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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?

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.

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

Attorney Answers 11


  1. Best answer

    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 communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. Note that I am only licensed in Georgia and thus cannot practice in other states. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  2. 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 advice. It is for informational purposes to educate about legal issues. You should contact an attorney for specific legal advice for your situation. Specific legal advice based on full knowledge of your specific situation and all facts may differ from general information. This posting does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege of any kind. This attorney actively licensed only in the State of Georgia. If this is a Georgia matter, you may of course contact me to discuss possible representation. FEEDBACK: Both AVVO and other readers are interested in your feedback on the quality of the answers. Please check the “thumbs up” symbol if you find an answer helpful.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. 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 informational purposes only.No attorney-client relationship has been created hereby. Other attorneys may have different opinions or responses. If you found this response helpful, please indicate Best Answer to Avvo. Thank you.


  10. 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.

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  11. 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 . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.