Ethics Opinion 225

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Ethics Committee Opinions

Opinion #225 – 01/26/1972 (58-71)
Topic: Fees
Digest: Attorney for judgment creditor may charge judgment debtor reasonable fee for preparation of satisfaction of judgment
Code: EC 5-19

QUESTION

May the attorney for a judgment creditor charge the judgment debtor for the preparation of a satisfaction of judgment?

OPINION

It is not ethically improper for an attorney representing a judgment creditor to charge the judgment debtor reasonable fee for services in preparing a satisfaction of judgment provided that such preparation is not required by law. Cf. CPLR 5020 which requires that the judgment creditor or his attorney execute and deliver a satisfaction piece upon payment of the judgment. An attorney may, of course, charge his client, the judgment creditor, a fee for the preparation of the instrument and need not look to the judgment debtor. It would appear that no question of conflict of interest is involved. EC 5-19.In the event the judgment debtor prepares the instrument there, of course, may be no charge therefor made by the creditor’s attorney.

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