Friday, July 5, 2013
The Connecticut Appellate Court has resolved an "important question" and held that an attorney's charging lien can arise as a matter of law to be applied to assets that are assigned to a party in a divorce action.
The court majority holds that the lien makes an attorney a priority creditor on the proceeds secured through the representation. This result is by operation of law without notice or filing requirements, when expessly or impliedly understood by the client.
A dissent would hold that the public policy interests that underpin Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(d), which prohibits the charging of a contingent fee in a domestic action, apply here.
The dissent would thus hold that the charging lien does not arise as a matter of law. (Mike Frisch)