"Getting the lawyers attention to pay your bill"
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Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time. -Mark Studin 2006
"Neurosurgeon wanted to have breakfast with me....What I did"
Dr Studin: So what's going on?
Guest Dr: So had a conversation with a lawyer this morning. He had sent me a reduction letter yesterday and so I faxed him back a letter basically saying that I don't reduce my fees unless it's more than a third.
Dr Studin: Before you do that, how much was the bill for?
Guest Dr: My goal was your $3,000.
Dr Studin: And what percentage did he wants you to take?
Guest Dr: He wanted me to reduce it by a thousand.
Dr Studin: He want you to take a 33% reduction. do you know how much the settlement was?
Guest Dr: $10,000.
Dr Studin: So you're within that one third. So you send him a note, say that You'll never take more than a third of the settlement. And if you want him to take less, you'll take whatever reduction He's taken, predicated upon proof, have a disbursement letter with copies of the checks. Did he respond to you?
Guest Dr: Yes. So he calls me back and was like, I'm going to reduce my bill You're going reduce your bill, But I can't send you any of this stuff in writing because …
Dr Studin: Oh, that's nonsense, and here's the issue with that. They always hide behind by can’t send anything in writing. That's a Florida law. And he's correct except if he has permission from his client. So you tell him, I appreciate the law, but with your client's permission, you could do all of the above. So you tell your client, I'm happy to lower my face only with validation of a disperse machine and copies of checks. If the client will not agree to that, then my fee is my fee. But I'm happy to be a team player, Your client has to give you permission if you want me to call your client, because there they're also my patients who I have a relationship with I'll call them up and say, listen, the lawyer wants me to take less so you could get more. I'm happy to do that, but I need a copy of disbursement checks from my records. Will you give the lawyer permission to do that? Yes or no? I'm trying to put more money in your pocket. Do you want me to call the patient? Because then you calling the lawyer on that.
Guest Dr: And then to follow up, he was saying as far as the disbursement checks, he's like, well I can't settle the case or I can't give you a disbursement checks until the case is settled. So I guess I don't understand that part As far as how, how are we supposed to get a copy of that before we do anything?
Dr Studin: He can't pay you, so you will tell him in principle that you want in writing That everything that he says is going to happen. And then when you get your check, do you want a copy of the disbursement checks and Your agreement is predicated on that disbursement checks, but if you don't have that, all bets are off and if he lies to you, then you can report them to the bar association for an ethics violation and for the state bar, which is a licensure board Ethics violations is loss of license.
Guest Dr: so you're asking for proof basically upon this is after you kind of agree, you're just saying I need to have proof. When you guys do all the disbursements at the end of all of this.
Dr Studin: I appreciate that you don't have the check right now. When you're settling based upon what we're agreeing to, I'm letting them know I'm an agreement. You need to send me a document of not just the amount, but to put the terms of the agreement and the terms are I'm going to take, my reduction is going to be commenced with your reduction. That's the term sheet. Secondly, when you do get settlements, I just need copy of the settlement checks or the disbursement sheet. So this way I'll have verification of everything and then I'm good to go. And if he says, well, don't you trust me? So listen. Well, you have to understand something. This isn't my first rodeo. I don't trust you or distrust you, but I have been screwed so many times the lawyers in this region that I just want to take all of that question of impropriety off the table. Verification makes me happy to work with you.
Guest Dr: That was a major area of misunderstanding I had because I was under the impression we would get like all that verification up front before I kind of signed off saying like, I'm going to do this reduction.
Dr Studin: You can't if they haven't gotten the check yet.
Guest Dr: And so you're sharing with me that across the board warriors across the nation all basically say, I don't want to put anything in writing. I don't want, the courts could see it. I hear that all the time. Like the courts could see it in writing.
Dr Studin: let them see it. They can see it with the client's permition.
Guest Dr: I think I have a better understanding now.