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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    18

    Default Charged to Tell Court About a Duplicate Fee

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California

    My son was represented by an attorney who charged 2K to tell the court there was a clerical error that resulted in a duplicate charge.
    I noticed on the court website my son had 2 charges identical in every aspect and I knew and he knew this was an error from the moment I saw it. I alerted the attorney who thanked me for telling him. He said when he was at the court next time he would get a copy and verify it was a duplicate/clerical error. Is it ethical/legal to charge me 2K to be pick up the paperwork and tell the court on the next scheduled date that it was a court clerical error and it needs to be eliminated. It was indeed a clerical error by someone in the court office. My son was not represented on this erroneous charge so why the fee? There were 3 other charges the attorney represented my son on but thsi duplicate one was clearly a mistake.
    Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,203

    Default Re: Charge to Tell Court About a Duplicate Fee

    Is it ethical/legal to charge me 2K to be pick up the paperwork and tell the court on the next scheduled date that it was a court clerical error and it needs to be eliminated.
    I don't know how he came to the $2k so I cannot speak to the amount specifically but there is nothing illegal or unethical in charging you for performing a service.

    It wasn't a matter of whether the lawyer represented your son on the erroneous charge. It was the lawyer performed a service which means he deserved to be paid.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Charge to Tell Court About a Duplicate Fee

    Thanks - that is what I was looking for - a reason. I know he said he charged 2K for misdeamenors which the charge was but to only look at paperwork and not represent - 2K?
    If he did not look at the paperwork to verify it was a court clerical error would the odds of it being caught as an error be zero??
    It just doesn't seem right - but then a lot of things don't.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    27,203

    Default Re: Charge to Tell Court About a Duplicate Fee

    If he was charging your son for defending him for a misdemeanor which was actually the erroneous charge, then I would see a problem. Since there was no actual criminal charge, he simply did his lawyer thing and got the record corrected. That is not defending your son.

    Now, if he can justify the charge through some hourly billing, then you have no complaint (other than it seemed extremely expensive for the actions you described).

    If he did not look at the paperwork to verify it was a court clerical error would the odds of it being caught as an error be zero??
    I suspect not even close. If the charge was actually acted on, your son would have a chance to argue it was a duplicate charge. If he wasn't charged, it may have gone on for a long time and maybe even acted upon someday. It is impossible to determine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Charge to Tell Court About a Duplicate Fee

    The court in California erroneously listed a duplicate charge through clerical error the same charge listed twice with a different docket number.I am the one that alerted him to the error. Is it right for an attorney to charge 2K to tell the court (judge) it was a duplicate charge due to their clerical error? He checked on the paperwork while he was at the court for a different client and found out it was identical to the other docket number for the charge that was valid. In other words 1 of the charges was simply duplicated as a result of poor clerical work. My son had other charges that he was represented by the same attorney at the same time. I am only asking about charging 2K to say to the judge”hey this docket number 123456 is a clear duplicate of docket number 654321” The charge to make clear to the judge that docket number 123456 is a duplicate of 654321 cost me 2K. The representation of the entire case cost far more – I AM ONLY ASKING ABOUT CHARGING 2K FOR THE DUPLICATE CHARGE AS A RESULT OF CLERICAL ERROR

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,203

    Default Re: Charge to Tell Court About a Duplicate Fee

    I AM ONLY ASKING ABOUT CHARGING 2K FOR THE DUPLICATE CHARGE AS A RESULT OF CLERICAL ERROR
    as I said, if he can defend the charge based upon some hourly charge for his actions, then yes, it is a legit charge. He did do some work to get the record corrected and as such, is due some level of payment. Whether $2k is too much or not, as I stated previously, is something I cannot say.

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