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Roger, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 31768
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I hired a law firm to do some work. They completed it and sent

Resolved Question:

I hired a law firm to do some work. They completed it and sent a bill which was paid. Some months later, they sent another bill for a small amount which I thought was just spill overage. I paid it and wrote "full and final payment" on the memo on the lower left corner of the check. They accepted and cashed the check. Now some further months later again, they have started to bill me again and want a further 8000 from me? They now say that they had previously sent these bills but I never received them. Do I have to pay the newest bills if they accepted and cashed the "full and final payment" check? Many thanks.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Roger replied 7 years ago.

You definitely have an argument that the debt was fully and finally cancelled upon the cashing of your last check with the statement of "Full and Final Payment" in the MEMO space. The better practice is to have a letter accompanying the check specifically stating this is your full payment, and that cashing the check is an acknowledgment of settling the debt.


The cases are sketchy on what is required, and much depends on whether you're dealing with a sophisticated party on the other side. Because you were paying a law firm, it should know the danger of cashing a check with that language on it. Therefore, I think you have a valid defense.

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