Need advice about the attorney I retained for my divorce.

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Need advice about the attorney I retained for my divorce.

Postby Rodeoman35 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:23 am

I have recently filed for divorce and the attorney I have retained seemed Ok but I have recently received some information that makes me question his ability to try my case for me . What Im wondering is if I get another attorney will I lose the retainer I have given to the first attorney or just the filing fees and billable hours he has worked on my cas. If any one has an answer for me I would appreciate it.
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Re: Need advice about the attorney I retained for my divorce

Postby BartSimpson » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:29 am

What information?

Generally, the retainer is considered non-refundable. Given a decent reason, most attorneys will bill against it and return any unused portion - but firing your attorney based on gossip is not likely one of those reasons.

This is something you would meet with your attorney and discuss - which will be billed against your retainer.
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Re: Need advice about the attorney I retained for my divorce

Postby minuette » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:35 pm

Depending on your state, the code of professional responsibility for attorneys may require that the unearned portion of a retainer, that is paid with the expectation that fees for service will be charged against the retainer, be refunded when the attorney-client relationship is severed. Google "[your state] failure to return retainer".

If you do obtain new counsel and the CPR in your state is as described above, you are well within your rights to ask for a full accounting of billed hours and return of the remainder. In CA (my state), attorneys have been disciplined and suspended by the Bar for failure to return unearned fees. (Back in the 80s, my husband saw more than one of his law school peers surrender their licenses in lieu of disbarment, for failure to return unearned fees and misappropriation of client funds held in trust. Cocaine is a helluva drug.)
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Re: Need advice about the attorney I retained for my divorce

Postby mexico123 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:00 am

>Generally, the retainer is considered non-refundable.

The retainer fee is an advance against future work. In general, the retainer is like a security deposit and billable hours are charged against it. The unused portion should be returned to you unless there is a clause that makes the retainer non-refundable. The written agreement between the attorney and client should address refunds.
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