I have a situation that I need advice on. I have take a hearing in court and the lawyer was representing a dad pro bono. The lawyer has now filed a writ of mandumus against the Judge and is requesting I prepare the record free. He said under the IOLTA law that I cannot contest the indigency of the Dad. I live in the State of Texas. I feel that this is involuntary servitude and I should not have to work and not be compensated. This lawyer works for a large firm and gets a salary every month whether he does any work or not. He is just racking up hours for his firm for a tax write off. Has anyone ever been in this situation or does anone have any suggestions? I am open to anything.

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Maybe free to the dad and the state pays or some fund for indigent people pays. You don't care who pays you as long as you get paid. It is involuntary servitude. Who says your time is worth zero??? (I'm a freelancer, not an official, and have never worked in court. It's possible that I don't know what I'm talking about and that your time is indeed worth zero. I certainly hope not.)
Wow. This is not right, and you definitely need some help on this. Who hired you to report the hearing? Do they know what's going on here? The system you're working in may have some way to help you. If relevant, I would speak to that person first, see what is available to you, and work within that system.

Are you part of TCRA? They have a discussion forum. You might take this issue there and see whether someone else has come across this type of shakedown before.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think that guy is manipulating you in a very threatening and likely bogus way. I encourage you to find out something about "the IOLTA law" before you allow yourself to be intimidated by this. IMO, he's banking on you not knowing what IOLTA is all about. My understanding of IOLTA law is that it's all about lawyers' practices and doesn't even apply to reporters. I would probably confront him with this and tell him that I had no intention of contesting the indigence of the dad; that I didn't see it as my burden; and when he had proof that IOLTA law did in fact require you to provide this transcript, we'd talk again. I also believe I'd let him know I was willing to discuss the matter before a judge. (I definitely would be.) This may be all it takes. This guy is a bully, and very often, all it takes to get someone like that to leave you alone is just one push back.

I hope you are keeping a log of each of your discussions with him, summarizing his threats and demands, and saving all correspondence. This is for your own protection should this unfortunate matter blow up any further.
I do think you have the wrong thought about the attorney "gets a salary every month whether he does any work or not. He is just racking up hours for his form for a tax write off."

I was a legal assistant in two VERY LARGE large law firms (one for eight years, the other for two). Attorney billing was a big part of my job. My guess is the attorney you are talking about is working pro bono. Attorneys will work pro bono in lieu of having to (yes, having to) donate into the fund for legal services for the poor. Sometimes attorneys get forced to do the work simply because they have a particular expertise.

No law firm, large or small, wants to give away free legal work, or not get paid for their legal services, or have corporate clients cut down an invoice, or have accounts receivables over 60 days; and they definitely don't want to work for free for tax writeoffs.

As for your situation, I should think your state would have a program to pay for your services. That attorney should have the information for you. Check with the Texas Bar.


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