I pd my lawyer for a trial case we ended up settling and not going to trial. Can i get the money back for the trial?

Asked over 2 years ago - Lebanon, MO

I Paid in advance for a trial on custody my ex and i settled instead of going to trial I paid over $10,000 since we didn't go to trial and I paid in advance does my lawyer owe me that money back? And Every time I ask for a bill or invoice his office wont give me one.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven Edward Weir

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Send a certified letter to the attorney asking for an itemized bill within a week or two, along with a demand for a return of any unearned fees. Send a second copy regular mail, and keep a copy for yourself. Wait for a response. If you haven't received a response by the expiration of the time, go to the below link, and follow the instructions. (You probably want to review it before sending your letter so you don't miss anything along the way.)


    If you have further questions, feel free to contact me through the contact information on my website. This is a... more
  2. Erik Anderson


    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First, be advised that I practice in New Jersey, not Missouri.

    From your question it is unclear whether your paid your attorney a retainer to bill against or $10,000 to try a case. If you paid a retainer, your attorney would be entitled to collect those fees he incurred in preparing/settling the case against the $10,000 retainer. In New Jersey (I don't know about Missouri), an attorney cannot have a non-refundable retainer. The attorney is only entitled to payment equal to the work he performed.

    I would recommend writing to your attorney and asking for an invoice.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that this post is not intended to constitute legal advice and is for informational... more
  3. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Hopefully, you had a written fee agreement with the lawyer. Assuming you did, it should provide your rights and obligations regarding the advance. If there was no written fee agreement, then you might need to have a hearing to determine what your agreement was.

    I would document, in writing, all of your attempts to contact the attorney. The State Bar may have a fee dispute resolution service you can take advantage of, if you are unable to work this out on your own.

    You can also take the lawyer to court, if need be. But this is probably a last resort, since you would perhaps be at a legal disadvantage. Your lawyer is likely entitled to some of the money you paid, in compensation for the work that was performed. You are due an itemized invoice, at the very least. Good luck to you!

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

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