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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I went to Contract with an attorney to represent me and wife

Customer Question

I went to Contract with an attorney to represent me and wife for issues regarding a Granted Mortgage Modification
The Contract required a Payment of $2950 for a retainer for his services
Shortly after i was informed that additional funds was required to be added to the account, after there services had exceeded the amount that was in the retainer fund. I was notifeld after the fact and now that they had exceeded the intial amount that was paid to them ,they are now requesting for Additional payments for the services that was provided.
The Basic issue is that the contract states that funds need to be in the account for them to continue providing services. and they NEVER Asked for our approval, or additioal fund to be paid until after the fact. So we are being sued for the additional fees and services that they provided without our approval So what is our chances in court to have there case dismissed
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

It really depends on the precise wording of the Legal Services Agreement.

A great deal of my legal practice is in legal malpractice litigation (either suing or defending lawyers) and it would be very unusual for a legal services agreement to limit legal services to money on hand. The reason for this is that legal services often occur in spurts and it would be nearly impossible (in practice, not in theory) for a lawyer to monitor their legal billing to match exactly what you have in your account.

Almost all legal services agreements work on an "evergreen retainer" basis, where the client deposits an amount of money, the attorney bills against that money, and sends a monthly bill to the client. The client pays that bill, ensuring that the retainer money stays the same.

Regarding the potential outcome for your specific case - again, it is going to depend on the details of your case. I would also suggest that you explore the possibility of mediating your claim. Often these disputes are resolved with the help of a third party mediator and litigation costs and delays are avoided (you can usually settle for less than the full amount demanded). Contact your local bar association for referrals to mediators.

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