Consulted with a partner of a firm for a fee. Referred to an attorney working in the office. Signed retainer with referred attorney. All my proceeds for work done were sent in Partners name. Partner did the distribution of money. However, referred attorney abruptly left firm and started her own, leaving me with Partner. Partner did work on my case for several months. In the last month, I informed Partner I have no agreement with them. Change of attorney achieved. New retainer generated, partner will receive 33%, instead of 25% the referred attorney had. Eve of trial, I change attorney. New attorney ask for cost from old attorney. I feel old attorney grossly padded cost. Old attorney worked on my case without agreement, up until the last month. Do I have to pay that padded cost?

New York, NY -

Attorney Answers (2)

Gaetano Parrinello

Gaetano Parrinello

Personal Injury Lawyer - Staten Island, NY

I agree with Mr. Rothstein. You need to review the initial retainer carefully to determine whether you hired the associate or the firm. I also recommend that you request an itemized statement othe cost, usually called disbursements, so you can be sure that you are correct that they are "padded."

The author of this posting is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. This posting is intended as... more
Eric Edward Rothstein

Eric Edward Rothstein

Criminal Defense Attorney - New York, NY

I don't understand... if the partner and the associate worked for the same firm why didn't the initial retainer cover them both? Usually you retain a firm not a specific attorney in a firm.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more

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