You may have a right to arbitration regarding the fee. Look here for more info on NY's fee arbitration program -- http://www.nycourts.gov/admin/feedispute/
There are services available for handling fee disputes in NYC -- check here for more details http://www.nycbar.org/get-legal-help/fee-dispute-service.
Also, who is the lawyer's client? You or your bf? If you did not sign the retainer agreement or any other agreement promising to pay, then the lawyer's recourse may be only against your now-deported bf and not you.
NY does permit an attorney to retain a client's file for non-payment in certain circumstances. There is some discussion of those circumstances here -- http://www.nycbar.org/ethics/ethics-faq#withdrawalandretention .
I wish you the best of luck going forward.
It depends on what your retainer agreement says. Some contain minimum fee clauses.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
As Eric indicated, find your signed fee agreement and carefully review it. If you signed it in the first place hopefully it is clear and you understood the terms and that will quickly solve your problem with the clearly worded agreement.
Best of luck
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