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I have paid a criminal attorney a retainer and a another lump sum to go to trial, he withdrew yesterday & I want my money back

Little Rock, AR |

I have been having problems with this attorney & he has been VERY ineffective, if not misconduct.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Attorney would be entiled to any fees earned while working on case uto withdrawal.
If the two of you cannot mutually sette the fee dispute, you can contact the local bar asssociatuo or the state bar fr mediation services.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

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Posted

In Arkansas in criminal cases (at least in circuit court), judges rarely allow criminal defense attorneys to withdraw for any reason except if new counsel is retained, because the case usually lands with the public defender system, which is already overbooked. So the judge must have thought there was a really good reason if s/he let him withdraw.

Mr. Hudson is right. He will be entitled to AT LEAST the hourly rate for the hours he spent on your case, including travel to court, waiting in court for the case to be called, research, drafting documents, answering your calls, etc. And if the fee was a flat fee that was non-refundable (the retainer agreement will control this), you may not be entitled to any of it if the attorney withdrew because you violated your representation agreement with him, refused to cooperate with him, failed to keep your contact info current so he could reach you, misrepresented facts to him, etc. If you did nothing wrong and he quit without any justification or cause, you are probably entitled to a refund of anything over and above the hours he worked UNLESS your contract with him says otherwise.

Read the retainer contract. If you have a complaint, there are mechanisms in place to deal with those. In the meantime, you need to hire another attorney. If there is a legitimate issue with the previous attorney, the new attorney may be able to help you get a partial refund, assuming they do that sort of thing.

No attorney-client relationship is established with this answer. It is not to be considered legal advice, but is merely given to point you in the right direction and give you a general answer as to the law regarding the question you have asked.

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