Legal fees have doubled in recent years despite the sluggish economy. Though most attorneys collect fees for their valuable and competitive services, there are also instances where the clients pay a hefty price for incompetent service. In this article, we provide tips to find out whether you have been paying higher family lawyer fees. At first, it may seem like fighting against your overbilling attorney is an almost impossible task but the law is a vast and complex area. Try to keep your knowledge about the industry to get a fair fee range. You can visit www.law360.com to learn more about the workings of the family law industry.
If you feel that your lawyer is overcharging, talk with your lawyer and try to come to a settlement. The lawyer may agree with your points and go forward with reducing the fees. This kind of act will strengthen the relationship between both you and your lawyer. If this attempt fails, then you should consider fee dispute litigation, which can provide some relief from overbilling without compromising the lawyer’s right to charge reasonable fees. There are a few points to consider when opting for fee dispute litigation.
The court looks into the promises offered by the lawyer to the client and vice versa. In some cases, the lawyer has to work more than what he expected to tackle due to unexpected situations. Therefore, he will charge more than what he mentioned during the engagement. You will be likely asked to pay the extra money if the court believes that the lawyer has worked more than expected.
A good lawyer will always discuss the billing matters with their clients well in advance. An honest lawyer will never hesitate to explain why the bill has been increased and he will try to satisfy and convince you as much as possible. It is better to end the relationship with an attorney, who is not willing to discuss billing at any point in time.
The lawyer may threaten to withdraw from the case, if the client does not make the payment on time or have a fee dispute. Keep in mind that a lawyer cannot withdraw from a case citing the payment dispute as for a reason. Even if you have paid the fees in advance, you are entitled to get your money back if the lawyer is proven to have charged excessively. If you feel that your lawyer hasn’t rendered their services as expected, then you have the right to ask for a refund.
Remember, a lawyer cannot hire credit bureau or collection agency to collect the fee from their clients. He has strict boundaries when it comes to collecting fees. So if you find your lawyer using harsh methods to collect fees, file a complaint with the appropriate organization. A lawyer should be honest and shouldn’t go looking to make huge profits through unethical means. If you feel that the lawyer charges higher, then you have the right to ask them the reason. It is better to address concerns regarding billing as soon as possible.