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David H. Potter

David Potter’s Answers

7 total

  • Retainer Fee

    How does lawyers give a retainer fee amount? Are all retainer fee the same? What are the basis? Experience? or the case itself? Was there ever a chance that you get over charged with retainer fee and if yes do they get refunded?

    David’s Answer

    As others have previously stated, attorneys ask for retainers of various amounts depending on the client and the case. The primary reason an attorney will ask for a retainer is to make sure he/she is going to be paid for the work that is to be done. Typically the amount of the retainer will be based on the expected cost of attorney's fees and expenses throughout the case, though sometimes the retainer is set up to be replenished knowing that it will cost much more.

    A retainer is different from a flat fee. A case that is taken on as a flat fee case is a negotiated price for the work. Certain cases like criminal cases or real estate closings are frequently done on a flat fee basis and in those situations you will not be refunded anything. In a retainer situation if the attorney completes the case more easily than expected or if you dismiss the attorney prior to its conclusion then you should expect to receive the remaining portion of your retainer back.

    Retainers are also frequently negotiated. If you cannot afford the amount the attorney is asking for he/she may be willing to accept a lesser amount with the understanding that it will be replenished.

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  • I am on probation for a dui misdemeanor. Just got a speeding ticket while still on probation. Will this effect my probation?

    Worried how this may effect my probation?

    David’s Answer

    Unless you are charged with reckless driving or some other misdemeanor because of the excessive speed then no. Speeding is considered quasi-criminal and not a misdemeanor or felony. Make sure you take care of the ticket because failure to appear could cause a bigger problem.

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  • Can I be sure that the misdemenor wont show on my son record.

    My son and 3 of his friends were together when one of the friends open a car doo. The owner came out and called the cops. The cops charged them with criminal trespassing and said my son should stop them and since he didnt he was a lookout. They qu...

    David’s Answer

    Generally speaking no one may obtain the juvenile criminal records of your son unless he consents to releasing them. For example, when applying to become an attorney each applicant must agree to release all juvenile records to the state bar examiners.

    In this case, it is possible that there will not be any records outside of the municipality. Since your son never went to court it is possible that the only record of the arrest is in the municipality in which the event occurred. However, it is also possible that this arrest will appear on his rap sheet or in the FBI system. Ask the local police how they handled the documentation of the incident and who might be able to obtain that information.

    If you want to be sure that there is not a criminal record, go to your local court house and search for your son's name in their criminal system. If no records appear then it is unlikely anyone outside of the municipality has a record of it.

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  • Can the auto mechanic sue me for unpaid work?

    I was unsatisfied with work done on my car so i went to the lot and took my car back. now they are calling me threating to file a suite.

    David’s Answer

    The short answer is YES! Alan is correct that you should try to work something out with the mechanic before the lawsuit costs you more than the repair.

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  • My sisters husband borrowed money from me over a year ago how long do i have to file a lawsuit

    he keeps promising to start paying me back but never does

    David’s Answer

    In Illinois 5 years if the contract is oral and 10 years if it is written. If you have a written agreement then the 10 years starts from the date of the most recent payment or written promise to pay. If the sum is substantial you should hire an attorney to assist you with the matter.

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  • I have a home I rent ed to a woman with 1 year old twins. She has been there one month and refuses to pay any more. Options?

    We have a month to month lease w/her. Can we demand her leave within 3 days? She has violated the contract in numerous ways.

    David’s Answer

    Evict her. There are specific procedures that must be followed in order to obtain an order for eviction. Speak to an eviction attorney in Indiana to assist you with the process.

    If your tenant pays the past due rent and you still want her out, give her one month's notice to move out. If she refuses evict her.

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  • My landlord of 4 years was late 3 months providing this year's lease. The new terms of the lease seem unfair and unreasonable.

    I have been paying rent on time and maintaining the property. The lease claims it is a DuPage County Board of Realtors Residental Lease, however the terms and conditions do not match. I do not want to sign this new lease and was happy under the o...

    David’s Answer

    In most jurisdictions, absent a term in the original lease to the contrary, when the term of a lease has expired, but the tenant remains in possession of the property, a month-to-month lease is in effect. This month-to-month lease can be terminated by either party upon one month's notice. Your landlord would argue notice was given 3 months after the termination of the original lease when she provided you with the new lease, but this is probably not sufficient under most local eviction laws to constitute notice.

    If you do not agree with the new terms your only real option is to try to negotiate different terms with the landlord. If the landlord is unwilling to accept your terms you can refuse to sign the lease and continue to pay rent on a month to month basis. Your landlord will have to provide you with proper notice that she wants you to move out of the premises and you will typically have 30 days to move out.

    If your landlord provides you with notice as required by your jurisdiction along with your new lease, then you would have 30 days from that date to either accept the terms or move out. If you are on good terms with your landlord it is in both of your interests

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