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Do I have a chance of getting any of my retainer refunded after firing attorney? How?

Houston, TX |
Filed under: Professional ethics

There is a signed contract stating no refunds. I don't feel as though he was representing me only showing up at court appearances, filed no motions to preserve evidence (blood work kit) that could have been in my favor, return one call in 3, never knew who has showing up in court, called me once in 5 months to update me on case. I was under the impression I had hired a trial attorney not a plea attorney. I don't expect to get even a small refund but I feel I should address this with him. This a DWI 2nd. Video was good and blood work below limit. I feel if it had been approached correctly it may have already been dismissed. I want to file a grievenc with bar but not sure I even have a valid reason. My new attorney says I should address it. Looking for other opinions!

Attorney Answers 3


I don't practice in TX, but in NC a client who fires his attorney is entitled to a refund of any portion of the fee that is unearned. If the attorney made several appearances on your behalf he is probably of the opinion the fee is earned. Have you asked for a refund? If you haven't I'd suggest that as a first step. If you have asked and he refused then you may want to take it up with the Bar. In NC there is a special section for fee disputes.

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No Texas attorney can ethically give legal advice to another attorney's client. The State Bar is in Austin and you should have their number.

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You had a lawyer you were not happy with and now you have another lawyer who is giving you advice. You can also contact the Texas State Bar and obtain information about fee disputes.

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