I have been working with a personal injury lawyer regarding an auto accident that I had in Virginia back in 2016. We reached a settlement with the insurance company and the lawyer sent me the settlement agreement on their law firm letterhead that included payment of all medical expenses and also includes their contingency fee. The associate at the law firm told me it was a very good offer and if should look to move quickly to sign it. Upon reviewing the agreement this weekend I realized that the law firms contingency fee was calculated at 50% instead of our agreed upon 33%. I sent the associate a copy of my engagement letter and also explained their calculations which tied exactly to their settlement agreement fee that was calculated at 50%. I told the associate it needs to be changed. The amount I would have overpaid if I signed the agreement was $11,000 so not a small amount. What recourse would I have with this firm even if they correct and reduce to 33%. I am also concerned that other clients at that firm may have missed this. I am also a licensed attorney in NYS and D.C. as well as a CPA in NYS and VA so I would like to know what Is my ethical obligations even if they change it. Thank you.
1 Answer from Attorneys
If they change the settlement offer to the 33% that was supposedly agreed to, and it appears to
be nothing more than an inadvertent mistake, then I wouldn't unnecessarily "stir the pot", so to speak, by
contemplating any further actions against this particular law firm.
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