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  1. #1
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    Default Can a Lawyer Accept a Retainer Without a Written Contract

    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: Virginia

    The lawyer that I hired told me that she will be representing me at a General District Court and at a Circuit Court. She asked for a flat fee of $2500 each. She accepted the check for $5000, but didnít sign a contract with me.

    Later she sent me a representation confirmation letter where she states that retainer is not refundable. The letter is not clarifying what kind of services I will be provided.

    I feel like something is wrong here. What should I do? Should I ask her to sign a contract with me ASAP?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is It Ok if a Lawyer Accepted a Retainer Without Providing a Contract

    Too late now. You should have asked for a written fee agreement before handing over the money.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is It Ok if a Lawyer Accepted a Retainer Without Providing a Contract

    So, it seems that a lawyer is legally allowed to screw a customer?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is It Ok if a Lawyer Accepted a Retainer Without Providing a Contract

    Quote Quoting A110ver
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    So, it seems that a lawyer is legally allowed to screw a customer?
    Nothing in your post suggests that you were screwed.

    She asked for a flat fee for each court case.

    A "flat fee" is a one time charge the covers the service. Being a one time charge you don't get any of it back. That didn't need to be spelled out in writing that it was non-refundable.

    But it really was up to you to figure that out before handing over the money.

    Good luck with your cases.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is It Ok if a Lawyer Accepted a Retainer Without Providing a Contract

    My question was not so much about money not been refundable. It’s about not having a contract. I was thinking that I could trust a lawyer because a lawyer legally represents law and justice. Therefore logically, lawyer does everything legally right.

    Would it to be legally right for her to outline a contract after receiving money? Or should I just “suck it up” and keep on going without a contract? Don’t even try to ask about it?
    I was reading some posts here on Forum and I saw that there should be a contract.
    That’s when I felt that something is wrong in my case.

    It’s almost like I have to consult a lawyer on how to deal with a lawyer before I get a lawyer.
    It makes the things for me much tougher than they already are.

    Almost immediately after receiving the money, all the sudden, she got real busy. She has no time to respond my e-mail or to call

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is It Ok if a Lawyer Accepted a Retainer Without Providing a Contract

    There isn't always a contract. I have never had a contract with any attorney I have used for anything. If the attorney does not represent you to the best of their ability then they are committing malpractice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is It Ok if a Lawyer Accepted a Retainer Without Providing a Contract

    Thank you.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is It Ok if a Lawyer Accepted a Retainer Without Providing a Contract

    Quote Quoting A110ver
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    My question was not so much about money not been refundable. It’s about not having a contract.
    You have a contract. It's an oral contract. She agreed to handle your cases for $2500 each. You said OK and gave her the money. That's a contract.

    Quote Quoting A110ver
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    I was thinking that I could trust a lawyer because a lawyer legally represents law and justice. Therefore logically, lawyer does everything legally right.
    I'm sure that there are flaws in that logic but for the most part you can expect a lawyer to do what she says she will do.

    Quote Quoting A110ver
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    Would it to be legally right for her to outline a contract after receiving money? Or should I just “suck it up” and keep on going without a contract? Don’t even try to ask about it?
    What would you expect her to write? "Dear client, I am handling your cases for a flat fee of $2500." What more would you want? I think you should let it alone and let her do her job.

    Quote Quoting A110ver
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    I was reading some posts here on Forum and I saw that there should be a contract.
    There IS a contract.

    Quote Quoting A110ver
    View Post

    That’s when I felt that something is wrong in my case.

    It’s almost like I have to consult a lawyer on how to deal with a lawyer before I get a lawyer.
    It makes the things for me much tougher than they already are.
    There's nothing wrong with your case. You've just got the jitters.

    Quote Quoting A110ver
    View Post

    Almost immediately after receiving the money, all the sudden, she got real busy. She has no time to respond my e-mail or to call
    What did you email and call her about? You didn't hire her to hold your hand. Presumably you gave her all the information and documentation regarding your cases. If she needs anything else she'll call you. Meantime there may not be anything to discuss until your court dates or just before your court dates.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is It Ok if a Lawyer Accepted a Retainer Without Providing a Contract

    Quote Quoting A110ver
    View Post
    The lawyer that I hired told me that she will be representing me at a General District Court and at a Circuit Court. She asked for a flat fee of $2500 each. She accepted the check for $5000, but didn’t sign a contract with me.

    Later she sent me a representation confirmation letter where she states that retainer is not refundable. The letter is not clarifying what kind of services I will be provided.
    Exactly what does the letter say -- don't paraphrase it, quote it. The exact language may affect your rights.

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