What recourse do I have?
4 attorney answers
If the amount is 10,000 or less, then you can go to mandatory fee arbitration, small claims, or you may be required to go to binding arbitration if you want to sue, depending on your retainer agreement. $10,000 sounds very high, so something sounds off. If this attorney defends state bar ethics complaints as part of her practice, its not likely she would be going around charging unconscionable fees. It wouldn't bee good for her practice if she herself was getting hauled in front of the same people that are investigating her own clients.
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I suspect you have a typo and did not pay $10,000 but only $1,000; that is a very reasonable sum.
It would be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for an attorney to mention, in a demand letter, the possibility of filing a State Bar complaint if your demand was not met. A complaint may still follow.
I wonder why you felt a need to mention that you recently discovered that this attorney does State Bar defense. The implication is that this is a negative fact. On the contrary, it indicates some expertise in the area of attorney ethics and a good choice for you to have made.
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No demand letter and bar complaint should cost $10,000 so you could file mandatory fee arbitration on the subject of fees. I am strongly suspicious about the rest of your posting.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts...