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Fired Lawyer Refuses to Give Statement of Fees/Costs

Lakewood, CA |
Filed under: Professional ethics

Having trouble with a fired former lawyer that refuses to give the new lawyers on the case a statement of their fees/costs, and it is holding up settlement discussions. Are they allowed to do this?

Attorney Answers 2


Your new lawyers should request, on your behalf, a statement of your account within 10 days. You are entitled to a statement of account upon request within 10 days unless you have received a statement within the last 31 days. If your case is being handled on a contingency basis, a dispute between lawyers regarding their contingency fee should not hold up settlement discussions as the lawyers together are only entitled to one contingency fee. Good luck.

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Sometimes a discharged attorney will ask for the reasonable value of the services they provided, at their usual hourly fee. But that fee (excluding the costs they advanced on your behalf) should come out of the attorney fees your current attorney is charging. I'm sure the problem is the "split" between the two law firms. If problem persists, file a complaint with the State Bar.

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Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


The State Bar does not open an investigation or a complaint file on these kinds of facts. ALL of these kinds of claims are referred to the mandatory fee arbitration program, expressly for the purpose of removing them from the State Bar's plate of matters that must be investigated and resolved --- a necessary measure. The fee arbitration program is easily accessed:

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