Attorney Question


#1

Dear SilverLining:

Greetings. Other than our firm, I do not know of other firms that use flat fees, but instead they use retainers and bill hourly from that retainer. When the retainer is depleted, you must add more money to their trust account for them to bill from. I assume that most attorneys who bill hourly set their retainer amount with the hopes that the funds deposited will sufficiently cover all costs of the case.

Your rights should be clearly defined in your client agreement with your attorney. Just like any contractual relationship, you would look to the contract to determine your rights. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
RosenDivorcecom
919-787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#2

If buy a pair of tennis shoes, I expect and receive two shoes. But If I go to a lawyer’s office and am verbally promised services against my retainer, I can not expect fulfillment of those services? I understand the written contract: what about the verbal contract/promise?


#3

Dear SilverLining:

I would suspect that your contract is ruled by what is in writing. Sorry. I would suggest that you retain an attorney to complete your case that does charge flat fees and puts the same in their contract, like we do. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
RosenDivorcecom
919-787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#4

I retained a lawyer in late 2003. The lawyer clearly and positively stated that he would handle child custody, separation, equitable distribution, divorce and a name change. I would not have signed their paperwork without my lawyer’s verbal assurances that these services would be covered by my initial retainer. But “because this is standard paperwork, you need to sign here to indicate that you are aware that you may have to pay more.” I will restate here again that he confirmed with me that all services would be covered under my initial retainer.

By June 04, only child custody had been settled. A draft separation agreement was mailed to me in July for my review. Now my retainer has run out (and over!) and they want a ‘replenishment’. I feel that I am being taken for a ride – especially since I’ve been asking (via email and phone) to resolve this issue for two months! I’ve had to ask my lawyer to abstain from any work on my behalf, including no case discussions with his senior partner. I’m not rolling in money. My income was cut in half when my husband “left” (ie; arrested), my bills have stayed the same and I’ve been paying the mortage by myself since Oct 03.

What are my rights regarding the demand for fulfillment of services AND to not have to pay the replenishment?