Aliso Viejo, CA asked in Workers' Compensation for California

Q: Maximum percentage of attorney fee that could be taken out of settlement with two liens on the case.


1) What is the maximum percentage from the settlement amount that a a judge could award to each attorney, if there were TWO liens for attorney fees on the case?

2) Is any law or code in this regard in workers comp system and if yes what is that code?

3) If an attorney had filed and been granted by the judge to be relieved from a case long before it was ultimately settled a year later, can he still claim an attorney fee?

4) If there was another lien by another attorney for the same matter, what would be the maximum percentage of the settlement amount he/she could ask for if they were on the case the same length of time? 7.5%? 15%? or each 15%?


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1 Lawyer Answer
Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Grand Terrace, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The Labor Code just says 'Reasonable', it doesn't limit the judge to a maximum percentage. THAT said, some WCAB judge award 18% in the 'high rent' regions, most limit it to 15%. The fee withheld is split between all the attorneys who worked on the file. If the Injured Worker represented herself when the matter was settled, the she gets some of that Attorney Fee. How it gets divided up is up to the injured worker 'in pro per' and the attorneys who worked on the file. If they cannot agree, the judge listens to what the attorneys performed and how long they handled the matter, and issues an order on how much each attorney gets and how much is left over for the Injured Worker who settled it without counsel. Yes, attorneys who asked to be relieved are entitled to some of the attorney fee even though they asked to be relieved.

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