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Do I have to pay a lawyer who quit?

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by rwebber, Mar 25, 2006.

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  1. rwebber

    rwebber Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi, I live in NY.

    Last summer I slipped and fell in a grocery store. Someone I know said "get a lawyer right away". I did and had no idea why.

    Well, after all the tests were done, it wound up I was not hurt and only had some bruising. But the lawyer had taken the case ahead of time and I signed a contingency agreement for him to get 1/3.

    Like I said, this happened in July of 2005, last summer. Today being March of 2006 I called him to see when the case would be settled and asked why it has taken so long. He went into an angry tirade and closed with "get yourself another lawyer and come pick up your file." He had my email address from when I hired him and quickly sent me an email telling me he no longer represented me. I was shocked! He has not once during this entire time sent me any copies of anything as proof he has even been in touch with the grocery store. NOTHING. I think I have been very patient. My guess is that he put this on the back burner because he found out there were no injuries and he had taken the case becuase it was a big grocery chain and probably thought there would be alot of mone in it.

    He also sent me a second email telling me he was going to put a lien on any future settlement I make with the grocery store for "time" he put in on the case. Muttered something about in the contingency agreement there was a clause that if he and I go our separate ways, he is entitled to be paid for his time.

    That is fine, but he is the one who quit the case!!!! And has left me now with no lawyer.

    Do I still have to pay him "for his time" even though I have no evidence that he did anything since he never sent me copies of anything? How about if I settle with the grocery store adjuster on my own? Do I still have to pay the lawyer for "his time". Would settling with the adjuster myself constitute a settlement he could put a lien on?

    Is this fair? He strung me along, quit and now wants to be paid. I know this all sounds ludicrous but it is 100 per cent true. I am not leaving anything out!

    Please help!
     
  2. redbanknaacp

    redbanknaacp New Member

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    No - You don't have to pay unless he actually gets the lien

    He will have to first get the lien against you by filing a complaint which you will have an opportunity to answer. If he prevails in establishing that without his help you could not have received your settlement then he would be entitled to some money depending on what the court decides. Most cases of this kind are settled out of court.
     

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