Can a lawyer that was fired from a contingency fee case be issued a settlement check or will the insurance company issue this to their client?

This was my lawyer and they did nothing but wanted 40%. Do lawyers have to take it to court or can the insurance company send the check to them?

Asked on August 2, 2014 under Personal Injury, Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

This question is far more complicated than you think.  First of all,did you hire a new attorney?  Did the case already settle?  Did it settle before or after you formally fired him? What you need to make sure of is that the insurance company knows he is no longer your lawyer.  They may wish to interplead the funds in to court under the index number of the personal injury case and if there is a fee dispute the court can help you resolve it with out you risking the funds.  While the check is issued in both yours and the attorneys name, he may have had you execute a document allowing him to sign your name and deposit the check in to his escrow account at the time you signed the retainer.  If he filed a summons and complaint and did some discovery then he will be entitled to some fee but it all depends on how much work he did.  I would strongly suggest you get help here.  Good luck.


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