How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask GeorgetownLawyr Your Own Question
GeorgetownLawyr
GeorgetownLawyr, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12049
Experience:  10+ Years Experience in Civil Litigation, Family, Probate and Immigration Law.
46665915
Type Your Legal Question Here...
GeorgetownLawyr is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi I have a legal question. A year ago my husband, his company

Resolved Question:

Hi I have a legal question.

A year ago my husband, his company and myself were sued and we hired an attorney who took almost $50k from me to defend us. After every invoice that the attorney sent me I contested each one because he was wasting trust money on useless things that I didn't need him to do. Needless to say it was so expensive (every month he billed me about $13k) that I had to drop this attorney mid-way and the case still goes on against us.

My husband has been jobless for the past two years, his company is now dead and I am the only earning member at home with two college-going kids. This attorney wanted me to pay him $3000 more saying that we had not cleared his dues, but I ccould not afford to pay him and I did not agree with his way of over-invoicing every thing. Moreover, today I have to keep my kids afloat.

He sent us a small courts claim for the $3000 and the trial is on the 15th. My questions are:

What should I do? My husband is in no position to pay. I have some small savings and my income.

Thanks!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.

Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be helping you resolve your matter.

Please remember there may be a delay as I may be helping other customers.

 

did you have a retainer agreement stating his fees?

do you have all the past invoices he billed for?

do you have the letters you sent after each one disputing the charges?

what was the basis for your objections to past bills?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes there was a retainer agreement stating fees of $400 per hour.

Yes I have all the past invoices he billed for

Yes I have all the emails I sent him disputing the charges

I felt he spent too much time on tasks that were not directly related to my case. I had told him that the first priority was to make sure that my husband and me were safe and he instead charged for reviewing mail that was forwarded, overcharged time for telephone calls i.e. instead of charging for 30 mins he would charge for 1 hour. Etc. I have no proof that this was done, only my emails contesting the expenses.

 

Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.

Trust me you have more than most people. At least you kept records. My recommendation to prepare for the case is to go through all of the past billings and show what he billed, show the overcharged amounts and then show the difference. You can then show he overbilled you to the tune of X amount and that will defeat any claims he has for the $3000 he now has the nerve to sue for. Present your case systematically and use an excel spreadsheet that is clear.

 

E.g.

billed for X Billed this amount should have billed this amount Excess Amt.

 

Then go down the list, that way the judge can easily at the end of the list and the total see the amount you were overbilled easily and clearly. that is my recommendation to you. I hope this helps. Please click "accept" so that I receive credit for answering your question. I am happy to answer your follow up question at no extra cost. Thanks and best regards.

 

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

You don't recommend that I call him or email him and settle this dispute with him directly? I might not be able to prove $3000 overcharge because he wasted so subtly.

 

Ex. He was supposed to handle a DOL matter for my husband. He called DOL but never told us what happened. The only time I knew about it was when I was invoiced. Can I mention that to the judge? How do I mention that in terms of how much he shoudl have charged? I don't know. I only know that we did not receive information that we were supposed to.

Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.

that is always an option but normally if a person sues you I assumed he had already sent you this bill and you disputed it, so that was why I did not recommend that...of course you should try to settle it directly with him, but that will make him believe he is correct and can win in court, so just beware of how you approach him.

 

As to his failure to provide information that is an issue for the state bar, you can complain about but not an issue for the judge. Actually, when you contact him you can use that as leverage that you will file a complaint with the state bar for his unethical conduct and his failure to keep you reasonably informed of the status of your case. that is a huge deal with the state bar and many attorneys are disciplined for it. Maybe that is the stick you need to make him back off.

 

I hope this helps. Please click "accept" so that I receive credit for answering your question. I am happy to answer your follow up question at no extra cost. Thanks and best regards.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Before I can click accept I have another quesiton about this.

 

If he does get a judgement against me and my husband and the company what will happen? The reason why I ask this is that these are attorneys and I am an ordinary person with no knowledge about the law. It is very possible that they could beat me down in court and win.

 

1. Will they garnish my wages?

2. Will I find that suddenly $3000 is deducted from my bank account?

3. Will this ruin my credit rating?

 

What other methods can be used to get the money from me?

 

 

 

Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.
sure, I understand. IF they win and get an order then they will have to get an order to attach a lien against your assets or an order to garnish wages. You will know about it, they can't simply take money out of your account...this is America, the land of notice and due process. those are the ways to get money from you...a lien against assets or an order to garnish wages. I hope this helps. Please click "accept" so that I receive credit for answering your question. I am happy to answer your follow up question at no extra cost. Thanks and best regards.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

When I go to court, I need to take all of the invoices also Or do I take only my excel spreadsheet? Do I need to take my emails contesting the amounts also ?

 

Thanks!

Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.
yes, take everything...the spread sheet is just to summarize all the invoices to make it simple for the judge to follow. I hope that answers all of your questions. Please click "accept" so that I may receive credit. Best regards.
GeorgetownLawyr and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you