Can a Florida Attorney Maintain His/Her Retaining Lien Until Legal Fees are Paid?
Is a Palm Beach lawyer entitled to maintain his retaining lien until legal fees are paid? Does an estate attorney who has a valid retaining lien over a former client’s file have to give the client the file before the client pays him? Can a trust lawyer have a retaining lien on your entire client file? To find out more information about Florida lawsuits and retaining liens, you may want to read a November 6,2013 3rd DCA opinion, Fox v. Widjaya.
If you’ve ever hired a Delray Beach probate lawyer or Boca trust attorney, you’ve probably had to sign a retainer agreement or legal services contract. These contracts usually obtain clauses involving a retaining lien. In this case, the retainer agreement specified that the law firm would ” have a retaining lien on your entire file, including evidentiary documents, property or any other thing of value of yours in our possession to secure payment of all sums due to us from you under the terms of agreement.” The parties in this case did not argue that a valid retaining lien exists. However, the trial court granted an order directing the law firm to produce the documents from the client’s file. Did the appellate court agree with the trial court, or did they hold that the law firm could maintain their retaining lien? To read the entire case, click here.