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Retainer Meeting

Millburn, NJ |

How common are "retainer meetings" to sign a retainer agreement? Unfortunately, I have had to hire attorneys in the past and have never had a "retainer meeting". Usually had a consult with someone at the firm and was told to think it over. Sometimes I walked out the door with an unsigned retainer agreement, sometimes I was told to think about it and get back to them but until now I never had a retainer meeting after I had the initial consult.

I have even had some lawyers sent me a letter after the initial consult explaining what could be done and what was discussed at the initial meeting.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

I practice in Arizona so I cannot comment as to whether this practice is common in New Jersey. However, if you are uncomfortable about attending a retainer meeting, which potentially represents the start of your relationship with a law firm, you should consider whether this is the right firm for you. There are other options and I am sure you can find a firm that does business in a different manner.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

Asker

Posted

Thanks - I already attended the "retainer meeting" - it cost me alot of money just to retain a firm...

Asker

Posted

Really didn't think it would take long and that it would cost what it did!

Celia R Reed

Celia R Reed

Posted

Chalk it up to a learning experience and I hope you find the right attorney.

Asker

Posted

Very expensive learning experience!! over 15% ($1500+) of the retainer used, taken, billed, for that first meeting..... All that happened was two lawyers met privately before seeing me (while I waited in the waiting room and then brief meeting with me

Posted

The simple answer is to only sign a retainer agreement/attend the meeting if you want to hire the attorney. Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that this post is not intended to constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. This posting in no way creates an attorney client relationship. You should contact an attorney to protect your interests.

Asker

Posted

I'm wondering how many lawyers have retainer meetings to hire them? Don't get the bill until well after the meeting.

Posted

I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies.

That being said, every firm has its own procedures; I would assume that the retainer meeting is a practice they have to ensure they answer questions and determine whether or not you will sign. Few firms like to have retainers out on the street unsigned; not knowing whether a person will be a client or not can cause problems for internal record-keeping and conflicts checks. It may also be a sales meeting, where they try to sell you on the firm. If you are not comfortable with how they operate, you should choose another firm.

/Christopher E. Ezold/

The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
Employment, Business and Health Law
One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585
Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com
www.ezoldlaw.com

I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies. /Christopher E. Ezold/ The Ezold Law Firm, P.C. Employment, Business and Health Law One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 660-5585 Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com www.ezoldlaw.com

Asker

Posted

I'm trying to find out how common this is. I gave the retainer monies to a secretary prior to the scheduled meeting. Now that I think about it - I signed the retainer agreement with the secretary prior to the meeting. Lawyer I first saw brought another lawyer to the meeting. It was an expensive day before the case really even began.

Posted

In my over thirty years of practice in NJ, I have never had a "retainer meeting." I have met with a client and given the client a retainer to take home, or if I did not have sufficient information to prepare a retainer in advance of our initial meeting, I obtained the pertinent information at our initial conference, and sent a follow-up letter with a retainer.

Every matrimonial matter and contingent fee matter, bu Rule of Court, must have a written retainer agreement. If you are a past client and signed a retainer relating to a business matter in the past, the Rules of Court do not mandate a new retainer for each matter, but I make it my practice to secure a new retainer for each new matter.

As my colleagues indicate, and your comments reflect, if you are uncomfortable with a special "retainer meeting," for which you may be billed, then select another firm. As you are well aware, there are enough competent attorneys in NJ. I have been named a Top Attorney by New Jersey Monthly Magazine and Super Lawyer by SuperLawyer Magazine with regard to trust & estate matters. Avvo has given me a superb rating for business matters. Martinedale-Hubble has named me a Preeminent Attorney. I can be reeached at 973-994-9080.

The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.

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