In 2022, we eliminated over $15 million of client debt!
(This does not include debt eliminated by bankruptcy filings)
Sued by an Attorney?
If an attorney is making a claim against you for attorney fees, call us to fight back!
Lawsuits by attorneys for legal fees is an unfair fight. We can help you and our fees are fixed, flat, and affordable! If no lawsuit (or arbitraton) has been filed yet, we only charge you WHEN AND IF a settlement is reached!
If you have been sued by your attorney or they are threatening to sue you, we can help. Too many lawyers charge unreasonable fees or fail to efficiently run your case, costing you thousands of dollars and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. These lawyers appear to have everything on their side. They know the court system and can pursue you at a fraction of the cost other creditors can. What you need is someone who is not afraid to take on these kinds of cases and who will aggressively assert your rights in a way that you can afford. Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC is that someone.
Common Reasons for Attorney Fee Lawsuits
There are several reasons why an attorney might file a lawsuit against a client for legal fees:
- Unpaid Fees: The most common reason is failure to pay for legal services provided. If a client doesn't pay the agreed-upon fees or doesn't adhere to the payment schedule outlined in the contract, the attorney may resort to legal action to recover the unpaid fees.
- Breach of Contract: When there's a signed agreement between an attorney and a client outlining the terms of their engagement, failure to comply with those terms can lead to a lawsuit. This could involve not just non-payment but also violating any other terms outlined in the contract.
- Dispute over Fees: Sometimes, disagreements arise over the fees charged. If a client feels they were overcharged or the attorney provided subpar service, they might refuse to pay the full amount. In response, the attorney could file a lawsuit to enforce payment.
- Abandonment of Case: If a client abandons a case without proper termination or authorization from the attorney, leaving the lawyer's services halfway through, the attorney might seek compensation for the work done until that point.
- Fraudulent Activity: In rare cases, if a client engages in fraudulent activities or intentionally misleads the attorney regarding payment, assets, or other critical information, leading to non-payment or financial loss for the attorney, legal action might be taken.
- Statute of Limitations: Attorneys may file a lawsuit to recover fees within the statute of limitations period. If there's a time limit within which they can legally pursue unpaid fees, they might initiate legal action before that period expires.
In most cases, attorneys prefer to resolve fee disputes without resorting to lawsuits. They might attempt negotiation, mediation, or arbitration before taking the matter to court, as litigation can be time-consuming and costly for both parties. Communication and clear agreements upfront can often prevent these disputes from escalating to legal action.
What is Considered Legal Malpractice?
Attorney malpractice refers to the professional negligence or misconduct of an attorney that results in harm or damages to their client. Lawyers are expected to adhere to certain standards of care and competence while representing their clients. Malpractice occurs when they fail to meet these standards, causing harm to the client's case or legal position. Some common forms of attorney malpractice include:
- Negligence: This occurs when an attorney fails to perform their duties competently. For example, missing deadlines, failing to file necessary documents, or providing incorrect legal advice can constitute negligence.
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Attorneys owe their clients a fiduciary duty, meaning they must act in the client's best interest. Breaching this duty by putting their interests ahead of the client's or engaging in conflicts of interest can be considered malpractice.
- Conflict of Interest: Attorneys must avoid situations where their personal interests conflict with those of their clients. If a lawyer represents multiple parties with conflicting interests without proper disclosure and consent, it can lead to malpractice claims.
- Failure to Know or Apply the Law: Lawyers are expected to have a certain level of expertise in the relevant areas of law. If they lack knowledge or fail to apply the law correctly, it can harm the client's case and be considered malpractice.
- Communication Issues: Failure to communicate important information to the client, not keeping the client informed about the case's progress, or ignoring client instructions can lead to malpractice claims.
- Improper Handling of Funds: Mishandling client funds, such as using them for personal expenses or failing to properly account for funds entrusted to the lawyer, can constitute malpractice.
- Drafting Errors: Errors in legal documents, contracts, or filings, which negatively impact the client's case or cause financial losses, can lead to malpractice claims.
- Statute of Limitations Issues: Missing the statute of limitations for filing a case or not informing the client about the time limit for legal action can also be considered malpractice.
Claims of attorney malpractice can vary based on the specifics of the situation. They often require demonstrating that the attorney's actions or omissions directly caused harm or financial losses to the client. Legal malpractice cases can be complex and generally require the expertise of other legal professionals to establish negligence or misconduct.
Featured Case Results
- $263,963.17 JUDGMENT (for lawyer fees) VACATED on May 19, 2022! Client’s prior lawyer sued client for legal fees and got a default judgment. Although the client was served correctly, we were able to show that at the time of service our client was incapable of responding (we argued that the lawyer knew or should have already known this, as our current client was their former client). We were also able to find a huge error in the lawyers billing (they charged $30,000 to “prepare and send a letter to the client, responding to email”). The judge agreed stating: “The court therefore grants Defendants motion to set aside the default and default judgment”. We filed the motion to vacate over a year ago and it was continued 5 times. This was a very hard-fought battle in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Lawyer v. Client, Case No. 20STCV08XXX.
- Our client retained an LA law firm on an hourly basis to file three motions and promptly paid them a $15,000.00 retainer. Despite only drafting a portion of one motion they somehow had accrued over $15,000.00 in fees and wanted more money! When our client refused, they started the litigation process by sending the California State Bar Mandated Demand for Arbitration. Our client opted for Arbitration and ultimately, an arbitration hearing was held to determine what the proper fee should be. The main issue in the arbitration hearing was whether the lawyer did work that was not covered by the terms of the retainer agreement. We focused on the agreement which required a separate agreement for any work outside the scope of the 3 motions. The arbitrator agreed with us and the law firm was forced to pay our client back $7,547.00 AND our clients’ costs for having to fight this case which included over $6,000.00 in attorney’s fees! Our client was being pursued by lawyers for more money and in the end, got money back and it didn’t cost our client a penny!
- Family law attorneys Gilligan Law sued our client for $26, 872.47 and we settled if for $2500! (Gilligan Law v. Client Los Angeles County Superior Court case# NC0601XX)
- Orange County Superior Court: Client came to us with a $50,000+ judgment owed to lawyers for attorney fees. Lawyers were seeking to force the sale of client’s home to pay the judgment. The client is elderly and ill but has over $200,000 in home equity. We fought the motion in court and judge ruled in our client’s favor: The house will not be sold! (OCSC case# 30-2016-008835XX)
DISCLAIMER: Every case is different. Results depend on the unique law and facts of each case. Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC makes no guarantees or warranties about the outcome of any particular matter or case. The Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC website, or the information contained within the website, should be construed as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.
What Should I Do?
- GET LEGAL ADVICE: Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC has the expertise and experience necessary to assist you in navigating these types of cases. Attorneys are not always correct and there are tools available to help consumers minimize any damages.
- PLAN, PLAN, PLAN: Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC will customize a plan that will work for you, whatever your circumstances.
Call us now for your free consultation.
Here’s the great news: if the lawyer’s claim is not in arbitration or no lawsuit has been filed, we will work to settle the claim on a contingency fee! That is, you do not pay us unless we settle it! If the matter is in litigation (arbitration or lawsuit filed) we charge a flat & fixed amount that is very affordable and can be made in monthly payments. No hidden costs! Call our office for more details regarding our fees!
FIND OUT INSTANTLY THE ANSWER TO THE 3 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT DEBT SETTLEMENT:
- How much Money is needed for a Successful Debt Settlement Plan? In total? Per month?
- How Long does a Debt Settlement Plan take?
- How much Can I Really Save?