QUESTION

Can you let your attorney go after hiring him and everything is settled?

Asked on Oct 22nd, 2013 on Personal Injury - Florida
More details to this question:
Hired an injury attorney, insurance will settle. No law suit. It's only been 6 weeks that we hired him. Can we let him go now?
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Answered on Oct 24th, 2013 at 9:40 AM
Yes, but he is entitled to be paid for his time and effort, and to get the costs reimbursed.

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Answered on Oct 22nd, 2013 at 4:53 PM
Yes, but he will have an attorney's fee lien for what you agreed to, so you may as well let him finish.

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NA richard@jandjlaw.com
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Answered on Oct 22nd, 2013 at 3:06 PM
Well, yes, but you owe the fee that you agreed to pay him / her. You signed a fee contract. You will be bound by it. The lawyer may be willing to compromise the fee if he / she doesn't have much time in the case BUT sometimes it just takes the appearance of a lawyer to tip the balance in a case because the insurer has been low balling you. I'm saying that the lawyer is probably the reason the case will settle.

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Answered on Oct 22nd, 2013 at 1:42 PM
Why? To try and bet the attorney out of their fee? That's not happening! So whats the reason? If you let counsel go they will file a lien on the case and get paid anyway. Nice try it won't work.

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Michael C. Witt
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Answered on Oct 22nd, 2013 at 1:20 PM
You can discharge your attorney at any time, but most fee contracts require payment for services rendered to date under whatever fee arrangement was agreed to. Most fee contracts further grant the attorney a lien on the proceeds, and the attorney has most likely notified the insurance company of that lien. Therefore, if your question is?can you keep the entire amount of the proposed settlement and not pay the attorney the fee contracted for, probably not. Read your fee agreement.

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Answered on Oct 22nd, 2013 at 1:19 PM
Only of you pay him, since he did obtain a settlement for you.

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Paul L. Whitfield
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Answered on Oct 22nd, 2013 at 1:18 PM
You can fire him anytime but you cant cheat him out of his fee. If the case is settled his fee is earned.what are you really trying to do other than cheat him out of a fee?

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Answered on Oct 22nd, 2013 at 1:16 PM
You can hire/fire a lawyer as you wish; however, in Michigan all personal injury attorneys must have a written contract with their client. The contract will control as to what entitlement the attorney has to a portion of the settlement, so you should read the contract to determine what you would owe the attorney from the settlement. If the contract is silent on this point (which is doubtful that it would be), then Michigan law will allow the attorney to be reimbursed for all costs advanced, as well as for a fee based on the work done, the settlement achieved, etc. So if what you are really saying is that you want to cut the attorney out of the picture by firing him, it is unlikely you can accomplish that. But if what you are saying is that you want to limit the attorneys fee from a contingent % of the settlement due to him not doing much work on the case, then you may be able to do that - but an easier way to do it vs. fighting the attorney in court, is to sit down and talk with the attorney and see if he will reduce his fee to be more commensurate with the amount of work he put into the matter. Of course, if you were unable to obtain a settlement on your own, without the help of the attorney, then the attorney will have a good argument for why his work was what got you the settlement and why his contract fee is reasonable based on the result achieved. Also understand the theory of a contingent fee is that the attorney takes the risk of not being paid for his work if there is no settlement and in the end things tend to balance out in that the attorney has some cases where they get no fee, or a very small fee based on the amount of work done, so there are some cases (maybe like yours) wherein the attorney gets a seemingly large fee based on the amount of work done, but all that really does is balances things out as to the "losers" he's worked on (I know that may not give you any solace, but it's how the law/judge will look at it).

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Answered on Oct 22nd, 2013 at 1:10 PM
You would still owe him for the work he did and the results he obtained. Is your complaint that he got you the results you wanted too quickly?

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