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Thread: Attorney Fees

  1. #11
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    X, you might want to contact the State Bar and/or an Information and Assistance Officer/Ombudsman at yout NY WCAB for the exact Statute(s) that apply concerning attorney fees...GRANTED, the following link is from a NY Attorney site, but will give you an IDEA about how OTHER NY ATTORNEYS handle attorney fees in NY WC cases:

    http://www.zifflaw.com/blog/attorney...ensation-cases

    I"f you decide that you want representation in your New York Workers’ Compensation claim, you will never pay your attorney directly. In fact, under NY law, it’s illegal for a lawyer to accept fees directly from a client in a Workers’ Compensation case. Only the Workers Comp Judge can award an attorney’s fee. [emphasis added]....

    If we represent you at a simple hearing, our fee is generally $100 to $200 depending on how much work we do and we can only be paid if you’re getting paid. In other words, if no money is being awarded to you, the Judge cannot and will not award an attorney’s fee to us. If the Judge awards an attorneys fee, our fee is usually deducted from your award check at a rate of $5 or $10 a week and after 20 weeks we get a check.

    Additionally, there are a number of circumstances under which you may be eligible to receive a lump sum compensation payment (more on that later). If we represent you under those circumstances, our fee is generally around 10% of the lump sum amount awarded to you."

    Thus, givn the facts that you presented, and if accurate that the attorney is trying to cut a "side-deal" for a GREATER amount of money for attorney fees than those PRESENTED TO THE JUDGE and AWARDED by the Judge after your case settles, this would be UNTEHICAL and ILLEGAL under WC Laws....

  2. #12
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Quote Quoting Charles Stevens View Post
    If I understand, when you first signed on with this attorney, he was in a Law firm. Then, the attorney LEFT the firm, but took your case with you.
    yes

    It MIGHT be that the attorney fees are going to be "split" between the former Law firm and your attorney who took your case with you...
    no, I know there's no split.

    When you FIRST signed on to have this attorney rep you, did you sign a RETAINER AGREEMENT that SPECIFIED the AMOUNT he would charge to handle your case? Like, hourly fees, or a percentage of the settlement?
    No, it was NY WCB Form OC-400 when he left the first firm:

    http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/main/forms/oc400.pdf

    X

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Quote Quoting Charles Stevens View Post
    Thus, givn the facts that you presented, and if accurate that the attorney is trying to cut a "side-deal" for a GREATER amount of money for attorney fees than those PRESENTED TO THE JUDGE and AWARDED by the Judge after your case settles, this would be UNTEHICAL and ILLEGAL under WC Laws....
    So, what do I do? I'm in the endgame with negotiations about to begin. Other than this I've been happy with the representation, but just felt squeezed by the timing. Like everyone else, I just want this nightmare to end.

    Trapped inside the matrix,

    X

  4. #14
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees


    I"f you decide that you want representation in your New York Workers’ Compensation claim, you will never pay your attorney directly. In fact, under NY law, it’s illegal for a lawyer to accept fees directly from a client in a Workers’ Compensation case. Only the Workers Comp Judge can award an attorney’s fee. [emphasis added


    As Charles provided, you/IW do not pay the attorney...but rather the fee is awarded by the judge... and paid by the ER/IC.
    So at this point, it would appear you don't have to do anything.. If you settle your claim by a C&R/lump sum payment, the judge will have to review the settlement for adequacy, and then award the fee, then the IC will issue a check to you and a check to the attorney.
    If you have a dispute to the amount of the fee as provided in the settlement agreement, don't sign until you are satisfied with the end result.
    Right now... try not to become too stressed about something that hasn't happened yet.
    IF this was a ''side ageement'', find out exactly what it entailed, and know what you are talking about before you file any complaints with a state board, WC or State Bar...

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    x, here are the Statutes:


    http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/m...laws/30213.htm
    SECTION 302-2.4 COMPENSATION, COMMISSIONS AND REBATES
    No representative licensed under section 24-a shall exact or accept any fee or other payment unless and until it shall have been authorized by order of the board or referee.
    Division of any fee with another licensed representative or a lawyer shall be based upon division of service or responsibility and shall be improper unless fully disclosed to the board and referee before the fee is authorized.
    A representative shall not, directly or indirectly, receive any profit by credit or other valuable consideration as a commission, discount or gratuity in connection with any compensation case.


    Section 300.17. Notices of retainer, appearance and substitution, and fees of claimant's attorney or licensed representative
    .
    In the representation of a claimant before the board or a Workers' Compensation Law [judge] Judge in any case:

    (a) An attorney or licensed representative shall file a notice of retainer and appearance, and, when appropriate, a notice of substitution, on forms prescribed by the [chairman] chair, [prior to or at the first appearance of such attorney or licensed representative] immediately upon being retained. The attorney or licensed representative shall also transmit a copy of such notice to the insurance carrier, self-insured or other representative of the employer at the time of filing. [emphasis added]

    (b) An attorney or licensed representative, substituted for a former attorney or licensed representative, shall immediately upon being retained serve the former attorney or licensed representative with a copy of the notice of substitution. [No fee shall be approved or fixed, in accordance with subdivision (d) of this section, for the services of any such attorney or licensed representative with fee who has failed or neglected to serve and file the required notice of retainer and appearance or the required notice of substitution.]

    (c) No fee shall be approved or fixed, in accordance with subdivision (f) of this section, for the services of any such attorney or licensed representative with fee who has failed or neglected to serve and file the required notice of retainer and appearance or the required notice of substitution.

