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  1. #1
    DiveBudzDad is offline Junior Member
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    Question about Lawyer's Motion to Withdraw

    What is the name of your state? FL

    With less than 1 month to our final hearing, my lawyer asked for $10K trial retainer up front. I informed her that I could not give her the lump sum but that I could give her chunks which would add up to that amount by the final hearing date. Without notifying me, she motioned for withdrawl and the judge subsequently denied it on the grounds that doing so would create an opportunity for me to ask for a continuance in our case. (The case has been dragging on for 2 years now due to a myriad of circumstances.)

    Long story short, shes still my lawyer but I can't pay her like she wants. My final hearing is coming and I expect there are documents to prepare and things she needs to do to get ready. But I can't pay her like she wants, so what can I expect her to do? Will she just do nothing? Is she obliged to do anything? Should I fire her?

    Please help!

    Thanks,

    DiveBudzDad
  2. #2
    SHORTY LONG is offline Senior Member
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    When did the Judge deny your so called Attorney"s motion to withdraw from the case?
    Why have you not already in good faith paid your Attorney any monies.
    Other than the Money issue, your Attorney may see a no win situation to your case; this is just my own speculation!
    Ecc 7:1 A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

    "There are two letter[s] in the word of [Life] that, in part gives direct meaning to it, "IF."" By /SL/ aka., April 23, 2008

    Only by cutting through the darkness of ignorance, and prejudice can we achieve true justice; and
    to all those who corrupt the search for truth be warned, the "Sword of Justice" cuts both ways!
  3. #3
    DiveBudzDad is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your reply.

    The motion was heard yesterday a.m. and was denied.

    I have been working with this attorney for 8 months. In January, I gave her the initial non refundable $5K retainer and an additional $1K for deposit into a refundable trust. Since then, I have replenished the refundable trust in increments of $1K and up. To date, I have probably given her over $17K. Again, my account is current at this time.

    As for the upcoming final hearing and the additional $10K retainer she is requesting, I told her I am willing to give her chunks at a time ie $1200 today, some more next week etc, however she wont accept the idea of anything less than $10K immediately.

    I don't know where that leaves me. . . knowing the judge wont let her off the case and I can't pay her the way she wants it, is she going to keep working for me, or just stop working for me. . . .what will she do? what should I do?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    thx
  4. #4
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiveBudzDad View Post
    Thanks for your reply.

    The motion was heard yesterday a.m. and was denied.

    I have been working with this attorney for 8 months. In January, I gave her the initial non refundable $5K retainer and an additional $1K for deposit into a refundable trust. Since then, I have replenished the refundable trust in increments of $1K and up. To date, I have probably given her over $17K. Again, my account is current at this time.

    As for the upcoming final hearing and the additional $10K retainer she is requesting, I told her I am willing to give her chunks at a time ie $1200 today, some more next week etc, however she wont accept the idea of anything less than $10K immediately.

    I don't know where that leaves me. . . knowing the judge wont let her off the case and I can't pay her the way she wants it, is she going to keep working for me, or just stop working for me. . . .what will she do? what should I do?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    thx

    **A: when you asked her the same question you are asking us. what did she tell you?
  5. #5
    DiveBudzDad is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your reply.

    She said she can't do anything until she has money. I just gave her $1200 and he says that wont cover what she needs to do next. She says, I need more money, I say I can't get it to her yet. And the discussion repeats. What do I do?
  6. #6
    Quaere is offline Member
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    Your atty is bound to represent you to the best of her ability, throughout the trial. She will do this whether you give her another DIME or not.

    If she fails you in any way, she is liable for malpractice. Besides that, she doesn't need an unnecessary loss. It's unfortunate that you will probably have a strained relationship with her now. I would suggest that you keep assuring her she will get her money as soon as you can possibly pay it.

    Document every conversation you have with her. If you haven't been documenting to date, write a statement now, reviewing all of your recent communications with her.

    Write her a letter that begins by stating you are very concerned about the situation. Go on to "review" all of your recent communications with her (tell it to her exactly as you remember every word between the two of you).

    Be as diplomatic as possible in your letter. Make some comments about how you understand she has her own bills to pay, that she is entitled to be paid for her services and you have every intention of doing so, blah blah. Assure her you will do your utmost to keep up with payment for her services. Give her some idea of when and how much her next payment will be. Don't promise her any money you can't comfortably produce.

    Summarize by stating your sincere hope that these delinquent payments will not harm your relationship with her. Ask her to trust you, just as you have been trusting her all this time. Tell her you remain optimistic that with her help the outcome of the trial will be good for you, she will be paid, and all will end well for both of you.

    Send her the letter via certified email and certified mail. If possible, communicate only via certified email from now on. Treat the situation as though you will be litigating a malpractice claim within the next year.
    Last edited by Quaere; 08-03-2007 at 02:15 PM.
  7. #7
    DiveBudzDad is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you so much. This is the most thorough and thought-full reply I have ever received on this site. I appreciate what you have written and will certainly follow the advice!

    Kind Regards,

    DiveBudzDad
  8. #8
    Quaere is offline Member
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    You are quite welcome. Now we just have to hope she does not come here to see if you posted!

    I guess it wouldn't really matter if she did. She is doing what she can to protect her interests (pushing you to pay up front because VERY often a lawyer has trouble collecting fees after the fact) and you are going to have to do what you can to protect your interests.
    It's just business all the way around.

    If she really moved to withdraw without first providing notice, she may have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for your state.

    According to Florida Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 4-1.16(b)(4) A lawyer may withdraw if: “the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;”

    Good luck with your case!
    Last edited by Quaere; 08-03-2007 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Added Citation
  9. #9
    texas_parent is offline Junior Member
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    Civil cases generally have no rights to representation. First one to run out of money often loses. No money for trial usually means no trial. But these things are discussed well in advance of trial, so there are no misunderstandings with these issues.

    You have two choices, stay with the one you have or try to find another attorney and move for a continuance. If the continuance is denied, file an objection to that for the record.

    Your attorney showed some bad faith in trying to dump you, and the judge stuffed this case down her throat. She now has an obligation to represent you through trial to the best of her abilities. That is actually good for you, because otherwise you may have potentially been left dangling in the wind. Make sure she keeps doing her job, and if she appears to cut corners or shortchange you, don't allow it and document it. But only use your attorneys services to the extent that you are willing and able to eventually pay for.

    The bottom line of this situation is if you can communicate effectively with her and give her reasonable assurance she will get her money, then everything should work out ok.
    Last edited by texas_parent; 08-06-2007 at 08:00 PM.
  10. #10
    DiveBudzDad is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks you guys. You've been tremendously helpful and validating. Many thanks!

    DiveBudzDad

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