Could $10 Save You Hundreds or Thousands on Your Settlement?

If your case is close to settling, especially if you are close to mediation, I’ve got a tip that could put a lot more money in your pocket. How much? Well, that depends on the size of your case, but it could easily be hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars. I have personally seen a client make an extra $16,000.00 using this tip. No other lawyer will give you this tip. Hell, even I won’t give you this tip. Don’t worry, though. It’s not illegal, unethical, immoral or anything about which you will ever feel guilty. It’s not convoluted or even difficult. You may slap your forehead and say “Why didn’t I think of that?” upon reading it.

So what is it? Well, I did say I’m not giving it away. No, this tip will cost you the modest sum of $10.00. For that, you get my will-never-ever-in-a-million-years-be-published-on-my-website settlement tip in the form of an instantly downloadable 3-page pdf article. This is without a doubt the best tip I have to offer, so if you’ve benefited from any of my other articles, know that this is an even better tip. Why? Because it directly affects the amount you put in your pocket at the end of your lawsuit. You should easily be able to make this tip pay for itself ten times over under the worst of circumstances. Under the best of circumstances, it will pay for itself several hundred times over.

Who This Tip Is For

This tip is only for people who have not settled their case yet and are represented by an attorney. If you’ve already settled, or don’t have a lawyer, don’t buy it. It is really aimed at those who are currently engaged in settlement negotiations or those who are approaching mediation (it can even work for those who have just had a failed mediation).

Why $10.00?

I’ll admit, $10.00 is a somewhat arbitrary number. I chose it because while I wouldn’t mind finally making money from this website, I wanted this tip to be easily affordable and a great value for the money. When you think about other things that $10.00 will buy you these days — 3 gallons of gas, 1 lunch, 1 DVD, 10 lottery tickets, 1/2 a lapdance, you get the picture — would you be willing to trade one of those items for information that could make you a few more hundred or thousand dollars on your lawsuit?

I know I’m not giving you much information upon which to base your decision, but the tip is so specific and so simple that to tell you more would be to give it away. So, the question for you is “Am I willing to invest $10.00 to make hundreds or thousands more from my lawsuit?” If yes, click the Buy Now link below. All major credit cards and PayPal accepted.

Buy Now

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93 Responses to Could $10 Save You Hundreds or Thousands on Your Settlement?

  1. Glenn says:

    I do not normally purchase things of this nature due to the fact that I do not put my trust (or money) in people that I don’t know. Under the circumstances though, I feel compelled to do so. I am currently in a tough personal injury case in which liability is a concern. (Fell on some wet broken steps at a healthcare provider’s property that resulted in 2 surgeries. One being a cervical spine fusion.) So I need all the help I can get. I’m going to try this tip and I am going do a follow up reply either way my settlement or suit goes. It is at the “plaintiff deposition” stage right now so hopefully it won’t be much longer. Hopefully the tip pays off. By the way. your website if very infomative. I have been reading it for a couple of hours. Learned alot. Some good, some not but I feel well informed. Thank you. Hell, it’s worth the $10 just what I’ve read and learned so far!

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I know I’m pretty vague about the tip, but as you’ll see after reading it, it’s pretty hard to describe without just giving it away. I hope that I earn some trust in the quality of my advice from my free articles, so people feel more comfortable buying this tip. I hadn’t planned on charging for articles, but I made an exception for this tip for two reasons: 1) I wanted to make enough to cover the cost of running the site — I don’t mind giving free advice, but losing money to give free advice is just dumb, and 2) as you’ll see from the nature of my tip, it will upset a certain vocal group of people whose whining I don’t care to hear (odds are, none of them will ever buy the tip — but they could run across it if I posted it for free).

      I hope that the tip works for you — when you reach the right time in your case. I look forward to hearing how it worked out for you.

      • Glenn says:

        Well, you are right. It will most certainly upset certain people. Very good tip though. I will try it when or if the time comes. As I have said before, my case may be difficult. I am over 2 years into this thing. Having my doubts.

        • grant says:

          I just bought the TIP. Just waiting for Paypal to clear. My settlement conference is coming up on the 28th. I also read that insurance companies pay more in the 4th qtr? Any truth to that?

          • fl_litig8r says:

            It’s been my experience that insurers generally like to settle more in the 4th quarter for financial reporting purposes, so they may be a little more generous then. Also, trials around Christmas tend to produce higher verdicts. 🙂

        • Carolyn says:

          I paid for the tip. Now how do I get it?

          • fl_litig8r says:

            I’m not seeing any transaction listed for you. A download link is e-mailed to you upon successful completion of the transaction.

          • Carolyn says:

            I did it through my husbands paypal account and his email but there was nothing but a receipt sent. [e-mail address removed by admin]

          • fl_litig8r says:

            I sent the tip as an attachment to the e-mail address you used to make this comment. I’m not sure why you didn’t receive the link. I’ve never had that happen before. Maybe it went to a spam folder?

          • Carolyn says:

            Thank you! I got it. What a great tip. And you even explaining how to make it happen is awesome!

  2. Margaret says:

    Hello,

    I would like to inquire if your $10.00 Mediation Tip can be used in Canada also?

    Thank you:)

    • fl_litig8r says:

      As long as your case was taken on a contingency fee basis, it can.

      • Margaret says:

        Thank you so much for your timely response.
        6 years ago I persued a med-mal suit. Initially I started with a contigency plan and then about 3 years ago my lawyer changed it to regular billing (not quite sure why), in May of this year I am shedualed for my first mediation and that’s why I was hoping to be able to use your tip. Is there any tip I could use on regular billing?

        Thanks again:)

        • fl_litig8r says:

          I’m sorry to say that this tip won’t work in an hourly billing case (almost all PI cases in the U.S. are on contingency). I wish I had a similar tip for hourly cases. I just don’t, outside of the advice I gave in my mediation article, and my article on attorney costs.

          • Margaret says:

            That’s ok, Thank you so much for the info you did provide, and I must say I found your site to be very informative.

            Thank you:)

  3. V Foster says:

    Wow! This tip is simple but great! It’s something my husband has always tried to teach me, which I was just getting around to thinking is wise to do, but would have NEVER thought to apply to my settlement/lawsuit situation! Thanks!!

    • fl_litig8r says:

      The best ideas are usually the simple ones that make you say “Duh! Why didn’t I think of this?” Thanks for buying the tip. Folks like you help pay for this website.

  4. kim says:

    Bought it, like it. Question.
    Since my case involves the city…I’m looking at trying to propose a combination settlement, say, $x cash, plus give me the right to buy health insurance at the employee rate rather than the retiree rate for the next 15 years (or whatever). Figuring this at today’s dollars, that insurance is worth about $60,000, but at least they won’t have to be shelling it out in one lump sum. Assuming it is even possible, which I’m not sure that it is….

    My lawyer gets a flat 33 1/3 regardless of when we settle. Lets say I get 45K, plus the insurance. Does that mean that he gets 15K plus 20K, or only 15K, or what?

    thx.

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I would analogize this to how his fee is figured in a front pay/reinstatement situation. If you were awarded front pay, I’d expect him to collect a fee from that. If you were awarded reinstatement, I wouldn’t expect him to take a fee out of every future paycheck/benefit you enjoyed for as long as you stayed with the employer.

      So, if they are able to work it so that you are just offered a reduced rate, I wouldn’t expect a fee to assessed against the value of that benefit. However, if they were to give you a lump sum cash award calculated to equal the difference between the employee and retiree rate for a number of years, I’d expect that he would take a fee from that.

      A lot of this will depend on how the fee agreement is drafted. Keep in mind the general rule of contracts: if a contract is ambiguous, any ambiguity will be construed against the party that drafted the contract. If your fee contract is unclear on this issue, it should be interpreted in your favor.

