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recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

Postby victory » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:13 pm

I won a holdover case representing myself. I had fired my lawyer before the trial. I had to file an order to show cause to argue in front of the same judge to try and recover my legal fees.
The judge said I MUST have that lawyer show up in court so the judge can determine what
reasonable amount I am due. I want to make sure that lawyer's legal fees for his upcoming appearance is included in judge's monetary decision. Also, IS THERE CASE LAW OR EXISTING STATUTE/LAW THAT ALLOWS ME TO ARGUE IN COURT FOR MY LEGAL FEES WITHOUT MY FORMER ATT'Y PARTICIPATING IN THE HEARING? pOSTED jan.24,2017, 618pm,ET
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Re: recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:52 pm

Congrats on your win.

Who was your attorney and why were you dissatisfied with him/her (you can answer using Private Mail - see the PM icon).

Usually the 'prevailing party' can recover legal fees, assuming the requisite clause on legal fees is in your lease. From what I've seen the winning attorney usually testifies as to their normal rate per hour, and how many hours they worked on the case, and a judge usually considers that when making a decision.

So the judge's request makes sense. However I do not know if the attorney can include the cost of his appearance for seeking legal fees. And I do not know if you can compel the attorney to testify if he/she does not want to do that. If there is resistance, you can ask the court to issue a subpoena. But even if you parted ways on a sour note, recovering legal fees might help you to pay off your legal bill.

As for "your legal fees" for the work you did on your own, AFAIK you can only assert that if you are an attorney.

Here's some from notorious landlord attorneys:
https://goo.gl/n2iz8Q
https://goo.gl/rJn9YE

Others from tenant attorneys:
https://goo.gl/a3B4ZQ
https://goo.gl/AWFBUp

And some others:
https://goo.gl/7F3iUg
http://tenant.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8620

Oh heck, just Google "New York landlord tenant legal fees prevailing party"
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Re: recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

Postby victory » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:37 pm

AFAIK means what? I paid my atty prior to his work and the trial. I fired him before the trial and after I paid him. Judge aborted my testimony prematurely to end the sole trial date.I asked judge,moments after trial's end, about my recovering legal fees(that I paid atty), response:"only the winner gets legal fees" Decision was mailed 13 days later, no mention of legal fees, "case dismissed."
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Re: recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:04 pm

AFAIK means what?
See the Reference Section notes.

You will probably have to make a motion for attorney fees. Hate to say this, but you may need an attorney to get through the system on this.
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Re: recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

Postby TenantNet » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:59 am

I consulted with a source who gave me this information:

To get money back the tenant can sue or use the arbitration process.
Here are helpful links:

http://www.nycourts.gov/admin/feedispute/1st12thjd.shtml

http://www.nycla.org/index.cfm?section=pro_bono&page=Committee_on_Fee_Disputes_AND_Conciliation

You should first write a letter to your former attorney (by certified mail RRR) demanding a refund of the money he paid him and a concise statement of why he was fired. That letter will require the attorney to respond by notifying the tenant of the fee dispute opportunity (see links).

If the attorney fails that, he might find himself in some sort of trouble.

Our source also states:

the tenant seems to be confusing between trying collect his attorney's fees from the landlord for prevailing and collecting his attorney's fees from his attorney.

Did the tenant counterclaim for attorney's fees? if so the decision should state whether he gets attorneys fees. if silent, he should move to have the judge decide that counterclaim.
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Re: recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

Postby victory » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:16 pm

a timely response is appreciated. It doesn't hurt to ask.

Remember: The judge, NOT I, insisted my former atty testify at this week's hearing. I argued against that, but lost.Judge said that my former atty can seek legal fees for his appearance in
this week's hearing, and that atty will seek those fees, probably from me.
Clarification: I am in court this week trying to get my LL to pay for my atty's legal fees which
I had paid(by retainer) long ago.I am the prevailing party in a holdover trial(written decision: "case is dismissed.") I've already supenaed my former atty for this week's court appearance. Judge from holdover trial and this week's hearing is the same.
What case law, statutes, laws, are there that maximize my chance of judge granting me full reimbursement of both past,already paid legal fees, and this week's legal fees?
More importantly, perhaps: Does the judge have the legal, procedural right to REQUIRE that my former atty testify at this week's hearing? Judge claimed that the atty must appear so judge can determine what would be a reasonable amount.
Thank you so much.
posted jan,30,2017, 416pm ET
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Re: recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

Postby victory » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:55 pm

I am being forced to ask a question on a thread that already exists. If the administrators of tenant.net have an objection, they should review their JUne 2017 messages to me.
MY question is: I had a NONPAYMENT TRIAL . I only rec'd a small percentage of what I feel should have been reimbursable and abated. I signed a stip that states: this matter is discontinued.
Can I sue the LL in small claims court in order to recover that which the judge denied me in the
nonpayment trial?
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Re: recovering legal fees post-holdover trial/decision

Postby TenantNet » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:14 pm

I don't recall what the June 2017 private message stated, but in general we ask posters to continue on their original threads if a new question somehow relates to the original matter or question -- for a number of good reasons. See the Forum Rules #8.

As to this question, we can't give you a complete answer as we haven't seen the court papers on this. Also, understand we are not attorneys so all we can really do is guess; we can't give legal advice.

Was the stip "so ordered" by a judge? If so, you're probably out-of-luck. Did you have an attorney? Was there an actual trial and a decision or order by the court?

It doesn't make sense that you signed a stip and that you went to trial. Usually it's one or the other. Did the stip state it was "without prejudice" or did it say that you reserved all your rights and defenses?

Generally after a trial and a court decision, a party can appeal to the Appellate Term. You would have had to put in a Notice of Appeal and perfect the Appeal within the defined time period. See https://www.nysba.org/WorkArea/Download ... x?id=51233

Appeals can be time-consuming, complicated and expensive. I would contact an attorney. And in general, what you spend on an appeal is probably a lot more than you might win. So be very careful.

If a court considered and denied your counterclaim, and if you don't appeal, I think you are out-of-luck. I doubt you can just walk over to small claims court and start a new case. But check with an attorney and show him/her the case papers for a legal opinion of what you can do.
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