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State of Minnesota retainer refundable or not?

Minneapolis, MN |

Gave atty $1600 for child custody/support case. We decided to settle out of court and mother of childrens atty did all the paperwork. All mine did was review and make a couple calls to other atty. Now he is telling me I am out my $1600 retainer? Is this legal?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The answer to your question will probably be found in the retainer agreement you signed, but it doesn't take long to use up a $1,600 retainer. Just because the other attorney drafted the documents doesn't mean that your attorney didn't do any work. We still have to review and document and, often times, we suggest or insist on changes. In addition, your attorney would have spent time visiting with you, probably spent time negotiating with the other attorney, and probably fielded several phone calls and/or e-mails. You are entitled to a detailed invoice explaining what work was done, how much time was spent, and how the retainer was applied to pay the invoice.


  2. The answer depends on the reta8ner agreement you signed with hte lawyer. That is your contract for services. Some retainers are hourly based while others may be for a flat, non-refundable fee.

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