I appreciated he was not lazy at first,he does things without asking me and just bill me later.(for ex, filing for joiner of finder for my soon to be ex's pension and bill me $1000 later.)
But he started to go crazy, I left one file for evidences, he billed me for 3.64hours over $1200 for file reviews, even child evaluator charged me 2 hours for 6file reviews, and without asking me, he just decided to spend 8hours from 9:30-5:30(no lunch break either!) for preparation for half day trial by himself to make 2 page documents and charged me $2600. ( I even didnt see him in person and I didnt ask him to spend that much. He just did it and bill me later crazy)
I started to think he is unethical. Is his behavior acceptableThanks for response. I had half day trial just for DOS. I had 1.5hours meeting( he charged me 2.5hours for this saying that he spent time to prepared for meeting), and I left file for trial evidences. then week later, a day before the trial, all of a sudden he just emailed me, saying that he is preparing for the court next day. I wouldn't mind if he charged me for 3hours or so, but 8hours juts to make brief point for trial that opposing counsel even didnt file. 9:30- 5:30 without lunch break. Ridiculous. I never asked him to do so. additionally he didnt prepare any evidences for trial from the file. I instantly prepared at the court room and handed him from the same file. He asked to copy in the courtroom while opposing counsel already prepared beforehand.
It is impossible to answer this question without some more information. What sort of trial was he preparing for. Just because the trial lasted a half day doesn't mean he didn't have to prepare for a much longer, and complex hearing.
Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.
Your attorney does not have to ask for permission to review documents or prepare for trial. His or her job is to do whatever is reasonably necessary to represent your interests in the case and at trial. Nor is it unreasonable to spend 8 hours to prepare for a half day trial. There is a general rule that it takes 2 hours for an attorney to prepare for each hour of trial.
That all being said, if you have concerns about the hours for which you are being billed, you should discuss those concerns first with your attorney. If, at the end of the case, you still have legitimate concerns about the amount the attorney charged, you have the right to initiate a fee dispute arbitration proceeding through your local bar association.
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If your attorney's bills appear to be excessive, review your contract and make sure you understand the attorney's billing system as it was explained to you. If you have not received a recent accounting, you are entitled to one within 10 days of a request or within 31 days of the last accounting you received, per California Business and Professions Code Sec. 6148(b). http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=bpc&group=06001-07000&file=6146-6149.5
if you are not satisfied that the bill was earned, contact your county's fee arbitration program if the attorney will not work out the disagreement to your satisfaction. You can find a link to all of the approved programs here: http://calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/MemberServices/FeeArbitration.aspx
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