In re Sea Catch, Inc

In In re Sea Catch, Inc., 36 B.R. 226, 233 (Bankr. D. Alaska 1983), the Court explained the operation of the lien attachment and relation back: In those states which provide that an attorney's charging lien attaches to a judgment, verdict or order and that the effective date of the lien relates back to the commencement of the attorney's services, 546(b) will protect the attorney's lien from being invalidated by the trustee's status as a hypothetical lien creditor as of the date of the filing of the petition. . . . The general rule is that an attorney's charging lien relates back to and is effective from the time the attorney commences his services." (Citations omitted.) The Seacatch Court also clarified that there is a "istinction between the date an attorney's lien attaches and the date it becomes effective against a creditor assignee of the attorney's client. The lien cannot attach earlier than the entry of judgment, as there is nothing for the lien to attach to before that date . . . . Generally, however, once the lien attaches it relates back and is effective from the time the attorney begins his efforts on behalf of his client." Id. at 233. Because of the relation back, the lien is not affected by initiation of bankruptcy proceedings. See id.