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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5735
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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Good morning, I am having a problem collecting money which

Resolved Question:

Good morning,

I am having a problem collecting money which I deposited to a lawyer for a case. I no longer wants her service. I have been calling her for the past month to get my money back. She only prepared two documents for me, which was incorrect. Her retainer states that if I do not need her service any more she will charge me $350.00 an hour for anything she or her staff has done. I have been having problems from the get go, and I do not want her to represent me. The retainer that she sent me I did not sign and return. Please advise if this is a legal binding agreement since I did not sign the retainer. If I am having trouble getting back my deposit what can I do to get this back. Thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Maverick replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name isXXXXX very much enjoy what I do and I hope that you will benefit from this information.


What was the amount of the retainer that you gave her?


Has she billed you for the services? If so, how much?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No she have not billed me for the service performed, not yet. That is what I am waiting on from her for the last month. As I said she prepared two legal documents which had errors on them, that was the only service provided. The retainer stated if I do not want to use her to represent me, I will have to pay her $350.00 an hour for any service provided. I did not sign the retainer that she sent me because I think she wanted too much money, also I did not send her a retainer.
Expert:  Maverick replied 5 years ago.

I am having a problem collecting money which I deposited to a lawyer for a case.


I did not sign the retainer that she sent me because I think she wanted too much money, also I did not send her a retainer.


Please clarify as the statements above appear to conflict with each other.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I deposited $2000.00 to a lawyer for a immigration case, I sent her $2000.00 before she sent me a written retainer, outlining the amount of money that it would cost for her services, which amounted to $8000.00. In the body of the retainer it states that if I no longer need her service what ever she have done prior, there will be a $350.00 per hour charge on all services provided. As of today she only prepared two documents which had numerous errors in them. I hope this clarifies the statement above.

Expert:  Maverick replied 5 years ago.

What you will have to do is break this down in to 2 parts. The first part is the money that is to be refunded to you, even assuming that she billed you for the two documents. So, lets say that she spent two hours and ran up a bill of $700. It is clear that she would owe you at least $1300 back. So, your first goal is to get this information from her in writing. Then you can address the $700 and dispute that as well.


I would suggest that you send her a letter by certified mail and ask her to provide you a detailed accounting of the services she rendered and ask her to refund any unused deposit portion right away. Also inform her in the letter that you reserve the right to challenge any fees she purportedly claims to be "earned" on the grounds that you never signed the retainer to authorize the work and on the grounds that the documents contain material errors (if they in fact do). Also tell her that you expect a response in writing on or before XYZ date. Finally, tell her that if for some reason she does respond to your request, you will have no alternative but to report her to the State Bar.



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