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Questions and Professional Answers

Questions and Professional Answers

  • Settlement Agreement in a Lawsuit

    I made a Settlement Agreement with a law firm who I had sued for legal malpractice. The Settlement agreement involved and named 3 lawyers at the firm and the law firm itself. One woman lawyer involved, unbeknownst to me, retired from the firm prior to my making the settlement agreement with the law firm. The Settlement Agreement stated that the law firm and all lawyers and partners who work for the firm were covered under the Settlement Agreement. On the Settlement Agreement, a law firm director signed, as did a general partner of the law firm. The woman lawyer did NOT sign it. Now, 2 years later, this woman lawyer is suing me for Malicious Prosecution, claiming she’s not bound by the Settlement Agreement since didn't sign it. Does the Settlement Agreement signed by the law firm cover all its attorneys who worked on the case, despite the fact that she did not sign the Agreement and had retired before the Settlement Agreement was signed? What PA Statute and precedents would apply to this case?
    • Re: Settlement Agreement in a Lawsuit

      Your question raises issues that cannot be analyzed without more information. I would advise consulting one or more attorneys who may be available to help you defend this matter. Peter Dolinger 215-575-9220

      Peter Dolinger
      Law Office of Peter M. Dolinger
      Market Street
      Philadelphia, PA 19103-7501
  • Doctrine of Release for Settlement Agreements

    I made a Settlement Agreement with a law firm who I had sued for legal malpractice. The Settlement agreement involved and named 3 lawyers at the firm and the law firm itself.One woman lawyer involved, unbeknownst to me, retired from the firm prior tomaking the settlement agreement with the law firm. The Settlement Agreement stated that the law firm and all lawyers and partners who work for the firm were covered under the Settlement Agreement. On the Settlement Agreement, a law firm director signed, as did a general partner of the law firm. The woman lawyer did NOT sign it. Now, 2 years later, this woman lawyer is suing me for Malicious Prosecution, claiming she’s not bound by the Settlement Agreement since didn't sign it. Does the Settlement Agreement signed by the law firm cover all its attorneys who worked on the case, despite the fact that she did not sign the Agreement and had retired before the Settlement Agreement was signed? What PA Statute and precedents would apply to this case?
    • Re: Doctrine of Release for Settlement Agreements

      When you sued the law firm if you did not individually sue the retired attorney she should have no claim against you for malicious prosecution. If you sued her individually also the settlement agreement may provide some defense. Either way you need to secure counsel to either answer the complaint or file preliminary objections within the 20 days after service that you are entitled to. I offer free consultations.

      Mark Johns
      Mark Johns, Esquire
      P.O. Box 842
      Horsham, PA 19044
    • Re: Doctrine of Release for Settlement Agreements

      This is not one to get upset about. If the settlement was for more than 'nuisance value', then the claim against you for 'malicious prosecution' is frivolous and will be dismissed.The text of the agreement will also provide help. The most important thing is to go to the court and 'answer' the complaint. You can handwrite something, or just quote this:"Defendant denies all claims made in the complaint".That will protect you from a default judgment and give you time to deal with this at your leisure.This lawsuit sounds very strange. It is unlikely it will survive a motion to dismiss it.You are welcome to get me a copy of the complaint and the settlement agreement and then I can give you some more specific input for no fee.

      Andrew Nitzberg
      Andrew Nitzberg & Associates
      222 Centre Street, Suite 5-C
      New Rochelle, NY 10805
  • Settlement and release agreement

    I entered into a settlement and release agreement that did not state that I owe and money for a service done at my home. The settlement release agreement said it constitutes the entire agreement and supersedes all prior negotiations discussions which are merged herein. This was on 2/4/2008. The company still put a $4,934.08 charge on my credit card on 2/22/2008. (18 days after the settlement) The company said that the settlement did not release me from the $4,934.08 that was in the original contract agreement. The Settlement and release agreement supersedes the original contract agreement. What can I do?
    • Re: Settlement and release agreement

      Sue them under the Settlement and Release Agreement. They should end up owing you money and attorney fees.

      Theresa Langford
      Langford Law Firm
      PO Box 866354
      Plano, TX 75086-6354
  • Settlement Agreement as Instrument of Fraud

    If a person enters into a confidentiality settlement agreement that aims to prohibit him from publicly or privately revealing information about the opposing party's persistent violations of the law, is there an argument that the settlement agreement is null since the sole aim is to protect the large corporation while it continues violating numerous laws? Or is the settlement/confidentiality agreement an absolute regardless of whether this person wishes to violate the agreement in order to protect fellow consumers?
    • Re: Settlement Agreement as Instrument of Fraud

      If you agreed to keep the settlement confidential, why would you believe you are not bound by that agreement? The purpose of such an agreement is to keep the information out of the hands of other potential litigants. It is not against public policy to allow such agreements. Normally there is a penalty clause for violating the agreement; certainly the other side could ask for its money back if you failed to keep up your side of the agreement.

      George Shers
      Law Offices of Georges H. Shers
      4170 Glenwood Terrace, Suite #1
      Union City, CA 94587
  • Settlement agreements

    I have been offered a fee to settle my case against the defendant. I was unaware that a settlement agreement had to be signed by me. When I read the settlement agreement, I discovered that the terms of the agreement favored the defendant. When I refused to sign it, I was informed that the agreement was binding because I gave my social security number when I was asked. Is there a standard general agreement or can it contain terms that both parties can agree to?
    • Re: Settlement agreements

      You've just learned one of the many hazards of attempting to handle a case pro se. There is no "standard" agreement of settlement. Nor is there anything in law or elsewhere that says giving a social security number makes an agreement binding.