      • kim says:

        Well, we are maybe almost there. Because it is a govt. entity,,the folks at mediation only had limited authority, and the number needs to be approved by a committee. The politics of the whole process was interesting. Fortunately, I hit it off well with the mediator, as did my counsel.

        But I got to tell you, you almost got me in trouble! I scrutinized the contract, and it is ambiguous on a certain point (other than the question above), but his understanding of it and my understanding, at the time of signing, were the same. Although reading it now, that is not what it says. His reaction when I questioned it tells me possibly he screwed up the contract. Since there was a “meeting of the minds” at time of signing, does it really matter what it says?

        I think the fact that I have the pending job offer has really messed up my ability to deal with him strictly on an attorney/client basis, although I do plan on suggesting that he throw a few crumbs back my way for all the work I did on the case.

        Will let you know soon…

        • fl_litig8r says:

          There is a difference between a contract being ambiguous and simply stating something that was not intended. If the contract is clear, but states something other than intended, usually the intent of the parties isn’t considered when interpreting it. The plain language of the contract will control. If it actually is ambiguous, then the intent of the parties is relevant to its interpretation. The key to whether it is ambiguous is whether the language is actually subject to more than one interpretation on its face, without regard to any external factors such as intent. So, technically it may not matter whether you had a “meeting of the minds” if the contract language clearly states something to the contrary. Of course, if you don’t object to interpreting it differently than it is written, then it’s a moot point. It’s up to you if you want to make it an issue (or use it as a bargaining chip).

          • kim says:

            thx. It has two contradictory statements on computation of attorney expenses, both of which cannot both be possible, so I guess that is ambiguous, right? What he meant, and what I understood, is the way more favorable to him. Depending on what the city comes back with, I might be able to use it as a bargaining chip.

            I’ve definitely learned a lot. I gave him a retainer, plus a contingency interest in the outcome, which results in him getting a total of 47% if it settles. Of course, no one else would touch it, he has done a really good job, and the somewhat steep retainer was to pay him for the risk he was taking. I should have had his take capped at a certain percentage. Live and learn.

            Looking at your other pages, you really give out a LOT of good advice here. Not sure what drives you (obviously not the ten bucks), but just want to say that it is really really appreciated!

          • fl_litig8r says:

            Are you sure the retainer wasn’t just for costs? Those are paid above the fee percentage. If 47% is his fee, that’s pretty steep (it would be unethical in Florida, so you may want to check your state’s ethics rules to see if they cap fees at a certain percentage).

            As to the contradictory language, that would be an ambiguity. Of course, if he drafted the contract and you didn’t have equal input into its language, that ambiguity should be construed against him.

  5. kim says:

    I’ll look at the rules. The retainer was definitely for his fees. I also paid part of the expenses (depositions, mediator, filing fee, expert’s damages estimate, etc.)

    It’s funny…I really am more guided by principle than monetary reward, and entered into this seeking validation of my claims, but now that we are here, and I see the division of the winnings, it is difficult to accept.

  6. kim says:

    p.s. the rules are as ambiguous as the contract. “unconscienable.” Anyway, I can live with it. Like I said, I’d be nowhere without him. (expensive)Lesson learned. Everything looks different in hindsight. I do have plenty of advice for him as to how to re-word his contracts!

  7. kim says:

    Well, finally got the chance to use the tip. Yes folks, it works, it’s all just a matter of timing! The case settled today. What’s weird, I was holding out for too much, and finally realized why. It had nothing to do with money!! It was because I felt like I had paid for the whole show, and settling would be like leaving during the intermission! Talk about flawed thinking!!

    Thanks for all your help!

    • fl_litig8r says:

      Glad to hear you’re satisfied with the settlement, and that the tip worked for you. I wish you luck in your future employment. You certainly sound passionate enough to be successful at whatever you choose.

  8. Mark says:

    Hello, First I wanted to thank you with all the help and advice you give so freely to everyone. My question would be that I had a lawyer but after my MMI was set he stopped representing me due to there wont be enough checks coming in to pay him. So after a few weeks after the MMI he sent me a letter saying he was done. Now I’m going back in 45 days with an ombudsman to change the date from June to October due to the ongoing therapy I have had over the past several weeks. I went through a pain management program of 160 hours. After graduating from that is when my doctor says it should be dated. My question would be would the 10.00 tip be of benefit to me in this situation? I also wanted to ask, I was given my rating of 10%. I understand you have to get 15% to receive any further education. I can not do what Ive always done in the past because it causes me great pain. I have to change occupations now and its going to require me to go back to school. I was hurt from (to put it in a nutshell) being required to lift, pull, push way to much weight for way too many years. Now I cant even do side jobs because I wouldn’t be able to promise a completion date due to I don’t know if my pain will cause me to stop a day or two to recover. When I was injured I was hurting from “my whole Back” up through my cervical. Insurance only put in a neck and low back strain. My thoracic gets really aggravated as well but hasn’t been included. With all that being said, how hard is it to get a 10% moved up to a 15% to have my thoracic added to claim and change the date to after all my treatment. Thank you for your time! God Bless all you do!

    • fl_litig8r says:

      Sorry, but my tip won’t help in your situation.

      As to having your impairment rating changed from 10% to 15%, that is asking a lot. If the doctors haven’t assigned you any impairment due to a thoracic injury, it’s either because you didn’t complain about it (and it would be tough to explain why now) or you did complain about it but they didn’t find any support for it, which is equally unhelpful. Unless your doctor is willing to admit that you complained about the thoracic injury and he didn’t bother to check it out — and then, after checking it out, finds something — I’m not optimistic about your chances.

  9. Mark says:

    I wanted to ask three more questions. 1) if my date changes how likely would it be that the extended part should not have the lawyer fees taken out. 2) If thoracic is added wouldn’t only make since that the impairment would be higher? 3) Nobody has yet to include my mental state, I have gone through several hours of therapy and know have to deal with know either I choose to do with pain or medication or both the things I have enjoyed doing before. examples- Hiking down grand canyon with my family, 10 days walking around Disney parks, and it was pretty much nonstop. Driving on 2000+ mile road trips. Remodeling rooms, yards… Since I cant see these things happening very easily shouldnt those be taken into consideration as well?

    • fl_litig8r says:

      If you obtain more benefits on your own than your lawyer obtained before he dropped you, you have a good argument for not owing him anything on the additional benefits. Has your lawyer been paid already for the benefits you have already received? If not, his withdrawing from your case could preclude him from recovering any fee at all. You’d have to consult your fee contract and your state bar’s ethics rules to determine this.

      As to your mental state, worker’s comp doesn’t pay for pain and suffering or emotional distress — in your case “loss of enjoyment of life” — so I wouldn’t expect them to pay for your loss of the ability to do the things you enjoy. Had your workplace injury resulted in a mental impairment due to PTSD or maybe even anxiety or depression, and this resulted from an extraordinary event (not a typical work injury, but something significantly traumatic), your state may provide for payment of your mental health care and wage loss attributed to that event. However, it would still not pay for emotional distress as one would expect in a tort claim — it would just be medical care and wages, with no additional compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.

      As you indicated that your injuries resulted from years of repetitive exertion, it doesn’t sound like your claim would qualify for mental health benefits — of course, a comp lawyer in your own state would be better suited to giving you a definitive answer.

  10. Gail says:

    Does this tip apply to cases in which the injured person has a lawyer, but the case would probably be settled without filing a lawsuit? Thank you for your help! Your website is very informative.

