Can an attorney charge interest on a unpaid legal bill?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Brea, CA

I have a legal bill for 16,000.00 originally that has climbed to 32,000.00 because of interest charged. I was making payments that only was covering the interest. It never touched the principle.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael Charles Doland

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . I agree with my colleague's analysis, but one has to wonder what interest the attorney is charging to triple the amount of fees by virtue of accruing interest. You may wish to consult the bar. I am not sure, but I do not think compounded interest is permitted. Again, without knowing the facts of your written retainer agreement, further analysis is impossible.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may... more
  2. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Yes, but the fact that the attorney is going to charge interest must be clearly set forth in the attorney's retainer agreement with the client.

    The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice.... more
  3. Tom Arany

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . Yes, an attorney can charge interest. You should refer to your fee agreement to see if the attorney included an amount there, otherwise CA statutory interest will apply.

    My answer is for only informational purposes and is not legal advice. I am licensed to practice law in Oregon and... more

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