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C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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I sent my attorney a certified letter requesting a refund from

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I sent my attorney a certified letter requesting a refund from my probate case. I have come to find that his fees were exhorbitant. It has been 10 business days and he has not responded. I am going to file for Florida Fee Arbitration. Does he have to agree to arbitration? Also probate was started in march, 2008 and it is still open as of today due to his failing to proceed with the case , according to him, his support staff forgot about the case. He has filed documents that were not necessary and without our permission. We are only asking for a partial refund. What do we do if he refuses fee arbitration?
How much money if involved? (How much money are you asking to be returned?)
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We paid $6590.00 for him to file letters of administration for the trust account, which my mom signed over to me before her death. Then we paid him $4100.00 to handle the probate case which only involved my mom's 1/3 interest in our home - approximately $60,000.00. We are requesting a refund of $8000.00
Unless there is something to the contrary in the retainer agreement you signed with the attorney, fee arbitration is completely voluntary - the attorney does not have to participate.
If the attorney does not agree to arbitration, the easiest way to handle this is to file a claim in Small Claims court. The maximum amount you can ask for is $5000. However, if there are two persons involved (you said "we" more than once), each of you can file separate claims for $4000. Small Claims court is very easy to manage, you don't need an attorney, and you can get the forms and instructions at the court.
Since it looks very bad for an attorney to be sued in any court, and an attorney can lose his license if he loses and then gets a judgment, there is a good chance that he will agree to the arbitration.
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