    • fl_litig8r says:

      Yes, it does, assuming that you are not worlds apart in the settlement negotiations (which you shouldn’t be if you think the case can settle without litigation). Of course, you’ll need to implement it before you settle — so I’m assuming you haven’t agreed to a settlement yet.

  11. James Hunt says:

    Does your tip apply for the reverse situation of Defendants (paying hourly) trying to settle against Plaintiffs (represented by contingency fee attorney)?

  12. Aly13 says:

    Will this tip work with my personal injury suit from using a hair product that caused permanent damage to my hair along with emotional pain & suffering. This is a big company that the suit is against.

  13. Alex says:

    Wow! Fantastic advice. Easily worth $10. I had actually considered this but I had no idea how to do it or why it would work. This tip explains it all. Thank you!!

  14. Dave says:

    Thanks so much for the tip..it really makes sense.
    I have a quick question if you could answer….in my case I was at no fault in an accident and the defense gave me a third settlement offer (mediation is scheduled in three months) at 85k. In the offer/settlement letter of the offer it said this offer does not include attorney’s fee, what does that really mean (I’m confused, whether the attorney will be getting his charge from that plus any medical liens or it will be paid separately)?

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I’d really need the specific language they used to answer that, but my best guess would be that they are trying to make it clear that they aren’t offering to pay your fees in addition to the offered amount. There are only very rare circumstances in which an insurer would offer a settlement amount and agree to pay fees above that. Even rarer is when they would make such an offer without specifying how much they are offering for those fees. This almost never happens in car accident cases because attorney’s fees are not awarded in such cases, so the only time I can see this happening is if your state has a procedural rule allowing you to make them an offer, which, if rejected, would make them liable for your fees — like Fla.Stat. §768.79, which lets a plaintiff recover attorney’s fees if they make a formal settlement offer that isn’t accepted by the defendant within 30 days, and the plaintiff then goes on to receive a judgment which is more than 25% greater than the settlement offer.

  15. Chris Nielsen says:

    If you have a lawyer and have not settled, invest the $10 in this tip. I am not in a position to take advantage of this, but as I thought I or someone I know may benefit from it in the future.

    If nothing else you can support the site owner and encourage them to continue to offer free professional help.

    fl_litig8r: I would like to encourage you to consider using paid ads on the site. I think the financial returns would greatly outpace tip revenues…! 🙂 Thanks!

    • fl_litig8r says:

      Thanks for the encouragement and advice, but I do already have ads on the site. I don’t have any on this particular article because the article itself is pretty much an ad for my tip!

  16. Mary [last name removed by admin] says:

    You are not giving any other choose of payment outside of PayPal?
    You do not allow payment direct from Visa debit? I do not use PayPal and do not use major credit cards, I pay cash or direct withdrawal form my account, why do you not accept this? Do you
    answer your emails…. PayPal has virus and sometimes rips people
    off and is riskey to use it. Please let me know if there is another
    way for payment to you as I am very interested in your Tip!

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I use PayPal because that’s who the company that hosts and processes transactions for my e-books uses, and because it provides the most flexible options to let people pay online. You don’t need to create a PayPal account to use a Visa debit card to buy my tip through PayPal — you can do it as a one-time transaction without ever having a PayPal account. Your claim about PayPal having viruses is ridiculous, and it is no more risky to use than any other online retail or banking site. They don’t rip people off. In fact, sellers are more at risk using PayPal than buyers because of PayPal’s extremely buyer-friendly refund policies.

      If you’re not willing to trust PayPal to do a one-time transaction, then that’s your choice. I’ve sold hundreds of e-books, including my tip, through PayPal without any complaints, so I have no reason to switch to another payment system.

  17. sandy says:

    what can I do if my attorney refuses to show me the cancelled to my accountant is over 22k is over six months

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I can’t understand your question. Please rephrase it. It seems like you’ve blended multiple issues into one messy sentence with no punctuation and missing words, so please take the time to state your questions clearly (and separately, if there’s more than one issue) so I can try to help you.

  18. Jasmine says:

    Does your $10.00 tip work for someone approaching the mediation phase of a divorce trial?

  19. Linda says:

    My boyfriend is involved in a PI lawsuit. I was searching for information about mediation since it will be coming up soon. I came across your article and was truly thankful to have found it. I also bought your $10 Tip (without any hesitation at all after reading your article). I should’ve had a V8! [Potential Tip Spoilers removed by Admin] I’m an accountant, by the way, so it only made good sense to me. Same is true here.
    I do have a question for you about this case though. My boyfriend hired atty. A in 01/13 after a ladder collapsed under him. He had shoulder surgery in 04/13, which ultimately failed, and will have to have a full replacement. Atty. A didn’t file the lawsuit until 02/14, at which time he filed it in the wrong court, and we found out later that he wasn’t admitted to practice in US District Court. In 04/14, Atty. B took over the case, but didn’t file a Notice of Appearance until 07/14. In 09/14 Atty. A filed a Motion to Withdraw (irreconcilable differences), which was denied w/o prejudice and filed the same Motion in 10/14, and again, it was denied w/o prejudice. (Notice to Counsel 04/14, Local rule 2.01 was sent to Atty. A) To date, no Notice of Lien has been filed by Atty. A. Why will the court not let Atty. A withdraw? Is there a time limit that he has to comply with the court’s recommendation to fix his issues about practicing in District Court or can he just stay where he is and possibly collect a quantum meruit fee? Thank you for all your help. It’s wonderful to know that there really are attorneys out there with integrity. ~Linda

    • fl_litig8r says:

      From the e-mail address you used and your reference to Local Rule 2.01, I assume that you’re in the federal district court in the Middle District of Florida. If you want to see its local rules, you can find them here (pdf warning). Local Rule 2.01 governs admission of lawyers to practice before the middle district courts, so it appears that the court has taken notice of the fact that Atty A isn’t a member of its bar — FYI, Local Rule 2.03 governs motions to withdraw, if you’re curious. I’m really not sure if the court is suggesting that this lawyer must gain admission to practice in the court before withdrawing from your case, but that might be the case. If it is, this seems pretty silly to me, as this just causes needless delay and confusion for your boyfriend, the client, who just wants to move on with the case with his new lawyer. Maybe a Motion to Substitute Counsel would have been the better way to go, seeing that he already has a new lawyer. There is really no time limit on withdrawal, but if your boyfriend has withdrawn authority for Atty A to act as his lawyer, there’s really not much the lawyer can do to warrant additional hours that might go to a quantum meruit fee. Just because the court denied his motion to withdraw doesn’t mean that he’s still your boyfriend’s lawyer. He can’t act on your boyfriend’s behalf without his consent.

      When you say that Atty A filed suit in the wrong court, I’m wondering if that really is the case. If he filed in the state circuit court and the defendant then removed it to federal court under diversity jurisdiction, that doesn’t mean that he filed in the wrong court. The state court could have heard the case had the defendant not decided to remove it to federal court. The removal is optional for the defendant, though they’ll often take advantage of it because federal courts are usually more friendly to defendants and many plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers (including your boyfriend’s. apparently) are inexperienced and very uncomfortable in federal court.

      I point this out not only as an aside, but because it relates to your question about fee entitlement. While I doubt that any court would consider the time Atty A spends trying to extricate himself from the lawsuit (which is really all that he’s authorized to do at this point) as counting towards a quantum meruit fee, he might be entitled to a fee for work he did up to the time the case was filed in or removed to federal court. A lot of this will depend on how a court would view the circumstances of his withdrawal. While he claims in his motion that it is due to “irreconcilable differences”, it could also be seen as him withdrawing because he’s not a member of the federal district court’s bar and he doesn’t want to join it. If the former seems more likely, then he might be entitled to a fee for the time he reasonably spent moving the case forward (though I doubt it would be awarded beyond his first failed attempt to withdraw). If the latter seems more likely, then he wouldn’t be entitled to any fee, because he withdrew on his own for his own business reasons.

