how to fight attorney fees

by Madeline Conroy 3 min read

Part 2 of 3: Writing a Letter

  1. Use standard business format. Your word processing application typically will have a template you can use for writing business letters.
  2. State that you dispute the fees. Begin your letter with a clear statement that you dispute the fees you were charged.
  3. Ask for a detailed accounting. ...
  4. Suggest a compromise. ...
  5. Close your letter with a deadline. ...

More items...

Typically the bar association has a request form you must use to initiate an arbitration proceeding.
  1. You usually can get this form by calling or writing the bar association. ...
  2. The form will include questions regarding when you hired the attorney and what you hired him to do, as well as details about your fee dispute.
Oct 4, 2021

Full Answer

What can I do if I dispute legal fees?

Jul 15, 2019 · This is usually done for two reasons: (1) to try to back off the objecting party by creating the risk that its own attorney fees will be discoverable, and (2) to argue to the court that the best evidence of what is reasonable is what the objecting party paid in litigating the same legal and factual issues in the case.

Why haven’t I received my attorney’s fees and costs?

defeat a motion for attorney fees if an award of fees is discretionary and if the circum-stances are such as to make a denial of fees appropriate. Hence, a crucial step in defending against a fee motion is determining if an applicable fee-shifting statute says fees “may” or “shall” be awarded to prevailing litigants.

Are attorney fees reasonable for prosecutions?

Feb 22, 2017 · A fairly recent case attorneys’ fees exceeded $130,000 (over 18 months of litigation and a one week trial). This is an outlier but cases such as this involve lots of claimed damages (millions), clients who can afford to go toe-to-toe with their former company, bad blood between the parties, and lots of documents.

What should be included in a fee agreement for a lawyer?

Legal Fees the tendency of legal practitioners to testify only in favor of the fee charged by another attorney was denounced.I0 Finally, though there is now no doubt that exacting an unrea- sonable fee may subject an attorney to disciplinary action," courts seldom administer discipline against an attorney for over-charging.


Can you challenge legal fees?

If you think you've been charged too much by your solicitor, you can challenge their bill. You should either challenge it directly with your solicitor, by asking them to commence detailed assessment proceedings, or failing that, by asking the Senior Courts Costs Office to make a detailed assessment of the bill.

What should you not say to a lawyer?

Five things not to say to a lawyer (if you want them to take you..."The Judge is biased against me" Is it possible that the Judge is "biased" against you? ... "Everyone is out to get me" ... "It's the principle that counts" ... "I don't have the money to pay you" ... Waiting until after the fact.Jan 15, 2010

What happens if you dont pay lawyer fees?

Failure to collect a large legal fee can endanger the lawyer's standing in his firm and within the larger legal or client community. Fee collection claims often lead to ethical complaints, and counterclaims for malpractice, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or breach of contract.

Can you negotiate with lawyers?

Yes, but only if both of you agree beforehand. If the lawyer settles the case before going to trial, less legal work may be required. On the other hand, the lawyer may have to prepare for trial, with all its costs and expenses, before a settlement can be negotiated.Jun 7, 2018

What is unethical for a lawyer?

Attorney misconduct may include: conflict of interest, overbilling, refusing to represent a client for political or professional motives, false or misleading statements, knowingly accepting worthless lawsuits, hiding evidence, abandoning a client, failing to disclose all relevant facts, arguing a position while ...

Do lawyers tell the truth all the time?

Lawyers must be honest, but they do not have to be truthful. A criminal defence lawyer, for example, in zealously defending a client, has no obligation to actively present the truth. Counsel may not deliberately mislead the court, but has no obligation to tell the defendant's whole story.

Why is my attorney not fighting for me?

For example, in a custody, divorce, criminal, or civil case, your lawyer might not be fighting properly. It might be a sign of incompetence or even a conflict of interest in your client attorney relationship. If you believe that my lawyer is not fighting for me, it may be due to the lawyer's style and mannerisms.Jul 24, 2020

How often should I hear from my attorney?

You should never be afraid or feel like an intrusion to contact your attorney every three weeks or so, or more frequently if there is a lot going on with your health or other matters related to your legal case. There is of course a limit to how much you should be contacting or sharing.Jun 17, 2020

What is it called when a lawyer doesn't do his job?

