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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55454
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I met with an attorney about s producing a living trust. The

Customer Question

I met with an attorney about his producing for me a living trust. The meeting lasted about one-half hour; I gave him a retainer of $850 and he gave me a questionnaire to complete. This is the extent of our interactions of any sort.
I eventually had someone else prepare my trust. When I asked the first attorney about a refund of the balance of my retainer, his reply was:
"Unfortunately, the initial deposit cannot be refunded after all this time. The Attorney-Client Agreement provides:
"If at any time Client decides to discontinue the legal services that Client has contracted for, Client will be charged for Mr. ter Haar's time at Mr. ter Haar's hourly rate of $250.00 up to that point, with as a minimum the amount of initial retainer of $895.00."
Do I have any options?
My email address is***@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

There is no way he spent $895.00 worth of time. I would raise the stakes on him if I were you. You should send him a letter by certified, return receipt requested detailing the history and demanding he refund your deposit in full (less the 1/2 hour worth of time). Inform him that if he does not comply with your demands within a short specified period of time, you will have no choice but to: i) file a formal ethics complaint with the state bar association, and ii) file a suit in small claims court to recover your money. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your ethics complaint and your suit. In my experience, this letter is all you will need to send because the lawyer will comply rather than risk any sanction from the state bar. If if does not, file your suit! You can file this without a lawyer in small claims court.

Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!