      • Linda says:

        Good morning,
        Sorry about the Tip oops! Thank you for the pdf regarding the rules. I’ve read through them and the others you specified.
        As far as Atty A filing in the wrong court, this is a products liability claim and the manufacturer resides out of Florida. From what I’ve read, fed court handles these cases, not state. So I just assumed it was the wrong court.
        I think the confusion about Atty A not being able to withdraw due to Rule 2.01 stems from the defendants Motion to Compel where he mentions that Atty A has not done anything in reference to this rule even though Notice to Counsel makes reference to it (defendant also states in the Compel that Atty B has taken over, but hasn’t filed Substitution of Counsel or Notice of Appearance). If this is the case, I agree with you that it’s silly. But as you’ve said it may or may not be the case.
        Anyway, as it stands, he would probably be entitled to compensation, that which would have to be factored into the equation when it comes time to mediate a settlement.
        What I really meant about a time limit to withdraw pertained to the court in regards to noncompliance of 2.01, if that is what the court is asking him to do. Is there a time set in law for an attorney to comply with the court? And if he does not, what does the court then do, if in fact, there is a time limit? Thank you so much!
        Respectfully yours, Linda

        • fl_litig8r says:

          You’re mistaken about the state court not having jurisdiction over the claim. Most of the time (to go into detail about exceptions would require a tedious review of Constitutional “minimum contacts” theory and state “long-arm” statutes, which I’ll avoid here), you can sue an out-of-state company in state courts for an injury their product caused in your state. In fact, this is the preferred tactic for plaintiffs’ lawyers because state courts are usually more plaintiff-friendly than federal courts. These cases, when the amount in dispute is more than $75,000, can be removed by the defendant to federal court under diversity jurisdiction. This doesn’t mean that the state court didn’t have jurisdiction or that the plaintiff’s lawyer should have just filed in federal court to begin with. In fact, if the defendant misses the 30-day deadline to remove the matter to federal court, it stays in state court — so it’s always worth trying to file the claim in state court just to see if the defendant misses the deadline.

          Long story short, Atty A was smart to file it in state court. He was stupid, however, to not anticipate that an out-of-state defendant would remove the case to federal court, especially considering that he wasn’t even a member of the middle district’s bar. Becoming a member is trivial these days. Back when I got admitted to practice in federal court, there was an actual test which asked some really obscure federal law questions most lawyers would never need to know in real life. Now, all of the federal courts in Florida have done away with the tests, so getting admitted can be done very quickly and is almost automatic. He really had no excuse for getting caught with his pants down on the removal and not being admitted to the middle district in case that happened.

          Now on to what you really wanted to know. . . No, there is no time limit for the lawyer to withdraw. Until he complies with the court’s requirements, he’s stuck being attached to the case, even if he’s no longer authorized to act for the client. He basically gets put in a position where he’s potentially responsible for things that may go wrong in the case (like sanctions) without the ability to do anything to avoid those things until he gets the court’s approval for his withdrawal. That’s his incentive to have the withdrawal approved without delay, and it’s a pretty strong one.

          In your case, I think I now see why the withdrawal was denied. While you had previously thought that Atty B had filed an appearance in the case, it seems that he didn’t — at least that’s what the defendant claims (as an aside, you can get a PACER account to see the court’s docket and even download documents filed in the case very cheaply so you can see what’s been filed for yourself). The court doesn’t want to let Atty A skate out on the case while a motion to compel is pending, because this leaves the client in the lurch. That’s a motion that needs a timely response, and one that might result in monetary and other sanctions against the lawyer, the client or both. The court wants to make sure that this matter is going to be handled by a lawyer and that your boyfriend isn’t going to be left to hang out to dry for something that might be the “escaping” lawyer’s fault. Atty B filing a Motion to Substitute Counsel, preferably with Atty A signing it as a joint motion, should get this resolved immediately, unless the court wants to keep Atty A around solely to see if he’s going to be sanctioned under the motion to compel. After that motion is resolved, it should have no problem letting Atty A leave the case.

          • Linda says:

            Good morning,
            Thank you for clarifying the state court/fed court issue. I’ll tuck that info away in data in case I ever get involved with one of these cases again. Hopefully not, because it’s horrible enough that my boyfriend suffered substantial injuries that he must live with for the rest of his life and trying to maneuver through the legal system as an amateur and dealing with these attorneys is just an added burden.
            I did sign up for a PACER account and copied everything that’s been filed in the court to date. Through this entire ordeal, my boyfriend has not received a single piece of correspondence for either atty, so needless to say, this was much needed information. I’ll give you the road map of the case as per the courts’ files: (02/11/2014) Defendants’ Notice of Removal, which was filed within the 30 days, and sent to Atty A. (04/01/2014) Notice to Counsel L.R. 2.01 sent to Atty A. (06/26/2014) Notice of First Interrogatories to Plaintiff, First Request for Production to Plaintiff, Motion to Compel, all filed and sent to Attys A and B. (My boyfriend gave the case to Atty B in (04/2014)), who didn’t file a Notice of Appearance until (07/03/2014). Order of the Court (07/11/2014) granting in part and denying in part the Compel. Atty A’s Motion to Withdraw (09/17/2014) stating 1. Atty A represented….. 2. “That irreconcilable differences have arisen….and the Plaintiff has obtained other counsel.” This motion was denied w/o prejudice. Atty A’s 2nd Motion to Compel (10/03/2014)-exact as first motion- again denied w/o prejudice.
            Now I agree with you. Since the Motion to Compel has been satisfied (interrogatories, deposition, etc. have been completed in accordance with the Case Management Schedule) and the case is moving forward, Atty A should simply be withdrawn. I can’t understand why the court won’t let him. From our perspective it makes a difference because of the quantum meruit fee involved. While we’re not saying that he’s not entitled to compensation, it will have to be factored into the equation when preparing to mediate a settlement. On the other hand, if he’s willing to voluntarily forfeit this fee because he doesn’t want to become a member of the DC bar, who are we to stop him?! Thank for your thoughts and advice.
            Linda

          • fl_litig8r says:

            I’m wondering if the court is denying the withdrawal on a technicality, such as Atty A not alleging that he complied with the 10-day advance notice requirement to the client and parties of his intention to file the motion. If the orders denying the motions to withdraw don’t state a reason for the denial, I don’t see the court’s logic here. Usually, when a motion like this is denied without prejudice and there isn’t anything urgent pending that needs to be resolved first, there is some technical error that can be easily corrected and the court is just slapping the attorney on the wrist for not precisely following the rules. That slap is usually accompanied by an explanation in the order as to what the attorney did wrong, though. Just denying the motion without any explanation doesn’t make sense.

  20. Linda says:

    Yes, this may be the case. However, Atty A has filed the same motion twice and has gotten the same result twice! The Orders are of course in the docket report, but I’m not able to access them as they are not linked. Do you attorneys have access to these? If so, we can discuss this with Atty B when we meet with

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I don’t know why the orders aren’t available for download. They don’t seem like anything of a sensitive nature that wouldn’t be available except to the attorneys on the case (and even then, PACER will usually have a link but just tell you that you’re not authorized to download it). That’s just weird. I do have some other ideas on the denial, though. First, you may be able to glean something from any changes Atty A made from his first motion to his second. Whatever was changed was likely in response to the court’s denial. Second, you can see for yourself if the motion complies with Middle District Local Rule 3.01, particularly subsections (a) and (g). Subsection (a) requires motions to include a legal memorandum that cites relevant authorities supporting the relief requested. While this may seem stupid in the case of a motion to withdraw, I’ve seen courts require memoranda for no-brainer type motions before, so it’s always a good idea to include a memorandum, even if it’s just a paragraph citing one or two cases discussing the general standard for granting that type of motion.

