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My lawyer sent me an itemized list of expenses which amounts to half of the proceeds. He expects me to find the receipts.

Mundelein, IL |

My lawyer has a huge binder and expects me to sift through it all in order to find the laundry list of trial expense receipts. He mailed me an itemized list but I want to verify them as his expenses amount to 50% of the trial proceeds. Do I have any grounds to force him to provide them to me? Can I file some sort of motion to get him to extract the list? Is this legal for him? How do I know the receipts are even in this binder?The award check is made out him And me. Can I just refuse to sign the check?If I file a complaint somewhere, will it make any difference?

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

We cannot second guess your lawyer as to where the receipts might be located but it is reasonable for him to ask you to locate the receipts. You have no basis for a motion to force your lawyer to find receipts. You can refuse to sign the check. but then you will never receive your process. Filing a complaint will not make any difference. If you have an itemized list of expenses, then your lawyer is just asking that you verify what has been spent.

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Asker

Posted

If he created an itemized list wouldn't he he have already have access to the receipts? Why is it up to me to find evidence of his spending, he is asking me to pay for it all.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

The bottom line is whether or not you want your settlement, Itemized expenses are logged contemporaneously with their being incurred. It sounds like you are questioning them. Then you should find them within the stack of papers You questioned his integrity by implying he made up the expenses.

Posted

If your lawyer has given you an itemized list of expenses and none of them appear out of the ordinary you probably need to sift through the receipts on your own if you want to double check them. If you have some specific questions about the expenses you can ask about them.

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Asker

Posted

He has combined the receipts, about 50 of them, with all of the other case documentation and is asking us to spend our time going thru it. In order for him to tabulate the itemized list he must have had them separated. What is the point of making this so difficult for us?

Posted

It is certainly the best practice for lawyers to provide an itemized list of expenses. If you want specifics about what a lawyer must provide in Illinois, in terms of an itemized statement AND receipts, you may want to contact the Illinois State Bar Association and ask this question directly. The Bar should be able to provide you with more information. I hope this helps. Good luck.

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Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

The ISBA would not be able to provide that information. The ISBA is an professional organization which lawyers may choose to join. It is not a licensing or iinformational agency.

Posted

You could demand your lawyer hire a forensic accountant verify the receipts. Of course he would charge you for that.

Or you could assume they are all correct and accept his final billing.

Or you can verify the receipts yourself as he requested.

Which option you select depends on your self-assessed hourly valuation of your time and the amounts involved with your case.

I wish you all the best.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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Posted

I keep a separate cost subfile on each case. I dont know how your atty does it. if my client wants to see the receipts or cancelled checks they are usually in the subfile. Unfortunately trial is very expensive and many cases require lots of costs be expended. Sometimes they can eat up a major part of the recovery.

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