How to right a proper letter rejecting my attorny's 2nd contract? Why would he amend it this way after so long? What to do?

Asked about 1 year ago - Atlanta, GA

I signed a contract stating my attorney would receive 33 and 1/3 for handling my case. Now, after a year, he wants me to sign an amended contract adding he will receive $$$ per hour upon me terminating him. I do not plan on terminating him, and I do not agree with the amended contract. Please help.

Additional information

I meant, how to write a proper rejection letter. Thank you, all, for your help.

Attorney answers (11)

  1. Glen Edward Ashman

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    Answered . You do not have to sign an amended contract, especially if it less favorable to you than the original one.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  2. Benjamin Whitaker Price

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . That's a pretty standard provision in most PI contracts in Georgia. But if you already signed a contract there's probably nothing requiring you to sign another one. If you don't plan on terminating him it's probably moot. If he refuses to move forward with your case without you signing something you don't want to sign, find yourself another attorney.

  3. Kevin M. Veler

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . It is nearly impossible to assist you in this matter in a general legal information website. You need specific legal counsel. You should discuss this matter if you have not already with your attorney to be sure you understand it. If you have further questions, concerns or issues, I would suggest you contact the State Bar of Georgia (link bellow). They have a fee arbitration program service.

    Disclosure: This answer and any information contained in this answer is not intended to be treated as legal... more
  4. Jesse Cole Kent

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    Answered . Don't sign it. If the two of you agreed to a contingency, that's what the lawyer gets. Fire him/her and move on and hire another lawyer.

  5. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . My fee contract is based upon a contingency fee, but does have an hourly if I am terminated. Bottom line is you do not have to sign his amended contract. You might want to discuss with him in person, and reassure him you do not intend to fire him. On contingency fees , if an attorney does a substantial amount of work and is terminated, the attorney is entitled to fees based upon a theory called quantum meruit, or the amount of work done which can be an hourly or percentage of fees. He is just trying to quantify what he would get in case he gets fired by any of his contingency fee clients. I understand what he is doing, but you do not have to sign it.

  6. Lars A. Lundeen

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    Answered . Simply tell him you do not wish to agree to the amendment. He appears to be providing no additional consideration for this change. It also may be unethical for him to attempt to rewrite the contract at this juncture. If you have other issues with this attorney, you may wish to consider changing counsel or filing a bar complaint.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  7. Christian K. Lassen II

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    Answered . Wow, high fee. Don't sign anything. Get a new lawyer with a reasonable contingency fee, less than 30% so you aren't hurt twice. In my view, anything 30% or more is disgusting and highway robbery.

  8. David Ian Schoen

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    Answered . There should be no need to send a rejection letter. Your original retainer sets forth the terms of his employment which he is bound to honor. He cannot change the agreement without your approval.

  9. Robert G. Rothstein

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . It is customary for an atty. contingent contract to contain a provision that in the event the client terminates the atty., then the atty. is entitled to quantum meruit ( the reasonable hourly value if his services to that date) or his contingent fee based upon the highest settle my offer has obtained on your behalf, whichever is greater. However, that provision should have been in the original contract. You do not have terminate him and you do not have to sign the new amended contract, but you will have an unhappy atty. representing you. Hopefully, if you don't sign, he will withdraw and you won't owe him anything.

    Disclaimer: This response is provided to you by attorney Robert G. Rothstein (404) 216-1422 for educational and... more
  10. Nathaniel John Oleson

    Contributor Level 11

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    Answered . You are under no obligation to sign an amended agreement. The way this works is that you have agreed to pay your attorney a contingency fee of one third of whatever you recover. If you were to fire your attorney before the end of the case, then he would be entitled to compensation for the work he has already done on your behalf, usually at an hourly rate instead of a percentage, but you do not need to sign a subsequent agreement for this to apply. Simply inform your attorney in writing that you do not agree to the amended agreement, and that you are not going to sign it.

    THESE COMMENTS MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. Comments made on websites such as Avvo.com are provided for... more
  11. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Agree with the opinions of mu colleagues - under no obligation to sign second agreement

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more

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