      Subsection (g) requires attorneys filing any motion (with a few specific exceptions — and motion to withdraw isn’t one of them) to confer with opposing counsel prior to filing and state specifically in the motion that this conference took place and whether opposing counsel objects to the motion, in whole or in part. This is something a federal court rookie would likely miss, because this type of conference isn’t required for state court motions. Again, it seems silly to require such a conference for a motion to withdraw, because opposing counsel shouldn’t have any say in the matter, but it is required by the rule and is a very common ground for denial of motions in federal court. They are sticklers for their pre-motion attorney conferences.

      If you read the motions to withdraw and see that they’re missing the memorandum of law or certification that Atty A conferred with opposing counsel, you may want to send Atty A a heads up as to Local Rule 3.01’s requirements.

      • Linda says:

        Bingo! You hit the nail right on the head!
        After reading the part in your post about it being strange not to be able to see why the Motion to Withdraw was denied, I went back to the document history on PACER to see if maybe I was doing something wrong and sure enough, when I checked the ‘show text’ box it showed me the text as to why the motion was denied. It was denied for noncompliance of L.R. 3.01(g) and 2.03(b).
        As you said before, a Substitution of Counsel would’ve been the better way for Atty B to have filed right from the start. However, since this wasn’t done, should we just ask Atty B to draw up the correct Motion to Withdraw and have Atty A sign it since he obviously doesn’t have a clue as to what to do and how to do it correctly?
        On another note, I haven’t really told you too much about what happened to my boyfriend when the ladder collapsed under him because we’ve had to get through dealing with these attorney issues first. Not that there’s really too much to say about a ladder collapsing, but in this case the pins that hold it in place broke and the accident occurred. The ladder he fell from was commercial (rated for 300 lb. weight capacity); my boyfriend weighs 169 lbs.. This is pretty damn scary and makes you want to NEVER climb another ladder again! He fell about 15 feet before hitting the ground, shoulders first, and was lucky to be alive and not paralyzed. He’s undergone one shoulder surgery, will need at least one more (full replacement) on the same, and at least one on the other shoulder. He was injured very badly and lives in constant pain everyday – not to mention that he takes Norco 4 times a day just to get some relief.
        Yesterday, we got the results back from the metallurgist, and the pins were deemed defective. So I’m sure you can imagine from this point on that there’s a pretty good lawsuit here. When Atty A originally filed the suit, he put in a demand for $2,000,000. Are we held to that amount as a cap?
        The reason I’m asking you this is because we’d like to settle this in mediation, but that’s a negotiation game and the pie becomes smaller. A jury on the other hand could possibly award that amount or higher if it ended up in litigation (although the possibility exists that he may lose and get nothing, although I highly doubt it.) We haven’t discussed this with Atty B yet, although we certainly will. But since I’ve found you (and will be forever grateful for all your advice) I’m asking you these things first.
        Aside from the questions about the motion and cap, if this was your case, would you feel confident litigating it since the ladder was deemed defective? I know this may not be a fair question because you don’t know a lot about the case. But quite frankly, there really isn’t that much more that goes along with it. It’s one of these things where it just is what is. I know you’ll give me your best answer.
        Thank you again!
        Linda

        • fl_litig8r says:

          At this point, you could either try the Motion to Substitute route or just have Atty B tell Atty A what he did wrong and how to fix it (it’s really pretty easy to fix). Either way should achieve the same result.

          The amount your boyfriend requested in the initial complaint is not a cap on the damages he can recover (though it might be something the defense attorney shows a jury if your boyfriend asks for more at trial). Really, I don’t know why Atty A even put an amount in the complaint, as this is practically never done in Florida state courts (except to plead that it meets the jurisdictional amount of being worth in excess of $15,000). By asking for that specific amount, he just made removal to federal court on diversity grounds automatic. The defendant didn’t even need to make the case that your boyfriend was asking for more than $75,000 — it was right in the complaint itself. Atty A doesn’t seem to be much of a strategic thinker. This misstep really shouldn’t be a hindrance to settlement negotiations, though. The lawyers know that it probably won’t have much, if any, of an impact on the jury so long as your boyfriend puts on evidence of his claim being worth more than the amount requested.

          As you predicted, I really have a hard time saying whether I’d be confident litigating any case based on the limited information I can get from someone online. While it’s definitely a positive that the ladder was deemed defective, there are other issues which can come into play. Was the ladder being used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and general industry practice at the time of the fall? Could it have been damaged prior to the incident by misuse? I’m sure I can come up with a whole host of questions that can be raised even if the pins are defective, but my point isn’t to get you to answer my questions — I just want to convey that there are still questions that could undermine the liability aspect the case, without even getting into issues such as causation and overall valuation. Keep an open mind when you hear the defendant’s rationale for its valuation. What might sound crazy to you and your boyfriend may not sound so crazy to a jury who is working from only the facts presented to it.

          • Linda says:

            Yes, as time went on, we realized Atty A probably wasn’t the right one to handle this case. Although we’re not lawyers, we had enough common sense to move on.
            We understand what you’re saying about the defendant’s rationale and the position of the jury.
            While we really are trying to be realistic about a figure, some days (the ones that are more painful than others) you say $10,000,000 isn’t even enough. You know, you walk out the door a healthy man, then 45 minutes later you walk back through that same door as a permanently disabled person – well, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to cope with, especially when you have to live in that body for the rest of your life. And although, as we all know, money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can make misery more enjoyable!
            We’ll do the best we can with the cards we’ve been dealt. The case is on track and we’ll be putting the figures together (along with Atty B) and see if we can get somewhere at mediation. YOUR GREAT TIP WILL WORK-NO DOUBT IN MY MIND!!
            I’m out of questions for you at the moment, but later on down the road I might need to contact you again.
            As always, thank you for all the advice. Have a great day and enjoy the cool weather.
            Linda

  21. Linda says:

    him this week coming up. I’ll write you and let you know what the problem was.
    You have no idea how much my boyfriend and I appreciate all your advice. We’re on attorney #2 and almost 2 years into this case and haven’t gotten one straight answer out of either one of them yet. However, since we’ve taken matters into our own hands, the tide has turned considerably.
    The next phase will be preparing for mediation. I’ll be working on getting all the necessary figures and crunching the numbers, which is my field of expertise. I’ll go through some of your articles again, as they are a wealth of information.
    Thank you so much again! If I have anymore questions, I’ll get back in touch. I certainly wish I could do something in return for you. Obviously you deserve it! Have a great day !
    Linda

  22. Cindy says:

    Hello!
    I have a question about your tip, sir. You say that a lawyer is needed to use it. What if you had lawyers, but they have with- drawn from being my council? They also have stated that I do not owe them any payment for their service. (I have this in writing on their legal letter head.) Right before they withdrew we were in the process of negotiating the settlement with the defendants. But they wanted me to sign a new contract because they tried for a class action case but was denied class action certification. But every contract they presented to me was not worded the way I wanted. By signing I would have went against my morals. I just could not sign something that had a lie in it. After trying for over a year to find another lawyer to finish negotiating a settlement and write up a contract with defendants, I am considering just doing it myself. So my question is “Will your tip help in my situation?” If not, do you have any suggestions that would help me in my negotiations? I need to let the Judge know that I have been trying very hard to find a new lawyer and that my case is not inactive by no means. I am going to write him to request a hearing to let him know my situation and not to dismiss my case! So if you can give me any advice I would truly appreciate it, sir!