Legal malpractice is a type of negligence in which a lawyer does harm to his or her client. Typically, this concerns lawyers acting in their own interests, lawyers breaching their contract with the client, and, one of the most common cases of legal malpractice, is when lawyers fail to act on time for clients.

Is it normal to not hear from your lawyer?

Throughout the process of getting your financial settlement after becoming injured, there may be periods of time that you do not hear from your attorney. Although this can be unnerving, it is a normal part of the legal process.Oct 25, 2018

Can I sue a lawyer for lying?

The rules of legal ethics in most states require attorneys to be honest and to be able to do their job at a certain level of competence. If you feel that your legal representative has lied or misled you, or is performing their duties at a level below that of a competent attorney, you may want to file a lawsuit.May 8, 2020

Why do lawyers take so long to settle a case?

Once a case gets filed in court, things can really slow down. Common reasons why a case will take longer than one would hope can include: Trouble getting the defendant or respondent served. The case cannot proceed until the defendant on the case has been formally served with the court papers.May 28, 2020

What is a fee agreement?

Legal fees are the amount that an attorney charges for his or her services, such as by providing you with legal advice, preparing legal motions and appearing in court. ...

What is the maximum amount of damages a person can seek in a small claims court?

There are certain jurisdictional limits regarding the maximum amount of damages that a person can seek in small claims court, such as $5,000.

What is mediation in court?

Mediation is less like a trial and more like a discussion. Both parties appear before a neutral trained mediator. They may all be in the same room or they may be put in different rooms as the mediator moves back and forth. The goal is to reach a resolution that both parties are satisfied with without having to go to court.

Can a bar arbitrator arbitrate a dispute?

Even if a local bar association does not offer a program, you may be able to arbitrate your dispute. This process usually involves one or more neutral individuals who are typically trained in arbitration and alternative dispute resolutions. The neutral arbitrators hear both sides of the case and make a decision at the end. Both parties usually agree to make the arbitrator’s decision binding. This process may be less expensive and less time-consuming than going to court.

Can a lawyer charge a lower fee?

Lawyers have flexibility in their agreements and may choose to charge a particular client a lower rate or not to charge after a certain amount has been incurred in the case. If you do not like the arrangement with that lawyer, you can always hire a different one. If you have received a bill after you signed your fee agreement, ...

Can a mediator take a percentage of a dispute?

However, there may be a minimum fee to participate, and the mediator may be allowed to take a certain percentage of the fee that is in dispute. Even with these drawbacks, you may incur fewer expenses this way than if you had to litigate the case, and the issue may be resolved more quickly than going to court.

What is litigation expenditure?

A party’s litigation expenditures reflect only the value that party has assigned to litigating the matter, which may be influenced by myriad party-specific interests. Absent a fee-shifting claim, a party’s attorney-fee expenditures need not be reasonable or necessary for the particular case. Barring unusual circumstances, allowing discovery ...

Why do you back off an objecting party?

This is usually done for two reasons: (1) to try to back off the objecting party by creating the risk that its own attorney fees will be discoverable, and (2) to argue to the court that the best evidence of what is reasonable is what the objecting party paid in litigating the same legal and factual issues in the case.

Is discovery of attorney fees permissible?

The majority of courts hold that discovery of an objecting party’s attorney fees is permissible under these circumstances. As one court held, “the defendant’s fees may provide the best available comparable standard to measure the reasonableness of plaintiffs’ expenditures in litigating the issues of the case.”.

What happens if you don't collect a lawyer's fees?

Failure to collect a large legal fee can endanger the lawyer’s standing in his firm and within the larger legal or client community. Fee collection claims often lead to ethical complaints, and counterclaims for malpractice, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or breach of contract.

What to do if your lawyer is unwilling to discuss your bills?

If your lawyer is unwilling to discuss the bills, you should put your concerns in writing, and consider ending the relationship.

What is a lawyer's agreement?

Lawyers will often refer to agreements they have with clients, typically drafted by the lawyer at the beginning of the engagement, as evidence that a client agreed to certain payment terms. For example, there may be agreement as to hourly rates, staffing, or contemplated courses of action.