    [(c)] (d)(1) An attorney or licensed representative shall file an application upon a form [prescribed by the chairman] OC-400.1 in each instance where a fee is requested pursuant to sections 24 and 24-a of the Workers' Compensation Law, except that where the fee requested is not more than $450, the attorney or licensed representative may, in lieu of such written application, make an oral statement on the record as to the services rendered and the time spent for the performance of such services.
    Notwithstanding the foregoing, the board may require a written application on form OC-400.1 for a fee of $450 or less. [Form OC-400.1 is to be used for such purpose.] Any form OC-400.1 filed shall be accurately completed.

    (2) All fees awarded at a hearing are to be made in the presence of the claimant, except that the Workers' Compensation Law [judge] Judge may, in his or her discretion, waive this requirement if the amount of the fee requested is not more than $450, provided that the attorney or licensed representative makes a statement on the record as to the services rendered and the time spent for the performance of such services.

    (3) In any case where the claimant is not present and the amount of the fee requested is more than $450, the claimant must be advised of the amount requested by the attorney or licensed representative 10 days in advance of the awarding of a fee. Proof of service by mail or otherwise on the copy of form OC-400.1 filed with the board, may be accepted as evidence that the claimant has been so advised.

    (e) Whenever a fee is requested in excess of $450 for services rendered in conciliation, administrative determination, agreement pursuant to section 32 of the Workers' Compensation Law or conference calendar processing, the request is to be made upon form OC-400.1 in each instance where a fee is requested. The claimant must be advised of the amount requested the service rendered and the time spent for the performance of the services by the attorney or licensed representative 10 days prior to the awarding of a fee. Proof of service by mail or otherwise on the copy of form OC-400.1 filed with the board, may be acceptable as evidence that the claimant has been so advised. Fees awarded in conciliation, administrative determination, agreement pursuant to section 32 of the Workers' Compensation Law or conference calendar processing, may be approved by a conciliator or designee of the Chair. [(d)]

    (f) Whenever an award is made to a claimant who is represented by an attorney or licensed representative with fee, and a fee is requested, the board in such case shall approve a fee in an amount commensurate with the services rendered and having due regard for the financial status of the claimant and whether the attorney or licensed representative engaged in dilatory tactics or failed to comply in a timely manner with board rules.
    In no case shall the fee be based solely on the amount of the award.

    [(e)] (g) Whenever an attorney or licensed representative is notified, by notice of substitution or otherwise, that the claimant has terminated his or her retainer, the attorney or licensed representative, in each instance where a fee is requested for services rendered for which no previous fee has been approved, shall file an application for such final fee forthwith on [the prescribed] form [, except that where] OC-400.1, and serve a copy upon the claimant. The claimant must be advised of the amount requested, the service rendered and the time spent for the performance of the services by the attorney or licensed representative, 10 days prior to the awarding of a fee. Proof of service by mail or otherwise on the copy of form OC-400.1 filed with the board, may be acceptable as evidence that the claimant has been so advised. Where the fee requested is not more than $450, the attorney or licensed representative may make an oral statement on the record as to the services rendered and the time spent for the performance of such services, at the first hearing held following notice to such attorney or licensed representative that the retainer has been terminated.

    [(f)] (h) No fee shall be awarded to a claimant's attorney or licensed representative unless the attorney or licensed representative has complied with the requirements of this section.

    Looks like your attorney has some 'splaining to do!!! TO THE WCAB, the JUDGE....and possibly the NY State Bar...

  6. #16
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Quote Quoting BvIA View Post
    As Charles provided, you/IW do not pay the attorney...

    This is embarrassing, but what if I already did? There was an award for back pay because they didn't pay my weekly benefit right away because of a dispute with the IC regarding my private disability insurance. When that was resolved in my favor the judge set the attorney fees for work done to that point. Then the attorney invoiced me for the balance of the "side deal" percentage.

    I have the invoice, the emails and the cancelled check. All of them reference "Workers Comp."

    Oh boy!

    X

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Quote Quoting Charles Stevens View Post
    x, here are the Statutes:

    Thanks, copied them all to my files.

    X

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    X, GET ANOTHER ATTORNEY to take your case ASAP...have the NEW attorney submit the APPROPRIATE FORMS to ALL PARTIES for "SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY" as specified by the Statutes.

    And by ALL MEANS, YOU and the NEW ATTORNEY ARE going to BRING THAT ISSUE of the SIDE-DEAL to the JUDGE'S ATTENTION..thank GOD you HAVE THE PROOF...

    Do NOT LOSE that DOCUMENTATION YOU HAVE!!! Make COPIES and put them in a safe-deposit box or with your parents for safe-keeping...and KEEP DOCUMENTING EVERYTHING said/sent to you by your "attorney" until/afte you GET A NEW ATTORNEY.

    UNFORTUNATELY, (unless we are TOTALLY OFF_BASE and this attorney has done "nothing wrong"...but it appears he is DEEP DOO DOO) , he TOOK ADVANTAGE OF YOU because OBVIOUSLY, if you KNEW the WC Laws, you wouldn't have seen an attorney in the FIRST PLACE.....

    PRINCESS LA ALERT!!!!! ANOTHER one for you, PLA!!! Hope you like THIS one.....
    Last edited by Charles Stevens; 02-18-2008 at 12:56 PM.

  9. #19
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    I no longer live in NY. Any suggestions on finding a reputable attorney?

    X

  10. #20
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    X, go to www.martindale-hubbell.com . Look for WC attorneys, and look at the MH RATINGS for the attorneys, and then START CALLING....

    Where do you currently live? NY bordering State? Call some local attorneys and see if they can refer you to EXPERIENCED NY attorneys.

    Also, SOME attorneys have licences in several States, particularly those who are in bordering states...

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