Monday, December 24, 2007

Attorney's lien filing perfected his interest in receiving attorney fees from a court judgment even though he filed the lien after discharge. Equity excused the attorney from first filing a complaint of intervention (25-328) to seek a division of a divorcing spouse's property division judgment. Meister v. Meister, S-06-873, 274 Neb. 705. After trial when the court awarded the wife a money judgment for property division, the wife dismissed her attorney and other counsel represented her on appeal. Following appeal the husband paid the judgment into court. Former attorney filed his lien in court, which the district court denied was valid because wife had dismissed the attorney. Then former attorney sued for intervention which was dismissed. Nebraska Supreme Court holds, the dismissed attorney still could file a notice of attorney lien in accordance with 7-108 RRS Neb and equity excused his failure to promptly file an intervention complaint. The Supreme Court however leaves unresolved whether attorney properly attached and perfected his lien, and if so in what amount. "Attorney’s filing of the lien after his discharge did not affect the enforceability of the lien. Although intervention is the proper method of enforcing an attorney’s lien in an original action, equity excuses attorney’s failure to intervene before the trial. O n remand, we leave it to the district court to decide whether attorney attached and perfected his lien. If so, the court should then determine the amount of the lien. We reverse, and remand.

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