Why do lawyers give bonuses?

Despite this, lawyers often tell their clients they are entitled to a “bonus” over the agreed-upon fee because the matter has become more difficult than expected or because of an unexpectedly favorable result. It is common for such a lawyer to “negotiate” the increased fee in the middle of an engagement.

What happens if a client is ethically transgressive?

If the ethical transgression is slight or not related to the fees charged to the client, courts are less likely to order a forfeiture of fees. Where the transgression is serious and has a closer nexus to the fees, partial or total forfeiture is likely.

What happens if representation is over?

If the representation is over, you may feel compelled to pay outstanding bills, even if they are outrageous, since your lawyer is the last person you want as an adversary in litigation. You recognize that your lawyer possesses superior knowledge about the legal system that will determine any billing dispute.

Where does a lawyer have to keep money?

Where money has been advanced in anticipation of future services, the lawyer is usually required to keep the money in a client trust account. The trust account money is considered property of the client in most jurisdictions. The lawyer has a right to withdraw the money after the fees are “earned” by the lawyer.

Who violates 12653?

defendant-employer, including a public agency employer, who “violates” section 12653by taking adverse actions against a whistle blowing employee “shall be required to paylitigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees” to the employee.

Do you have to pay your own attorney fees in California?

Under the so-called “American Rule,” parties to litigation must pay their ownattorney fees despite prevailing in the litigation.1 California courts have long followed theRule, and it has been codified in California Code of Civil Procedure section 1021, whichprovides that, in the absence of a statute or contract, prevailing litigants are entitled toan award of their costs but not their attorney fees.2 However, there are numerousstatutes in California shifting fees to the prevailing party in litigation. Many of thesestatutes apply in litigation involving cities and can lead to costly fee awards against citiesthat may far exceed the cost of losing the underlying case.

What is the purpose of reviewing leading cases involving excessive fees?

review of the leading cases involving excessive fees ought to establish conclusive principles which courts apply in determining the reasonableness or unreasonableness of an attorney's fee. This is

Is the practice of law a commercial activity?

Despite the fact that the practice of law is a means of economic livelihood, it is not solely a commercial activity . As the American Bar Association has said, "In fixing fees it should never be forgotten that the profession is a branch of the administration of justice and not a mere money-getting trade."' If the legal profession is to honor its responsibilities to public service, it is essential that the society which it serves should not view the professional abilities of lawyers as representing avaricious and purely personal efforts to obtain wealth. Instead, the goal of the profession should be to impart to all segments of society the understanding that lawyers are primarily devoted to public service and to the pursuance of justice and are allowed a compensation commensurate with professional efforts. If an attorney ignores this philosophy his imprudence should warrant di~cipline.~Otherwise the legal profession will be viewed with cyni- cism and distrust by the very society it seeks to serve, and such discredit can only impair effective legal pra~tice.~

Who pays attorney fees may depend upon who, as between the HOA and the homeowner, wins the lawsuit!

Please answer a few questions to help us match you with attorneys in your area.

Free Case Evaluation

Please answer a few questions to help us match you with attorneys in your area.

How to contact Bernhard Law Firm?

If you have any questions about determining reasonableness of attorney’s fees and costs, please contact Bernhard Law Firm at,, 786-871-3349.

How to provide evidence supporting the Lodestar amount?

To provide evidence supporting the lodestar amount, the moving party need only present records detailing the work performed; the records should show the work was reasonable and necessary given the novelty and difficulty of the question involved in your lawsuit and the quantity of opposition you received in the litigation.

What is the Lodestar amount?

To do so, the trial court should first determine the “lodestar amount,” which is the number of attorney hours reasonably expended in your lawsuit, multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate given a variety of considerations relating to your lawsuit. Rowe at 1150; Joyce at 1126.

Do you get a prevailing party attorney's fee check?

The trial court has already granted entitlement to prevailing party attorneys’ fees and costs. Yet, you still haven’t received the check. The trial court must still determine the reasonableness and collectability of the attorney’s fees and costs that you claim.