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Thread: Attorney & Lien ?

  1. #1

    Question Attorney & Lien ?

    Hi there,

    I am considering signing a so called attorney and fee agreement.
    That agreement, has one point included, which may or may not be a standard procedure.

    Attorney's Lien
    The right of a lawyer to hold a client's property or money until payment has been made for legal aid and advice given. In general, a lien is a security interest used by a creditor to ensure payment by a debtor for money owed.

    Question:
    Is this a standard procedure ?

  2. #2
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    tallen's Avatar

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    Sounds similar to a Mechanic's Lien.... I don't know about attorneys, but placing a lien on customer's property when they fail to pay their bill is fairly common in a number of industries.

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    Thought that's what a retainer is for. Unless you're talking about a transaction in which money is changing hands and the attorney is just covering his risk.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

  4. #4

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    Generally, an attorney, like an auto mechanic, has a lien under state law to secure payment of his bills. In most transactional matters, the attorney lien isn't really very effective because the attorney doesn't hold anything of value that belongs to the clients, except the retainer payment (which is typically addressed specifically in the engagement agreement) and perhaps some papers that another attorney would have to recreate.

    In litigation matters, however, the lien is very effective. The settlement proceeds or award is usually made out to the client and the attorney jointly. For example, if a client sues for a personal injury and collects $150,000 from the insurance company, you can bet that the attorney is not going to hand over the full amount and hope that the client honors his obligation to pay one-third to the attorney for his fee. He is going to enforce his attorney lien and the client is not going to get access to the funds until the attorney gets his share in payment of his fee.

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