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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102141
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I just went through a divorce (where my ex-husband was

Customer Question

I just went through a divorce (where my ex-husband was responsible for my fees except trial by order of the judge) and it almost went to trial, therefore, I paid my attorney a retainer fee of $7,000 and while in court we began another round of settlement negotiations. The court clerk convinced me that I should not seek further money due to the fact that my ex-husband held up the case for 2 years so that he did not have to show his finances, therefore, I settled without full discovery. My attorney told me that she would be refunding me $6,500 the following week, so I settled. Three weeks later, she sent me a check in the amount of $4,000 saying she had further fees and indicated she was delighted to let me know she was not charging me for the actual letter returning my money to me. Last month I just received another invoice from her for over $400 for reviewing the final divorce documents. I do not feel I am responsible for this fee and am refusing to pay it since she outright lied to me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. What someone in your situation wants to do is to possibly initiate a fee dispute with the attorney. See HERE. This is a voluntary, mediation/arbitration program which allows both the client and the attorney to resolve this matter peacefully without (1) the client filing a grievance and/or (2) without litigation being initiated by either side.

However, before this is even done, it is recommended to contact the attorney directly and to request a meeting to "our over" the billing and see if the discretion can be resolve this way. Despite what television and jokes imply, the vast majority of attorneys care about their reputation, professional standing, and follow ethical regulations; and thus, will work to resolve any such discrepancy fairly and honestly. Likely, this can be resolved without even filing for the fee dispute through the state. If it cannot, chances are that the fee dispute program may prove helpful, then.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Aplogies - "our over" should have been "go over."

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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