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Lawyer is trying to bully me into giving him free services.

Knoxville, TN |

I have a dispute with a client who is asking that I turn over a completed website without him paying the balance due. He claims he is offended because my recent answers to an email were short (not rude, just not lengthy).

He recently took the bar exam so he's quite full of himself and threatening to take my contract apart and cause me "big headaches."

I asked him to please read the contract which states, "client will provide a website design brief." When I asked for a design brief, he said, "I don't know what I want."

So I have designed the website and made numerous revisions. I have been impatient with him at times, but for good reason. He is impossible to please. At least, he pretends to be. Now I think it's just part of his scam.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

Bet you that this "lawyer" will be working for (defending) an Insurance Company in the near future.

If Mr. Bar Attorney" doesn't provide you with a "website design brief" then hasn't he BREACHED
the contract? Give him fourteen (14) days to provide you with the "brief" or tell him you're closing
his file and he can go elsewhere to get a website.

In the future . . . put in BOLD LETTERS that all fees you receive are NONREFUNDABLE.

I know a web designer that's designed websites for lawyers from CA to the Midwest
and she has problems like your all the time.

Good luck!

THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION.

Asker

Posted

That is excellent advice. I am rewriting the refund policy in my contract right now. Thank you.

James M. Osak

James M. Osak

Posted

It seems as if when lawyers SIGN contracts they send a lot of time trying to get out of the contract?!?! My friend is always calling me re: deadbeat lawyers!! I just helped her rewrite her fee agreements as she was always trying to collect monies from her clients. Also ADD: The CLIENT has read the contract (or fee agreement); understands it and AGREES to it's terms. If I've helped please leave me a positive review. Knoxville? I had business trips down there back in the early 1990's . . . nice town! GOOD LUCK!

Arnold Garson Cohen

Arnold Garson Cohen

Posted

Knoxville is a better town today.

Posted

No law against being rude, curt or short with clients. Don't worry about what he thinks he can do b/c he just took the bar--the bar is a far cry from being a lawyer and has nothing do do with his ability to take your contract apart. Stick to adherence to the provisions of your contract and hold him to his--if he refuses to pay, don't give him anything else and consider taking him to court--a good drubbing in court is just the thing to 'right-size' an ego run amok.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for responding. I will definitely stick to the contract. I hate the idea of going to court. I'd rather he just go away.

Arnold Garson Cohen

Arnold Garson Cohen

Posted

Of course, Mr. Rafter is correct. Another blow to his ego would be for him to read this Q&A. It might also encourage him to change his behavior.

Asker

Posted

That was my first thought.

Posted

It is good that you have a written contract with clients. If a client doesn't comply with the terms but you want to continue working with them make sure that you note in an email or other writing that the client is failing to comply with the terms of the agreement and while you will continue working you are not giving up any of your rights under the contract. Nor is the client relieved of any of his/her obligations. (Maybe use language that's not as "lawyer sounding"). Below is a link to an article for do it yourself contract writers. Check the list of ten elements every contract should have against your own contracts to ensure you have a good one.

Asker

Posted

Thank you.

Asker

Posted

I actually do have most of this in the contract. I'll take some time to look at the parts I don't have. Thanks again!

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