My attorney accepted and cashed a settlement without my approval what do I do? 19 Answers as of January 25, 2013

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Make an appointment to see him and discuss it. Sometimes clients just "don't get it." They believe that their cases are better and bigger than the really are. Your lawyer may have been more realistic than you are. On the other hand, your lawyer could be a weenie and was afraid to file suit and/or go to trial. Give him an opportunity to explain. If you are not convinced, then you may seek a second opinion and you may file a grievance. Davy Crockett, the famous frontiersman, had a saying: "Make sure you are right, and then go ahead." If you are not right, don't be foolish. If you are right, then "go for it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/25/2013
Law Offices of Mark West
Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
Did you give the attorney permission to sign settlement documents? Usually the insurance company (if there was an insurance company paying the settlement) will not release the funds until the person who they are paying signs the agreement. This brings up a question as to if the attorney forged your signature. If you did not approve the settlement you may be able to void it, or, go after the attorney for the difference in what you can prove the case is worth over and above the amount he/she got. You should definitely contact an attorney with all the facts of the case. You could also report the attorney to the State Bar.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/13/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Report him to the bar or sue him.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/11/2013
Law Offices of Sandeep G. Agarwal
Law Offices of Sandeep G. Agarwal | Sandeep G. Agarwal
Did you approve the settlement amount? Have you received your share of the settlement proceeds? Has your attorney given you a breakdown of the settlement funds, how much the attorney kept and how much is being distributed to you? If not, contact your attorney and ask him these questions. If he does not answer, contact your State Bar.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2013
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
Contact bar counsel.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 1/10/2013
    LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT T. DURBROW, JR. | Robert T. Durbrow, Jr.
    You attorney is entitled to a reasonable fee for his services to you. He also entitled to reimbursement of any expenses advanced on your behalf. If he does not provide you with an accounting of his fees and expenses and does not pay you your share of any settlement, you need to contact the California State Bar. You can locate them on the Internet.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    Law Offices of Linh T. Nguyen
    Law Offices of Linh T. Nguyen | Linh T. Nguyen
    In California, it is an ethical violation for an attorney to accept a settlement without your approval. You should file a complaint with the State Bar of California. If you believe you should have received a larger settlement, you may also pursue a malpractice claim but these cases are often difficult to prove. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    Johnson & Johnson Law Firm, PLLC | Richard Johnson
    You may be bound by the proposed settlement on the basis that your lawyer had apparent agency authority to make the deal with the insurance company. You may have a claim against your lawyer IF your underlying case really is worth more than the proposed settlement. You can ask the state Bar Assn to look in to your issues with your lawyer, too.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
    Contact the State Bar of California immediately and report the conduct of your attorney to them. They will investigate the matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    Oliver & Duncan | Donald E. Oliver
    Call the Professional Liability Fund which is listed on the Oregon State Bar website.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Contact the State's Bar Association and file a complaint.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally a settlement payment is tendered to the attorney, who places the funds into his client trust account pays off the costs of the case, collects his fees out of the proceeds and remits the remainder to the client. If he does not make the proper accounting and remittance to you in a timely manner, that is another matter altogether, and it is a civil, potential criminal and ethical violation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You should file a grievance with the state bar association. If this is true he can lose his license to practice. You should also get your our independent lawyer if he won't return your calls.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    Contact the state bar association and file a complaint. The Bar should initiate action and you should get paid Sent from my iPhone Confidentiality Notice: This email is intended only for those addressees shown in the " to" and "cc" headers. Please delete this email if you are not such an intended recipient. Review of this email by other than the intended recipients does not waive the attorney client , work product or other privileges. Only clients may rely on this email- if you are not my client, please be advised that I am not providing legal advice to you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
    A client's approval and authorization for a settlement is required. Your options depend on the underlying facts of the case and what you want. One option is to write the attorney demanding full disclosure on the settlement and what it is about and verification of where the settlement money is. Another is to get your file and review it with another attorney. You can decide whether to disavow the settlement and seek to continue with the case. (If a settlement agreement has been signed this will be harder to accomplish.) It all depends on the value of the case. If full value was obtained you may have a complaint against the lawyer but will receive the same net recovery you would be entitled to. You can also seek the advice of a representative of the State Bar of California on how you might proceed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Russell Rubin | Russell Rubin
    Your relationship with your attorney is contractual, therefore you need to look at the contract that you signed with the lawyer to see what powers you may have granted. If you did not grant him a power of attorney to perform the acts he performed, then you most likely have another case against your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | Brett E. Rosenthal
    Tell him/her that not signing settlement agreement, which you must sign before the carrier will forward any settlement funds.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2013
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