final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 16-3119 Peter R. Lopez, Judge.
Bill, Boles, Palmer, Duke & Thompson, P.A., and B.
Richard Young, Adam A. Duke, and Cody S. Pflueger, for
Steinger Iscoe & Greene, P.A., and Todd L. Baker (Fort
Lauderdale); Burlington & Rockenbach, P.A., and Andrew A.
Harris (West Palm Beach), for appellee.
SALTER, SCALES, and HENDON, JJ.
General Insurance Company ("GEICO") appeals from a
final judgment finding it negligent in failing to protect its
claimant's former law firm's charging lien, holding
GEICO jointly and severally liable for that firm's
attorney's fees. We affirm.
Monsalve ("Monsalve") filed a claim against
GEICO's insured, and hired the law firm of Steinger,
Iscoe & Greene-II, P.A. ("SIG") to negotiate
with GEICO. SIG entered into negotiations with GEICO on
Monsalve's behalf. Monsalve then discharged SIG and hired
Litigation Law, P.A. to continue negotiating with GEICO. In
October 2014, SIG sent a notice and claim of attorney's
charging lien to GEICO, Monsalve, and Litigation Law, to
protect its right to its quantum meruit fees up until the
time Monsalve discharged SIG from representing her.
charging lien requested that no settlement disbursements be
made by any defendant or insurer until the lien has been
resolved. Further, the charging lien requested that SIG's
name should appear on any checks from any defendant or
insurer to the claimant Monsalve. It is undisputed that GEICO
received notice of SIG's charging lien. GEICO later sent
Litigation Law a letter memorializing SIG's lien, and
enclosed a copy of the lien. Eventually, GEICO agreed to
settle Monsalve's claim for $175, 000.00. GEICO mailed a
copy of the settlement to Litigation Law, and enclosed a
release memorializing the terms of the settlement that
Monsalve was to execute and return to GEICO. Further,
GEICO's cover letter to Litigation Law directed that law
firm to hold the settlement check in its escrow account until
Monsalve returned the executed release document. None of that
happened. GEICO sent the settlement check to Litigation Law
and did not include SIG as a payee. Litigation Law then
disbursed the settlement funds to Monsalve without notice to
any of the parties, and Monsalve did not execute the release
prior to depositing the check. 
months after the funds had been disbursed, Litigation Law
engaged in negotiations with SIG to resolve SIG's
charging lien. When those negotiations failed, SIG filed the
current action seeking recovery of its attorney's fees.
After discovery, SIG voluntarily dismissed all parties but
GEICO. At the conclusion of a bench trial, the trial court
found GEICO negligent, held it to be jointly and severally
liable for SIG's charging lien, and entered a final
judgment in favor of SIG for $50, 000.00.
parties stipulated to the facts. What remains to be reviewed
is whether the trial court erred by finding GEICO breached
its duty to SIG for failing to protect SIG's charging
lien and finding GEICO negligent as a matter of law.
"The standard of review governing a trial court's
ruling on a motion for summary judgment posing a pure
question of law is de novo." Major League Baseball
v. Morsani, 790 So.2d 1071, 1074 (Fla. 2001).
charging lien is an equitable right to have costs and fees
due an attorney for services in the suit secured to him in
the judgment or recovery in that particular suit."
Sinclair, Louis, Siegel, Heath, Nussbaum & Zavertnik
v. Baucom, 428 So.2d 1383, 1384 (Fla. 1983). To perfect
a charging lien, the lienor-attorney need only demonstrate
that he or she provided the parties to the litigation with
timely notice of the interest. Id. at 1385. Here, it
is undisputed that upon being terminated, SIG timely filed
its charging lien, notifying GEICO and Litigation Law of its
interest in recouping the fees earned during the course of
representing Monsalvo, however briefly. Such a perfected lien
is "chargeable against any person who, at the
time notice of intent to claim a lien is given, holds monies
or property which become proceeds of a judgment to be entered
in the future." Hutchins v. Hutchins, 522 So.2d
547, 549 (Fla. 4th DCA 1988) (emphasis added); see also
Hall, Lamb & Hall, P.A. v. Sherlon Inv's. Corp.,
7 So.3d 639, 641 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009) (citing to Brown v.
Vt. Mut. Ins. Co., 614 So.2d 574, 580-81 (Fla. 1st DCA
1993) (holding that if a party has notice of an
attorney's charging lien, pays out a settlement to the
attorney's client, and fails to protect the
attorney's interest, the paying party may be held jointly
and severally liable for the attorney's fees along with
the attorney's client to the extent of the settlement
proceeds or other funds held)); see also Law Office of
Michael B. Brehne, P.A. v. Porter Law Firm, LLC, 44
Fla.L.Weekly D721 (Fla. 5th DCA, Mar. 15, 2019), reh'g
denied (Apr. 16, 2019) ("Because the funds are in trust,
Law Office's lien has not been impaired. However, should
that situation change in the future, the Insurers cannot
avoid liability for the attorney's fees subject to Law
Office's lien simply because it transferred the funds to
a third party."). As in Sherlon Investments,
GEICO as the paying party "had an affirmative duty to
notify the law firm of the settlement and to protect the law
firm's lien interest in the settlement proceeds."
Sherlon, 7 So.3d at 641.
agree with the trial court that GEICO had a duty to protect
SIG's attorney's lien by notifying SIG of the
settlement, including SIG on the settlement check or
obtaining SIG's waiver of its lien in writing, or
obtaining a Hold Harmless agreement from Litigation Law.
GEICO did none of these things. We ...