    Thank you for your help,
    Cindy

    • fl_litig8r says:

      No, I’m sorry. The tip won’t help you. Knowing nothing about your case, or what possible moral objections you could have to a fee contract, I can’t give you any other guidance.

  23. Senna says:

    I filed my case in Pro-se. I hired a lawyer to help me doing and filling the motions on the court; nothing more. He agreed and asked for certain amount of money to do it. I prepaid him. He will not go to any Trial representing me.
    Now, comes a defendant counsel ( from his Insurance) with an offer to settle outside the court. I gave my minimum amount to my lawyer; he called me back telling me the offer of the Insurance was less than my minimum amount I had asked. That offer was not acceptable to me;I told my lawyer i will prefer to go to my Trial. My lawyer induced me to accept the offer. Finally, I accepted ( all the conversations was by phone, I never was invited to the mediation). I did not get notice form my lawyer for 2 weeks; As I was worried about my Hearing in 3 days and did not get his answers to my emails and texts I decided to call the Insurance office to find out how many days they will send me the document for my review. I got a surprise that they was just mailing at that moment the payment and documentation to my lawyer office. 5 minutes after I hang up the phone, I received a “call” from my lawyer. He was very upset telling me I did wrong calling the other party. I told him was a consequence of his actions, letting me without answers and stressed with a Hearing so close ( 3 days). I asked him for the settlement document for my review. He said he already sent it to me. Not true. He never did it. I asked him to send it; so he did. I read. I am not agreed with the document; some errors (hierarchical headings, dates, etc) but the most important thing that intrigued me is:

    CLAUSE 3: Payment(S ) (?) & is numbered:

    (i) my name , the total sum of $$$$$$, OUT of which Plaintiff is to bear any and all attorney’s fees and expense.

    (ii) (does not exist)…

    MY question:

    -The Insurance doesn’t know my agreement;

    – Now” what will happen to me? If I sign this settlement on this way, an I giving opportunity to my lawyer to pick up more money from me? Or, is the Insurance sending him a “separated check”? By the way, they are using the “CONFIDENTIALITY Clause”…

    I wrote to my Lawyer pointing him all the errors on the document and about the Confidentially Clause. He answer me he can “fix the errors ( who did the document? Insurance or him?) but the Clause of Confidentially needs to STAY.

    Do I have a cause to let him know that his work with me is done? That I will handle directly the Settlement with the Insurance Counsel?

    I want to buy your Tip right; I believe can helo me a lot in taking a decision and use it.

    Thank you for being here for us!

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I don’t really see the problem with the settlement clause you cited. All it means is that you’re responsible for whatever attorney’s fees you may owe and that the insurer isn’t paying any additional amount for them. If you don’t owe your lawyer any more money, this agreement won’t make you owe him anything. As to the confidentiality clause, this is a standard part of almost every personal injury settlement. While in theory you can use this to try to get out of the settlement (as I discuss in this article), in your case I wouldn’t suggest it. Without having a lawyer willing to take your case to trial, you don’t have a lot of leverage to force the defendant to pay you more. I strongly advise against attempting to try this case without a lawyer.

      If you paid your lawyer a fixed or hourly fee, you can fire him at any time and handle settlement negotiations on your own. If he is on a contingency fee, you’ll likely still owe him out of any settlement you ultimately reach without him. I doubt that reneging on this agreement and trying to get the defendant to pay more at this point will work, though.

      Finally, I don’t think my tip would help you, given the circumstances you describe.

  24. esther [last name removed by admin] says:

    I have waited 8 years and now lawyer want to settle for $45,000. I am not getting paid for check from workmen’s comp.(which I never received, not even a dime) I am not getting paid for lost wages or for any pain or suffering. By the way I am an lvn and was working for a nursing registry when I got injured.

    • fl_litig8r says:

      You haven’t really asked a question, but I assume you want to know if you should take the deal. I really don’t know, as there are so many factors involved in valuing a case — both from a liability and damages standpoint — that I can’t even make an educated guess based on the little information I have. I don’t even know how you were hurt, what injuries you suffered and the total amount of your medical bills, past and future (anticipated) — basic things that any lawyer would need to start evaluating a case. It may help if you tell me the reasons your lawyer gave you when he suggested you take the offer. I can at least say if those reasons make sense — though I can’t say whether they are valid for your particular case because I just don’t have the facts from which to make such a determination.

  25. Marlene says:

    Thank you for this valuable service!! I have a PI case with an attorney and we just finished a second mediation that failed. The defense has no issue with my injuries, but there are two defendants in the case and each has liability. They haven’t come to terms with themselves, however, for me it has been very frustrating. Their offers are insultive, not even enough to cover reimbursement costs. My attorney feels very strongly about going to trial and feels we have a good result, but as you know, that is giving control over. My question is about my bottom-line. The first demand my atty made was very high–1.675 million and he sent a 998 offer for 1 million. The defense’s first offer was $15,000 to his 1.675. At the second mediation, they offered 45,000…we left. But they were attempting to use bracketing and if I understood…my settlement would have been between 500,000 and 750,000 which is a far cry from 1 million. I believe the amount should be based solely on the merits of the case. If it is worth a certain amount then fight for that and stop the games. What are your comments, please?

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I really can’t say based on your description of these offers why they maxed out between 500k and 750k. There are so many factors, one of which you already know — the fact that the two defendants can’t agree on their respective percentages of fault — that affect settlement offers. It could simply be that they value the case lower than you and your lawyer. Their view of the merits may simply be different than yours. I would take it as a good sign that you managed to get them in the 500-750k range, given where they started. Maybe they need to feel the heat as they get closer to trial to offer more. Or, it could just be that they are unreasonable and you will need to try the case to get a fair value. I had one case where the defendant’s insurers never offered more than $500,000 after several mediations and wound up paying over $6 million after trial (and they could have settled for far less before trial). It sucks, but sometimes they force you to go to trial. Hopefully, they’ll get spanked hard if they do.

  26. Rob says:

    I want to say your site is the best. Great advice and very informative. I hope you can answer a question for me? I have a PI case in settlement negotiations and have an attorney handling the case. I was in a car accident. I was rear end while stopped in traffic at a red light buy young driver that had just got his drivers license just a few day’s prior to hitting me.I’m sure he was texting while driving. He had plenty of time to stop but he must have looked up and seen the light had just turned green but there was probable 12 to 15 car’s in front of me waiting for the light to change so traffic did not move right away as he looked back down to text. I suffered a bad whiplash and back pain. was treated by chiropractor on contingency and a pain specialist on contingency as would be paid out of settlement. I am on SSI and have medicare. I did not want to claim the treatments to medicare but the case has taken over 2 year’s and the pain specialist has gotten impatient and turned a claim into medicare. Now medicare is demanding to be paid over 3 times the amount of the medical bills that I incured from accident and has included prior medical treatment not related to the accident. The pain specialist has sent my attorney a bill for payment for the full amount. My question is if he excepted payment from medicare then he broke the contingency contract he signed with me as medicare has already payed him right? And if not,then what was the purpose for a contingency contract in the first place? I could have said nothing of the accident and got medical treatment covered by my medicare and just settle with them in the law suit. It seems to me the doctor got impatient and just wanted to be paid and this has caused the case to be delayed further because of medicare now is delaying the case from being resolved because of his claim. Is this normal for a doctor to except a contingency payment then bill medicare? He has addvertantly caused the whole delay in this case as it seemed the insurance company seemed eager to settle quickly. My attorney was sure he would get a reasonable settlement in a short time considering. But then this popped up. What should I do. Can I get a detailed copy of medicare payments as to medicare’s claim’s on this case and how would I obtain those? One more question. Will your $10.00 tip work with my case? Even if not, I want to donate $10.00 to your effort’s any how. Your site is very helpful and will tell my friends to check it out. Thank you for all the info. My hat is off to you!

