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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


  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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.