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Can lawyer stop payment on IOTA check and put in his attorney's IOTA account?


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I was in a car accident and hired an attorney to help with settlement in Florida. The attorney ended up cashing settlement check w/o power of attorney. I was on disability and desperately needed money so I amended closing statment adding I could seek damages later on possible fraud, malpractice, etc etc and signed it "without prejudice all rights reserved" essentially under duress. We reached impasse on his fees (finally got copy of file and found he overstated damages to insurance co. by $64k, was missing over 10 medical bills and records, never signed his own fee contigency contract, etc) and went to FL Bar Fee Arbitration. The arbitration agreement was for panel of arbitrators however could not find 3 w/in time set in rules and asked if we'd sign for sole arb: the consent merely said I accept sole arbitrator or I do not accept and was not an amendment keeping all powers and clauses of contract for sole arb. I signed this "w/o prejudice all rights reserved" b/c it was not voluntary.

He was awarded $20k in arb and I $10k, I timely filed motion to vacate based on fraud, misconduct and lack arb agreement. opposing counsel faxed judge ex parte and got order confirming award signed however the judge has ordered special set in Dec and said he may void order then.

I never cashed the $10k, sent to me a year later b/c opposing counsel had liability clause in letter check was attached to and was contesting award. opposing counsel just sent me a letter saying he had my car accident attny stop payment and is depositing it into his counsel's escrow account to deduct attorney fees from after judge awards fees and costs.

How can he legally do this, neither of them have authority to touch this money??

Thank you in advance for any help, beginning wonder if any ethical attnys exist in FL.

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