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Attorney reviewing another attorneys contract Negligence, Other Injury

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by Mountains27, Jul 19, 2022.

  1. Mountains27

    Mountains27 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    I am being sued and the case is close to being settled.

    The incident occurred at our family home and our homeowners insurance has provided us with an attorney to defend us.

    Since the attorney I’ve been provided essentially works for the insurance company, is it okay to have my personal attorney review the final settlement contract to make sure there’s nothing that’ll backfire on me.

    How do I go about telling the insurance attorney that I want my personal attorney to review the final settlement contract? How do attorneys feel about this? I’m not sure if I’d like somebody checking over my work but I’ve been screwed over a lot and just want to protect myself.

    I appreciate all the feedback in advance.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Yes, it's OK.

    How's this?

    "Mr so and so, when you have the settlement papers prepared for my signature I will have my own attorney review them."

    I have no idea how any given attorney would "feel." However, any attorney should understand your desire to protect your rights.

    If you would care to share details about the case and the potential settlement as well as your liability limits, I might be able to say whether you should even bother worrying about it.

    Frankly, as long as the settlement amount is less than your liability limit, you shouldn't be concerned at all.

    The insurance company attorney will get the appropriate releases signed by the claimants so they can't come back for more later. One exception to that is if a child was injured on your property.

    Details please.
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    No. The attorney works for you. You are the client. The insurer pays the bills but is not the client, and all duties are owed by the attorney to you, the client.

    Absolutely, but you'll have to pay that attorney's fees out of your own pocket. The insurer has a duty to defend you, but it doesn't have a duty to pay for multiple attorneys.

    There's no need, but you'd do it in one of two ways. First, pick up the telephone, dial the number for the adjuster handling the case and, when he/she answers the phone, say something like, "Just FYI, I want my personal attorney to review the settlement agreement before it is finalized." Second, open your email and send an email to the same effect. FYI, not only is there no need to tell the insurer this, it'd be a bit pointless. Better to tell the attorney who's actually representing you (but even that's not necessary).

    I imagine that different attorneys have different feelings (we're not all the same, you know). If it were me, I wouldn't give a rip.
     
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  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I understand from this part of your post that you wouldn't be offended by such a review being sought, but I'm asking this just out of curiosity:
    If you were the attorney in such a matter, and if the OP asked you about having the settlement that you negotiated reviewed by another attorney, and if the client was fully aware of and accepted the fact they'd have to pay for the review, would you encourage such a review?
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I'd neither encourage it (except to say, "that's absolutely your right, and if it makes you feel better, go for it") nor discourage it. The only point at which it would get annoying would be if the other attorney got nit picky about non-substantive things.

    I'll just add that, when I practiced privately, my clients were often represented by in-house counsel who (rightfully) insisted on reviewing documents before they were filed. Some of them gave only cursory review, some would only give big picture comments, and some had no problem with heavy redlining. Only once that I can recall was my firm retained by an insurance carrier. The carrier got updates every 2-3 months, while the in-house paralegal was actively involved (but rarely made edits to stuff we filed). I learned pretty quickly not to get bothered by having someone who was relatively less familiar with the case edit my writing.
     
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  6. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    @zddoodah mentioned this but I don't want it to get lost. You are 100% wrong about this. The attorney is YOUR attorney. If this case ever comes to the point where the interests of you and your insurance company aren't the same the attorney's duty is to you, not the insurance company.
     
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  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    That's generally my approach to it, too. I'm confident enough in my work that having some other lawyer look at it and provide feedback doesn't bother me. Sometimes they do make suggestions that are worthwhile, in which case I'll incorporate that into the document. It only annoys me if the other attorney is a nitwit who doesn't really know the subject area well and/or is just generally a poor writer. The way I look at is is that I've obtained second opinions from doctors when I want to see if there are any differences of opinion about my medical situation. My primary doctors have not ever expressed a problem with that. It should be no different for lawyers.
     
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