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I doubt that the doctor executed a true contingency agreement (which means he wouldn’t get paid if you made no recovery). More likely it was a letter of protection. Either way, once he decided to accept payment from Medicare he lost the right to seek payment from you for the same care, even if Medicare reduced his bills.

      With respect to Medicare, you can use their secondary payer recovery site to learn about requesting information as to the payments they’ve made. Your lawyer should be able to have them remove unrelated charges. It’s not uncommon for them to include such charges on their initial claim — they’re basically including everything that looks like it could be accident related.

      My tip can work in most contingency fee cases, as you’ll see should you choose to buy it. I see no reason why it wouldn’t work in yours.

  27. Rob says:

    Thank you so much. Your info. will help me. I am purchasing your tip now and will keep you informed of my results. Thank you so much.

  28. Rob says:

    I just got your tip and it is a great strategy I will implement. I have nothing to lose in my case. I am on SSI so I am sure this will effect my benefit’s as they will see this as income for any money’s I received personally from any settlement plus owe taxes on it as well. Am I right on this? So I have more to loose by winning than I would letting it go.This is the way I see it unless I can recover enough to balance everything out. My attorney is taking 25% I think and he has not sent me all documents and records and copy of contingency agreement that I had signed at the beginning. He is making me pay out of my pocket for para legal fee’s and has not sent me any invoices. Just calls me and say’s to pay xx amount? I have no records as to what those fee’s are related to. So far out of pocket I have paid around 1500.00 for legal fee’s. 600.00 of which said to go to para legal. Shouldn’t paralegal fee’s be payed by the legal firm? I have sent them all my medical record’s. And paid 300.00 to an seperate agency for copying medical record’s that I had already have given him that I received from my doctor. (exact same files) and now I am told to send another check to his paralegal no amount given this was a message he left on my phone. Plus I have paid all the court fee’s. I have asked the paralegal for copies of my entire file and to send all invoices so I know what I am paying for. But receive nothing but letter’s explaining where there at with the case. No payment request or invoices. How should I approach this matter without sounding angree? I don’t know what the contingency say’s because I have never received a copy as I have requested from the beginning. So I don’t know if the paralegal is my financial resposibilty under the contract because I don’t have a copy. Thanks again for your opinion. God Bless

    • fl_litig8r says:

      You shouldn’t have to pay income taxes on a personal injury settlement, but the settlement money will affect your SSI benefits unless it is paid into a trust — which will seriously restrict how the money can be used. I discussed at length how SSI benefits are affected by a settlement in the comments starting here. As you’ll see from that discussion, it is possible to temporarily suspend your SSI benefits while you burn through the settlement money however you like and then restart the benefits without having to re-prove disability, as long as you do this within a year of your benefits stopping and you meet the income and asset requirements again at that time. So it may very well be worth it to pursue the lawsuit.

      With respect to the money you are paying to the firm beyond the contingency fee, there are firms which will require clients to front money for costs, but I’ve never heard of a firm claiming a paralegal fee as an extra expense. Unless this is some special situation where they are hiring an outside person to do medical research (I have seen attorneys hire nurses to do this) or something similar and calling it a paralegal fee, that sounds pretty unusual. You shouldn’t have to pay extra if this paralegal is just a firm employee — that expense should be included in the fee percentage.

      If your lawyer won’t give you a copy of your signed fee agreement, which obviously may clear up what extra expenses you are expected to pay, I’d hint about filing an ethics complaint (mention that he has an ethical duty to give you a copy, but don’t say anything about a complaint at first — he should take the hint, and you can both go on pretending that you didn’t just threaten him) and if he still doesn’t give it to you I’d involve the bar. This approach should also work for the billing records you want. Once a lawyer hears a client mentioning ethical duties, he usually gets the impression that the client has been looking into filing a complaint. That should be enough, without making the actual threat, to get you the records you want.

  29. Will says:

    First, I thank you for the great information on the site! It was very informative & the $10 for the TIP, would just be the icing on the cake! My mediation is tomorrow, is it too late to get the TIP?

    • fl_litig8r says:

      The tip is pretty short and easy to use, so you should be able to use it even this close to mediation.

      Side note: this user had trouble downloading the tip through Safari (not sure why that happened, but occasionally odd download problems do happen). He e-mailed me (you get an e-mail with your tip that you can reply to if you have a problem) and I was able to e-mail him the tip directly this morning. If anyone has any issues downloading the tip, I’d suggest doing what he did and just shoot me an e-mail. Unless it’s sent at an odd hour (his was sent after 1:00 AM my time) I usually respond with an hour or two (no later than 24 hours in any case).

  30. Tom says:

    I was injured in a popular department store. 2 lawyers would not extend an offer to represent me, as I don’t need surgery. I do need (perhaps life time) injections for pain in neck area. They(department store) have acknowledged a lien placed by my insurance company for medicals so far. They are now asking me what I think is fair to settle. Can’t figure out why a lawyer wouldn’t want my case. I’m a smart guy and can navigate the internet to merit my own case, but I’m sure a lawyer has “standard Boiler Blue Print” info and items to get more of a settlement than I can. Since I do not have an attorney or not going into medication at this time….I guess this “$10.00 dollar tip” is no use to me.

    • fl_litig8r says:

      No, it’s not. Sorry. Maybe these other articles about settling your own case might help. The only reason I can think of why the lawyers don’t want your case is a lack of damages. Maybe they don’t think that they could sell the idea of you needing a lifetime of pain injections.

      • Tom says:

        Thank you very much for your reply, and for not trying to sell me something I can’t use.
        This is a rather strange case. Every article I read online states “you’ll be lucky if this store offers you $1000.00 The accident happened early January 2014. They offered $3400.00 in July 2014. I refused the offer and they asked why. I stated that while I have had 17 physical therapy treatments, the root of the pain has been fully addressed or found. I then went to a pain doc who did trigger point injections targeting 3 areas in my neck. Treatment went to what ever the issue is, and I’m getting injections approx.. every 6 months. Pain doc even went as far to say in his last report, that my injury is consistent with the type of accident I had at this store. Doc states that surgery shouldn’t be used as an option at this time, but didn’t totally rule it out. I was surprised at how far he stuck his neck out when writing his medical report.
        Store from the beginning has never tried to get out of liability, and even stated that a ratio of who’s responsible (my % and their %)is a non issue….so it appears they are accepting 100% at fault. They now even have a security camera in the area where I was hurt. The ins. co. (Med. Advantage plan)I had in 2013 has a lien against any settlement, which they acknowledge; as I advised them that aproxx. 30 claims they paid were related to that accident. Medicare sent me a letter that they did not pay any claims, so they are really not in this scenario yet. Problem now is that as of 1/2015, I have a new insurance plan through my wife, and they don’t know about this accident. My pain doc has submitted prior approval for this round of injections, so I am nervous of what the future brings for me in regard to who is going to pay for medicals. I surmise that the reason I can’t get a lawyers attention is the lack of a big payday for them. As I previously stated…I can walk, talk, navigate the system and use $3.00 dollar words when replying to the Claims unit of this store. They have read all of my medicals, and want to settle now. They tried the “pre-existing injury route” but just by me stating: “look at my medicals…..I have not sought treatment, nor have I complained to any doc for two years now about any issues with my neck. I think they now realize that they are not dealing with a wood chuck from northern NY, and they want to settle, before I have too many of the pain injection meds, and the doc says: Well it may be time for surgery. If I choose to go back to a lawyer again….do you have any suggestions that will get me beyond one of their legal assistants? Not crazy about giving 33% to someone who just has to use past awards from this specific department store and same injuries, to get the final settlement….however I am afraid of leaving many $$$$$ on the table, because I didn’t know a specific NY or other law that would have brought me the additional $$$. Several years ago, I handled my own Work. Comp. suit to completion and the pay out was about 4 times what I expected….and I handled my own real estate (house)sale recently w/o a broker for my side. For Sale By Owner…. I hired an Atty and for $600.00, they drew up the closing papers. Saved $8K in real estate broker fees. Thank you for your time and considerations. Tom

