anything relating to his/her case, and to be kept reasonably informed as to the status of the case.
As such, a client may request a copy of a settlement check, as that will indicate the full amount of settlement. The client would typically sign a release, which states the settlement amount.
Please see Rule 1.4 here (and it is worthwhile to review the rules to see if there were other violations/noncompliance)
If an attorney wrongfully withholds settlement money, they can be sued for damages (ie money wrongfully retained, plus attorney fees and costs). Also a complaint can be filed with the state bar, and if the attorney is guilty, they can be sanctioned (ie license suspension/revocation).
Mismanagement/wrongful appropriation of client funds is a very serious issue.
Complaints can be filed here
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.