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#1
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NY

I wasn't sure what forum to put this in, so a mod can feel free to move it.

About 18 months ago, I was in foreclosure proceedings and my bankruptcy attorney agreed to consult with me for $200 cash. He explained what happens and the best way to proceed. When I eventually received a notice to appear in court several months later, I contacted him and asked him if I went alone or if he should be there. He said he would be there. Mind you, he didn't mention any fees or any quote for representing me in the case.

Long story short, he sent an associate who nothing about why he was there and we were forced to postpone to another date. I appeared on the next date and he didn't show and I embarrassingly had to ask for a new date. In all, I had to appear 5 times because this associate was inept and even the bank's attorney was getting annoyed with him.

I finally ended up with a new mortgage plan and kept my house.

I never heard from my attorney again until last month when I received a letter in the mail requesting a "discounted" payment of $1500 for services rendered. No invoice detailing time spent on anything, appearing, etc. Additionally, he said that the practice was dissolved and he is requesting I pay the amount personally to him.

My question is, am I legally required to pay him personally when the practice I hired was dissolved and additionally he never told me how much it would cost for all of this? It only took as much time as it did because his associate wasted my time by not being prepared.
 


#2
That he didn't tell you about fees doesn't mean you don't owe fees. You should have asked. You should have at least known that lawyers don't to anything for free. Getting a surprise bill is your own fault.

You might owe him part of it or even all of it but I sure as heck wouldn't send him any money without an itemization of who did what when. I suggest you send him a written request for an itemization. Once you get it you can address the individual items.

As for paying him personally instead of the firm, you should verify what he's telling you. A little googling could probably clear that up.
 
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LdiJ

Senior Member
#3
Well, you might owe him part of it or even all of it but I sure as heck wouldn't send him any money without an itemization of who did what when. I suggest you send him a written request for an itemization. Once you get it you can address the individual items.

As for paying him personally instead of the firm, you should probably verify what he's telling you. A little googling could probably clear that up.
It was an associate of the firm, an entirely different person who showed up (inept as he was) at the hearings. I would think that if any money was due to anyone, it would be the associate.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#4
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NY

I wasn't sure what forum to put this in, so a mod can feel free to move it.

About 18 months ago, I was in foreclosure proceedings and my bankruptcy attorney agreed to consult with me for $200 cash. He explained what happens and the best way to proceed. When I eventually received a notice to appear in court several months later, I contacted him and asked him if I went alone or if he should be there. He said he would be there. Mind you, he didn't mention any fees or any quote for representing me in the case.

Long story short, he sent an associate who nothing about why he was there and we were forced to postpone to another date. I appeared on the next date and he didn't show and I embarrassingly had to ask for a new date. In all, I had to appear 5 times because this associate was inept and even the bank's attorney was getting annoyed with him.

I finally ended up with a new mortgage plan and kept my house.

I never heard from my attorney again until last month when I received a letter in the mail requesting a "discounted" payment of $1500 for services rendered. No invoice detailing time spent on anything, appearing, etc. Additionally, he said that the practice was dissolved and he is requesting I pay the amount personally to him.

My question is, am I legally required to pay him personally when the practice I hired was dissolved and additionally he never told me how much it would cost for all of this? It only took as much time as it did because his associate wasted my time by not being prepared.
You signed no contract with this attorney? You did not discuss fees in advance? Did you file for bankruptcy previously?

Following is a link to New York's Rules of Professional Conduct. See Rule 1.5.

https://www.nycourts.gov/Rules/jointappellate/ny-rules-prof-conduct-1200.pdf
 
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