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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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My Lawyer sent me a invoice on 10/16 also date 10/16 which

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My Lawyer sent me a invoice on 10/16 also date 10/16 which reflected 2 curious charges. The first was a charge of $220 to file an amendment. The original complaint was not of proper form since it did not contain a demand for judgment for relief sought as required by Maryland Rule 2-305. So my lawyer had to correct the mistake and file an amended complaint. Do I have to pay for her mistakes?

The other item of concern on the invoice was a charge for $450 on 10/23 for Discovery. It wasn't even 10/23 yet! Is it ethical to bill fees for services not yet rendered? In the accompanying email I was told that since the balance had fallen below $1,000 that I need to send another $1,500. It seems to me that when ever she needs money, that this pre-billing occurs and a request for another deposit ensues.

Thank you

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

You always have the right to question the attorney's billing practices. Amendments are a regular practice in law and are not always the result of a "mistake". However, you are paying for time involved, so the attorney would have either had to take that same time to draft the original complaint including the demand for judgment or would have had to add an amendment. Also, there could be other reasons that this was not included in the original complaint beyond mistake (often a form complaint is filed at first and then amended several times later on to conform to the specific needs of the case). Nevertheless, you should contact your attorney and ask for a reduction on this specific item if you believe it was the result of their failure to do their job correctly.

In regard to the pre-billing, this may be due to the incursion of expenses in expectation of the discovery. For example, if there is going to be a deposition or records request that involves up front costs, then it is acceptable to ask the client to provide this money up front. In your situation, the attorney is not responsible to pay any case expenses. It is your responsibility as the client, so this may be the reason for the pre-billing. However, if the pre-billing is simply for time it will take to actually perform the discovery procedure, then it is not correct for the attorney to pre-bill. An attorney can only bill for work performed and expenses incurred or expected.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am credited by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Kind regards,
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