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Chapter 484

Effective - 28 Aug 1939 bottom

  484.130.  Compensation of attorney governed by agreement — lien upon client's cause of action. — The compensation of an attorney or counselor for his services is governed by agreement, express or implied, which is not restrained by law.  From the commencement of an action or the service of an answer containing a counterclaim, the attorney who appears for a party has a lien upon his client's cause of action or counterclaim, which attaches to a verdict, report, decision or judgment in his client's favor, and the proceeds thereof in whosesoever hands they may come; and cannot be affected by any settlement between the parties before or after judgment.

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(RSMo 1939 § 13337)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 11716; 1919 § 690; 1909 § 964

(1956) Attorney is not restricted to any particular remedy to enforce his lien. Where defendant and plaintiff settled personal injury case without consulting plaintiff's attorney and with full knowledge that suit was pending in Missouri, attorneys were entitled to recover fees from defendant notwithstanding settlement was reduced to judgment in Tennessee.  Satterfield v. Southern Ry. Co. (A.), 287 S.W.2d 395.

(1956) Defendant's attorneys in partition action were not entitled to fee out of client's share under § 528.530 nor under § 484.130, because they did nothing to produce funds for their client. Munday v. Thielecke (Mo.), 290 S.W.2d 88.

(1967) A statutory attorney's lien is cumulative, rather than exclusive of existing rights or remedies. Downs v. Hodge (A.), 413 S.W.2d 519.

(1972) There is no authority for an attorney's lien on an undistributed share of an estate. Carter v. Stendeback (A.), 482 S.W.2d 534.

(1987) Attorney's lien attaches to an award arising out of a divorce proceeding and such a lien arose where attorney did services for client to set aside dissolution settlement as unconscionable before being fired by client and even though attorney had entered into unlawful contingency fee contract with ex-client. Roberds v. Sweitser, 733 S.W.2d 444 (Mo.  banc).


---- end of effective   28 Aug 1939 ----

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