Does a Lawyer on notice of lien on settlement in a civil case have to communicate with the lien holder? 31 Answers as of June 28, 2013

It's been 60 days since settled and notified, how much longer until we assume we are being ignored?

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Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
It depends if it truly is a lien and whether it is statutory or not. Not an easy answer for an email.

There are lots of collection agencies attempting to do this in NY even though they cannot by statute but, a lawyer must be mindful of the rules of professional conduct as well. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/13/2012
Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A.
Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. | Charles Cartwright
Yes, the lawyer should communicate with you. You should call them. They will typically respond quickly.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/9/2012
Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
There is no set period of time, the lawyer must communicate with the lienholder within a reasonable time under the circumstances. The case may be settled, however, it's possible the settlement check hasn't been sent out yet, hasn't been signed by the client, and hasn't been deposited yet, so the money isn't yet available to pay all the liens. I would send a polite reminder to the lawyer informing him/her that you are aware the matter has settled and your lien needs to be satisfied.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2012
The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
If there are unpaid bills i.e lien on a personal injury case it is the obligation of the attorney to satisfy same. If same is not satisfied, the client can be held responsible for said bills.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/8/2012
Tuttle and Associates | Jeffrey Brook Tuttle
I am not aware of any such requirement.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/8/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    Good question. Why not call and write a letter requesting the status of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    An attorney who is aware of a lien on a settlement should not disburse the settlement without first recognizing the lien. However, until there is a distribution, the attorney has to do nothing more.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    If there is a valid lien, the lawyer has an ethical duty to address it and wither pay the claim or negotiate it down. He can send you the difference in the money received while he is waiting.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    I am not allowed to comment on another Attorney's handling of a case. I can tell you that Va's Ethics rule require a Lawyer to deal w/ these so called lien holders and claim holders to the proceeds of a BI settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Lawyer doesn't have to do anything but he ought to do so. Otherwise he might subject himself and the client to some liability. Obviously depends on precise circumstances and any contract obligations. Disbursement might be held up for Medicaid or medicare or some such why not just ask the lawyer whats up.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    A copy of the lien should be sent to the lienholder for the notice to be effective and honored.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    That is far too long. You should send a letter via certified mail or some other overnight service that documents delivery and make a written demand for payment of the lien.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    I don't believe there are any set time frames for when a lien holder should have communication with a lawyer on notice of a lien, etc. Certainly it takes some time for a lawyer to collect the funds and distribute them. However, 60 days does seem to be quite long. I would attempt to contact them and inquire about the status of the funds. If the lawyer were on notice of the lien, he/she would have a duty to secure those funds on your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    If the lien is a valid lien, then it must be recognized during the wrap up of the civil case. The amount of time involved depends on who is the lien holder. For example, Medicare liens will take many months to conclude, and you just have to wait.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Sedin Begakis & Bish | Mindy Bish
    It depends what kind of lien you hold.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Law Offices of David M. Blain
    Law Offices of David M. Blain | David Blain
    Yes, your lawyer should be communicating with the lien holder. Third party lien holders have subrogation rights and can seek reimbursement from the client for the amount of the lien, minus certain deductions. If the third party lien holder is a government entity such as Medi-Cal or Medicare then the lawyer must be in contact with them as the lawyer could potentially be liable personally to the government entity if he fails to satisfy the lien. What you need to do is this: figure out how much the lien is for, add it to the amount of costs and fees your lawyer spent/charged, and then subtract this number from the settlement funds. Whatever is left over is your money and you are entitled to it right away. The lawyer is not allowed to hold anything against your demand that exceeds the amount of his costs and fees and any liens.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Not sure I understand what you are asking. If you are the debtor and have paid off the debt, then the lawyer should file a notice of satisfaction with the court. If he/she is refusing or not responding to your requests to do so, then you need to file a motion with the court requesting the same. Go to the district court and ask the clerk for the appropriate form, or go to the District Court for Charles County, Maryland's website there is a forms section where you can download the form that you need.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally if the lawyer was on notice he should deal with the noticed lien. If you did not properly perfect the lien, he could ignore you on instructions from his client. I would suggest you engage an attorney immediately as, generally, once the money is disbursed it is gone.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Selik Law Offices
    Selik Law Offices | JOEL SELIK
    The Attorney is required to communicate with the lien holder on distribution. 60 days might be a long time, depends on the facts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    Yes the lawyer does and you have to wait until a Court says you do not have to wait any longer. I am certain your lawyer wants to get an answer as much as you do. He can file for a hearing in court to determine amount and validity of the lien, but that will probably cause more delay.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    If your lawyer is not responding to your calls, you can contact the state bar for help.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    You may be one of many lien holders and if Medicare is involved you could wait 9 months. That is because the check from the insurance company will be made out to the injured party, the lawyer and medicare. That is an absolute nightmare. The lawyer will want a final demand letter from Medicare.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/8/2012
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    It depends on the specific circumstances of the claim. A lawyer and the client ignore a lien at their peril.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    The answer to your question would really depend on the type of lien. For example certain liens like Medicaid or other government liens bring criminal liability for failure to pay. Other liens, provided by statute can bring civil liability. Other papers that people send lawyers calling them liens and even putting the title lien on top are not really liens. So, my advice is to stay in touch with the attorney, call them and ask for an update. Never assume anything. Make all best efforts to ascertain status.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/8/2012
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