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Do I have to pay full retainer to lawyer if I cancel his services?

Homosassa, FL |

I paid $1500. towards a $3500. retainer for a divorce and met once with the lawyer for approximately 1 1/2 hours. I sent him a certified letter 2 weeks later that we were reconciling and I no longer needed his services. Nothing was done in that 2 week period regarding my divorce. Do I still have to pay the balance of $2000. of the retainer? This is in the state of Florida.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The answer to your question may lie in the written retainer agreement or letter of engagement that accompanied the payment of the first part of the retainer. If none, then it would be reasonable to expect an accounting for the attorney's time (and be aware that some services have been performed in addition to what you were present for, such as file-opening) and return of the unearned portion of the retainer.

    Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


  2. As has been stated previous, without more you cannot get a straight answer.

    You need to look at the retainer itself: was it a flat fee retainer? Was it hourly? Under certain circumstances your change of heart may not play in determining whether or not the money was owed.

    I would suggest that you first carefully read the retainer and thereafter call your attorney.

    Please be advised that nothing in this posting is meant to supplement the advice of an attorney and The Law Office of Robert J. Lee, P.A. and/or Robert J. Lee has not undertaken any professional responsibility with regard to your case unless otherwise agreed. RJL is licensed to practice law in FL and MA, but no other jurisdictions. Nothing stated herein should be implied as legal advise.