        • fl_litig8r says:

          Your pain management doc didn’t really stick his neck out too far in saying that your pain is consistent with whatever traumatic injury you suffered or in saying that he can’t rule out surgery. Those aren’t particularly strong or definitive statements. If you haven’t had an MRI which suggests the need for surgery, and you’re only experiencing pain, and not weakness or numbness in your arms and hands, it’s likely not something that could be helped through surgery. It sounds like a soft-tissue injury. While lawyers do take soft-tissue cases, they aren’t particularly attractive because there aren’t any objective tests which can show the injury, so how much treatment is needed (and how much a jury will believe) and how long the pain will last is pretty much a crap shoot. The insurer will assume that you’re milking the claim, making it hard to settle, and a jury may not award you the full value of the case because they expect a certain amount of exaggeration as well. A pain case that completely relies on the subjective reports of its plaintiff as to how bad it is and what treatment is needed is much harder to sell than a case with objective proof of a traumatic injury, like an X-ray or MRI. If you have any objective evidence of an injury, like a herniated disc, lead with that if you again try to hire a lawyer. Otherwise, it’s just a numbers game of hunting around to find one willing to take a gamble on your case. It’s not so much that we’re all looking for a big payday in every case, but a case that may not be worth $10,000 rarely results in either a happy lawyer or client. Lawyers aren’t going to take the case for free, and because the settlement amount may wind up being small, the costs, let alone the fees, will usually piss most clients off — it’s jut a lose-lose situation for the lawyer.

          I’m not sure what particular concern you have about your new health insurer. They shouldn’t deny payment for the treatment just because a possible third-party liability claim is involved. What if you decided to never pursue that claim, or if you end up recovering very little? As long as the treatment is reasonable, they should pay and just chalk it up to possible subrogation claim. If they deny it because they don’t think the treatment is reasonable, you’ve got bigger problems, because if they’re taking that position, it’s likely that the liability insurer will as well.

          You’ve got what sounds like a tough case. Liability sounds clear, but proving your damages without objective medical evidence isn’t easy. When everything relies on your subjective complaints of pain (even your medical treatment), expect people to doubt you. Even when you’re being 100% honest, soft-tissue pain cases are met with skepticism by both insurers and jurors. Don’t expect them to roll over and assume that lifetime pain treatment or surgery is needed, because in all likelihood, it isn’t. If you start pushing those arguments, you’ll hurt your credibility — and credibility is key to selling your kind of case. While normally we lawyers like to play up injuries and damages as much a possible during initial settlement negotiations, in your case, with you arguing on your own behalf, that might be a terrible strategy because it might give the insurer the impression that you’re a malingerer or a fraud. A more sincere approach should work better.

  31. Mak says:

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for such an informative site, I greatly appreciate it and can see many others do as well. I have 2 questions. My case is approaching a mediation date to discuss possible settlement on june 15th. My case is a discrimination case where we are suing our former landlord for not allowing our children to play outside and eventually evicting us for continuing to allow our kids to play outside. We are suing them in federal court under the fair housing laws and civil rights violation. Will your 10 dollar tip be helpful for us?
    2. I signed an agreement with my attorney originally for 41% plus attorney fees which he has been sending me invoices for periodically. Currently his “fees” are over 10,000. Is this reasonable at all? When I originally hired him I told him I thought it was too much but he insisted that he is the best in his field. He wished me the best of luck if I hired someone else and I should let him know if I change my mind. I was a bit worried about hiring a different attorney since it did seem like specialty law. What do you think?
    Thank you so much again!!!
    Mak

    • fl_litig8r says:

      I’m a little unclear as to your fee arrangement. Are you actually paying the amounts he is billing you or is he just keeping invoices to support a claim for attorney’s fees against the defendant (which is commonly awarded in civil rights cases)? If you’re paying him an hourly rate and he wants 41% of the recovery, I’d be surprised if your state bar wouldn’t consider this fee excessive, and therefore unethical and unenforceable. Frankly, asking for a 41% fee plus any attorney’s fees awarded by the court against the defendant strikes me as excessive, though this is a tougher call. Most of the time when attorney’s fees are part of a claim, attorneys will agree to take either (1) the fees awarded by the court or (2) a percentage of the total recovery, including court-awarded attorney’s fees, whichever is greater. Asking for both the fee award and 41% of the other money awarded doesn’t sit right with me.

      The problem for you is that there probably aren’t too many attorneys out there who would take a case like yours. Your lawyer seems pretty confident in that as well, which is why he’s demanding such a high fee — he’s not scared of you taking your case elsewhere. If you do something now that makes him withdraw (like filing a bar complaint), there’s a good chance you won’t be able to find another lawyer and you’ll lose your case. If you plan to formally contest the fee by filing a bar complaint, it may be wise to wait until the case is resolved through a settlement or judgment first.

      Normally I’d say that my $10 tip would work in any contingency fee case, but I have to say that I’m not optimistic about it working in yours due to your unique circumstances.

  32. margierosie says:

    I don’t want to use paypal. Can I just use my cc? It’s not allowing me to click on the final pay now.
    What can I do?

    Marge

    • fl_litig8r says:

      When you first click the Buy Now link, right under the PayPal login box on the right there is a link labeled “Pay with a debit or credit card, or PayPal Credit”. Click that instead of logging into your PayPal account and you can use a credit card without even needing a PayPal account.

  33. Dan says:

    Just bought your settlement tip. I wasn’t actually surprised by the tip, it was something I had already thought of. What was worth the $10, however, was your description of when and how to implement this tip. That reasoning only comes with the inside knowledge of the process and the experience of the settlement process/game. I won’t say anything (I hope) to give away the tip, but I urge you, in future, to not be afraid to reveal the ‘idea’, the value is in the method of implementation. In any case, thank you for your website, it has been most informative and helpful.

  34. Curls says:

    IS this tip useful if you are getting the full policy amount from the defense?

    We’ve received the check. I’ve signed and sent back to my attorney. Can I still use the tip? I reviewed the attorney costs before signing so I have a copy of them.

    Thanks!

    • Curls says:

      Clarification: It’s a contingency case. The costs I reviewed are for investigation, filing, depositions, etc..

    • fl_litig8r says:

      No. Sorry. It won’t work in your situation because you’ve already agreed to the settlement amount. To work, the tip needs to be used before the agreement is reached.

  35. Curls says:

    Are you okay? I see you usually reply within a day. My post has been here a couple days (waiting moderation).

    I was wondering whether the tip is useful if you are receiving the full policy amount on a contingency case. I have another leg to this case, so it might be useful later. For now though the question is about this.

    Hope all is good.

    • fl_litig8r says:

      Sorry for the late reply. I’m fine. Just super busy these days, so I’ve been very lax with the comments.

      • Curls says:

        Glad you are well. If the settlement is for the full policy amount, would it have been useful before we settled, even though they were offering full policy so there was nothing more to ask for? I’m curious.

        There’s still more to the case (a leg against my underinsured), so may still come in helpful there.

        • fl_litig8r says:

          Getting the full policy limits certainly throws a huge monkey wrench into how the tip works. I wouldn’t recommend it for people who are getting full limits.

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