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Florida Charging Lien

FAQs • Sep 9, 2023
post about Florida Charging Lien

Many lawyers incorrectly assume they automatically have a Florida charging lien. Here’s what you need to know about this weird legal concept. To read more about this topic for free, you can CLICK HERE.

Florida Charging Lien

Some lawyers in Florida let a client “float” and not pay their bills for a while.

Others are more “business-focused” and want invoices paid monthly.

Many lawyers will file a motion to withdraw when they don’t get paid, or are fired by the client.

Regardless. When a lawyer ceases work, and she is owed money, what can she do?

Most lawyers file a charging lien. (For a short free video: click here).

Some have said that there are 4 elements to a charging lien.

Often, those elements can be demonstrated, or proven, by a legal services contract and simple emails (notices and communication).

Attorney John Pankauski, managing partner of Pankauski Lazarus, gave a Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education course webinar on this subject.

Understanding Florida Law

A recent 4th District Court of Appeal opinion dealt with this issue. (scroll to Case 22-1827 to read it for free).

This recent Florida charging lien cases involved a contingency fee.

There are distinct differences for charging liens for CONTINGENCY cases vs. so-called “hourly” cases.

And if a client fires the lawyer, was it “for cause” or not?

A fired attorney, and the successor counsel, may need to resolve “who gets what”.

Often times, the discharged, fired or withdrawn attorney will file a notice of charging lien and then there will be a trial on the enforcement or validity of it.

Want to interview a Florida trial attorney who has successfully handled charging lien trials and appeals? Click here.