      David Browde
      David A. Browde, P.C.
      604 Quaker Road
      Chappaqua, NY 10514
  • Property Settlement Agreement

    if a property settlement agreement says that if a revocation of the dissolution is filed the agreement becomes cancelled. - is it still legal and am i entitled to half of the house we owned (community property) even though it wasnt actually listed on the settlement agreement. She is in the house and has it on the market. She also negleged on a sum that was specified on the agreement and has not paid it.
    • Reply: Property Settlement Agreement

      I suggest that you consult with an experienced family law lawyer immediately and have the documents reviewed. You can probably stop that sale of real property relatively quickly. Experience is not expensive, it's priceless!You will find some valuable information on various family law issues at my web site.Good luck to you!Brian Levy, Esq.www.calattorney.com

      Brian Levy, Esq.
      Law Office of Brian Don Levy
      908 S. Village Oaks Drive Suite 200
      Covina, CA 91724-3676
  • Settlement Agreement

    After the bankruptcy of WorldCom. I reached a settlement agreement with Worldcom. It was around December 2001. So far the agreement has not been honor. Do I need to file a complaint to get the money of the Settlement back?I appreciate any feedback.Thanks a lot
    • Re: Settlement Agreement

      First, I see you live across the river in Maryland but identified this as Virginia law. I assume that your settlement agreement was in Virginia and I am answering as a Virginia lawyer.Second, in general, you can file a lawsuit for a breach of the settlement agreement similar to a breach of contract. Often, settlement agreements are entered into by a consent decree or other court order. In that case, it may be possible to bring an action for contempt of court for WorldCom not obeying the court ordered settlement. This requires examining the final papers and/or settlement agreement from the previous proceedings.Third, you mention that you want to get money "back." This makes it sound like you paid them money, instead of them paying you money. As a result, I'm not sure what WorldCom did not do that they were supposed to do. Obviously, any attorney would have to look at the details of the agreement and what facts you can PROVE (not what you believe to be true, but what you can actually prove with the help of witnesses and records) to figure out whether or not you have a valid case. Fourth, didn't WorldCom file for bankruptcy in the middle of all their other troubles? If so, it would be necessary to look at whether or not your rights were affected by the bankruptcy. If WorldCom was supposed to do something rather than just pay money, your rights may survive. Also, if you did not receive legal papers about the bankruptcy, and they failed to notify you, then they did not list you as one of the creditors affected by the bankruptcy, and again your rights may be unaffected (to the extent they failed to list you as one of the creditors in the bankruptcy). There are a number of details here. It may be that you will need to make a claim with the trustee. Normally it would be too late, but if they failed to list you as a creditor and notify you, then it is their fault. Fifth, one concern is whether or not WorldCom is good for the money. One would have to look at TECHNICALLY speaking who the settlement agreement was signed with (what corporate entity) and see if that entity actually has any money. For example, if WorldCom sold all is assets, it could now be an empty shell. Sorry to say, I have not been following this story in the business pages.I would be happy to help you look at all of this. Having gone out on my own this year after 8 years as a business attorney, I am building a practice with a very low introductory rate, only $95 per hour. I am holding down rates by not making clients pay for a plush office, but putting the money into the work instead. (703) 850-3733.

      Jonathon Moseley
      Office of Jonathon Moseley
      107 South West Street #417
      Alexandria, VA 23214-2824
    • Re: Settlement Agreement

      Your rights and remedies under the settlement agreement would be largely governed by the terms of the agreement itself. You need to retain counsel to review the actual agreement and to advise you as to how best to proceed.I strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney immediately so that you can explore your legal rights, obligations, and options. If you wish to discuss retaining my services, contact me at:alan@alanalbinlaw.com(973)-605-8995 (*Licensed in New Jersey, Maryland, and Dist. of Columbia)[Disclaimer: The above comments are not intended as nor should they be relied upon as "legal advice", which can only be obtained by personal consultation with a retained attorney; at which time the specific facts and circumstances of your case can be thoroughly evaluated. This reply is provided for general informational and educational purposes only, and does not create an attorney-client relationship with the responding attorney.]

      Alan Albin
      Alan S. Albin, Attorney at Law
      55 Madison Ave., Suite 400
      Morristown, NJ 07960
  • Settlement agreement

    In a divorce case with children, can the spouses sign a settlement agreement for everything except custody, or do they have to agree to everything, including custody, to present a settlement agreement to the court?
    • Re: Settlement agreement

      The parties can agree on the division of community property. Such an agreement is valid. The custody and support issues can be resolved later.

      Lyle Johnson
      Lyle W. Johnson Attorney at Law
      152 N. Third Street, Suite 510
      San Jose, CA 95112
  • Marital Settlement Agreement

    My husband and I entered in to a marital settlement agreement during our uncontested dissolution of marriage. We both agreed and we both signed. The final judgment was issued and a week after the final judgement he hired an attorney and has had a motion to set aside marital settlement agreement on the basis of coercion and pressure which is not true! Can he do that? Would this overturn my dissolution of marriage or just the marital settlement agreement?
    • Re: Marital Settlement Agreement

      Retain counsel if you want to oppose. It should only affect the agreement.

      David Slater
      David P. Slater, Esq.
      5154 Windsor Parke Dr.
      Boca Raton, FL 33496
  • post-settlement question

    is settlement cancellable? can a plaintiff do anything if after signing the settlement agreement the plaintiff wants to pursue the lawsuit, or if the plaintiff is pressured to sign the agreement by his lawyer, and does not conform with the terms of the agreement? (scenario is employment discrimination, CALIFORNIA)