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kevin
Topic Author
Posts: 1036
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 5:03 am

Can I sue my lawyer?

Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:18 am

Hi All,

A while ago I had an issue with an organization which led to me consulting a lawyer about the matter. Everything was settled without a lawyer being involved and the organization agreed to reimburse my lawyer fees. They have asked for relevant receipts which I provided. Haven't heard from them for a while so I decided to send them an email and ask whether there was any progress on the case. the reply I got was a little unsettling. They said they were in touch with the business (law firm) getting the info they need.
I am no specialist in legal matters, but isn't it illegal/unethical for the law firm to release this kind of information to the third party? By information I mean topic of the conversation, fees paid... I have provided a receipt and if the organization needed any other proof, wouldn't it be me who would be getting it?

Thank you
 
CXB77L
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:18 pm

Re: Can I sue my lawyer?

Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:43 am

kevin wrote:
I am no specialist in legal matters, but isn't it illegal/unethical for the law firm to release this kind of information to the third party? By information I mean topic of the conversation, fees paid... I have provided a receipt and if the organization needed any other proof, wouldn't it be me who would be getting it?


I don't know which jurisdiction you're in, but I would imagine that it is illegal in most jurisdictions. Certainly is here where I practise. It doesn't matter if a third party is funding the legal fees; lawyer-client confidentiality is just that. The funding party doesn't need to know anything about the matter.

Here in Australia, there is a regulatory body which regulates the practice of law, to which members of the public can make complaints about unethical/illegal behaviour of lawyers. They will then investigate and prosecute, if necessary. Not sure if it's the same where you are.

Based on what you said, though, how do you know for certain that they are disclosing confidential information about the case?
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jetwet1
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: Can I sue my lawyer?

Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:01 am

If you are in the US contact the relevant state bar, they will be able to provide you with the info you need and if they feel that something isn't right they will investigate.
 
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moo
Posts: 5056
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

Re: Can I sue my lawyer?

Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:05 am

I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill - you haven't expressly indicated that you know for a fact that privileged information is being disclosed, you just think it is based on the response of the other party. Have you discussed this with your lawyer?

You can certainly sue your lawyer, but you would probably need a lawyer for that, and they won't come cheap if you are hiring them to sue a fellow practitioner of law, because they will be worried that you will turn around and do the same thing to them.

There is a world of stuff that could be going on in the discussion - requesting billing details, negotiating costs ("why are your Lexus Nexus costs twice the rate we pay for the same service...?" etc), offering exchange of service in return and so forth. It doesn't have to be about the privileged aspect of your relationship with the lawyer - a law firm which breaks client confidentiality typically doesnt remain a law firm for long, why do you think they would risk their license over your info?
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6374
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

Re: Can I sue my lawyer?

Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:33 am

kevin wrote:
I am no specialist in legal matters, but isn't it illegal/unethical for the law firm to release this kind of information to the third party? By information I mean topic of the conversation, fees paid... I have provided a receipt and if the organization needed any other proof, wouldn't it be me who would be getting it?


Have you talked to the lawyer/ law firm about your concerns?

You need to read in detail all the paperwork you got from the law firm. Almost certainly in there is a release you signed allowing the law firm to negotiate fees with the company if you reach a settlement.

It is a lot like having your health insurance company negotiate fees with your doctor.

You will likely get all your money back from the lawyer/ law firm.

How much the company pays them is another matter - and will be handled directly between the lawyer/law firm and the company. The lawyer/ law firm is going to try to get much more money from the company than you paid, and the company is going to try to pay less.

----------------------

Suing your lawyer - you can sue for malpractice. It will be expensive because the firm you hire is going to demand full fees up front. As mentioned - check with the state bar association as to the ethics of your situation.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
kevin
Topic Author
Posts: 1036
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 5:03 am

Re: Can I sue my lawyer?

Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:58 pm

CXB77L wrote:
kevin wrote:
I am no specialist in legal matters, but isn't it illegal/unethical for the law firm to release this kind of information to the third party? By information I mean topic of the conversation, fees paid... I have provided a receipt and if the organization needed any other proof, wouldn't it be me who would be getting it?


I don't know which jurisdiction you're in, but I would imagine that it is illegal in most jurisdictions. Certainly is here where I practise. It doesn't matter if a third party is funding the legal fees; lawyer-client confidentiality is just that. The funding party doesn't need to know anything about the matter.

Here in Australia, there is a regulatory body which regulates the practice of law, to which members of the public can make complaints about unethical/illegal behaviour of lawyers. They will then investigate and prosecute, if necessary. Not sure if it's the same where you are.

Based on what you said, though, how do you know for certain that they are disclosing confidential information about the case?



The company I am dealing with told me to send them any documentation I have from that law firm so that they can process the refund. All I had was a receipt. I guess the receipt doesn't really prove that my consultation with the lawyer was indeed about the matter in question. Therefore when they sent me a reply " I followed up with the business on Friday and I anticipate a response early this week" , I assumed by follow up they mean finding out whether I was there to discuss the matter in question and not something else.
 
CXB77L
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:18 pm

Re: Can I sue my lawyer?

Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:01 am

kevin wrote:
I assumed by follow up they mean finding out whether I was there to discuss the matter in question and not something else.


Then, as rfields suggested, your first step should be to contact the law firm and discuss your concerns.
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User avatar
PacificBeach88
Posts: 756
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: Can I sue my lawyer?

Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:41 pm

kevin wrote:
Hi All,

A while ago I had an issue with an organization which led to me consulting a lawyer about the matter. Everything was settled without a lawyer being involved and the organization agreed to reimburse my lawyer fees. They have asked for relevant receipts which I provided. Haven't heard from them for a while so I decided to send them an email and ask whether there was any progress on the case. the reply I got was a little unsettling. They said they were in touch with the business (law firm) getting the info they need.
I am no specialist in legal matters, but isn't it illegal/unethical for the law firm to release this kind of information to the third party? By information I mean topic of the conversation, fees paid... I have provided a receipt and if the organization needed any other proof, wouldn't it be me who would be getting it?

Thank you


LOL! Sure. Knock yourself out.

Yes, you should go retain a lawyer for a minimum of $15,000 to sue another lawyer. Plan on that first $15K to disappear within 60 to 75 days, and you will be required to cough up another $10,000. And then said lawyer will tell you 9 or 10 months into your crusade you need to cough up another $10,000. LOL!

Stop your money loss / bleeding now.

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