Rancho Cucamonga, CA asked in Legal Malpractice for California

Q: Is my lawyer double dipping ?

Case was settled , per our agreement lawyer took 40% however prior to having the accident , i had a supplemental insurance that i paid into for years in case bills werent covered due to an accident. Lawyer is now demanding 40% from my supplemental and 40% from the settlement. The check was put in trust fund before the settlement per his recommendation in case it needed to be returned. Lawyer states per Retainer Agreement, the firm charges a fee for the "gross settlement proceeds". I dnt feel its fair in anyway . He is getting more than me and i am the one who got hurt.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more info needed.

sometimes a lawyer gets more than the client.

did retainer say 40% of any money recovered?

i don't do that but some lawyers are piggish.

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Not sure what "supplemental insurance" is. If that is underinsured motorist coverage, and the attorney had to work to get the insurer to pay, then you owe for the work performed. If something else is happening, contact the State Bar.

Alexander Bakhache Perez
Alexander Bakhache Perez
Answered
  • Fullerton, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Doesn't sound fair, but it is legal - yes - it is not double dipping.

fees should be negotiated and they should be fair to all. asking the attorney for a reduction is not wrong.

especially if he gets more then you do. Plus 40% is rather high. Normally the fee range is 33% and sometimes even 25%, maybe this case required a lot of litigation with depos and discovery for them to justify 40%.

maybe you won't use them again and look for another attorney or recommend them to others. Our practice is to always offer reductions in fairness, I never take more than the client is offered and especially in policy limit cases that are low and medical bills are very high.

good luck.

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