Grayson v. Bank of Little Rock
In Grayson v. Bank of Little Rock, 334 Ark. 180, 971 S.W.2d 788 (1998), the supreme court affirmed a trial court's finding that an attorney was not entitled to a share of the proceeds from his successful effort to have an overpayment of workers' compensation premiums refunded based on a general balance owed to him as the result of unrelated legal work.
The supreme court cited what it stated was the well-recognized general rule that an attorney's lien extends only to fees and disbursements rendered in the particular action in which they were incurred, and does not cover a general balance due the attorney, or charges rendered in other causes, or charges in causes not intimately connected with the particular action. Id.
The supreme court set out the elements of conversion as follows:
"Conversion is the exercise of dominion over property in violation of the rights of the owner or person entitled to possession. Conversion can only result from conduct intended to affect property. The intent required is not conscious wrongdoing but rather an intent to exercise dominion or control over the goods that is in fact inconsistent with the plaintiff's rights."