Is a general release of claims a legal binding document if notarized and signed by attorney? 16 Answers as of May 02, 2013

I asked my mother to ask for her personal injury claim. Inside were 2 general releases for 2 different amounts signed, dated with different dates, with attorney signature and notarized. Are they valid?

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Evan M. Himfar
Evan M. Himfar | Evan M. Himfar
A release should be signed by the party unless the attorney was given authority to sign on the client's behalf.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/2/2013
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
There should only be one release per accident/lawsuit by your mother. Find out from the attorney why there are two. If you mother got paid for the highest one, then why try to void it?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/1/2013
Law Offices of William S. Lindheim | Fred Fong
I am not understanding the facts very well. Is the mother a party to the law suit Or are you the party to the law suit and your mother signed on your behalf. If your mom signed on your behalf, did she have the requisite authority (ie. power of attorney) Are you a minor and she is your guardian ad item. If your mom were the party to the law suit and she signed it, then she has given the general release of liability under Cal. Civil Code Sec. 1542 and it is binding on her. In order to escape the general release, she will have to show that she was somehow drunk, coerced, insane etc. to get out of it. If you are the party to the law suit and your mom signed for you, then it will be a question of whether she had the requisite authority to do so. I need more facts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/30/2013
Lawrence Kahn Law Group, P.S.
Lawrence Kahn Law Group, P.S. | Lawrence Kahn
If your mother signed them, the they are likely enforceable. If she did not and only the attorney did (and/or her signature I'd forged) she may have a claim for legal malpractice and a complaint should be made to the Washington State Bar Association to investigate and get the scoundrel's license revoked. This is a very serious breach of ethics and law.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/30/2013
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
To be binding, your mother needs to sign them as well. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/30/2013
    Law Office of Diane Goldman
    Law Office of Diane Goldman | Diane Goldman
    I'm sorry, but I just don't understand what you are asking? Is one release for property damage (like repair of a car after an auto accident) and one for personal injury (injuries after an auto accident or similar event). I didn't see any evidence from what you have said that either of the releases are unlawful? Maybe you could be more specific about why you are worried about the releases.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    A release should be signed by the person not injured, not by her attorney (unless he has a power of atty)a release that is properly executed is binding. Are you sure you have properly documents? Sounds like you do not.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    Releases are generally binding, although certain circumstances sometimes allow a person to escape the provisions of a release. I do not know what to make of there being two separate releases, unless one is for a property damage claim and one is for personal injuries. You will have to talk with the lawyer involved with the case.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    Usually, if a document has been notarized, then it is a valid. Of course, different situations dictate different responses. I would need to know a bit more about the facts before saying anything more definitive.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Have to see the documents and understand the circumstances, but I would presume then to be valid until shown otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Signed and notarized releases would normally be legally binding, but the one item that does not make sense here is that there are two of them, with different amounts. The lawyer has some explaining to do.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/30/2013
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