Professional ethics

Can a lawyer charge fees past a FLAT FEE agreement, especially when no charges were brought against the client to begin with?

I discontinued work on my case for my lawyer. He gave me an itemization of fees which exceeds the FLAT fee we agreed upon. In our retainer agreement and discussion we set a flat fee for his services which included if the case was brought to court. Ten months have passed and know charges have been brought upon myself. The bill exceeds the retainer fee (Flat Fee) and his hourly rate was never discussed or agreed upon by myself. What are my options? The fees are excessive and shocking.

Nathan’s Answer

The fee agreement, if one exists, and amendments to such an agreement, if there are any, control. If this continues to be an issue, you can negotiate with the attorney directly, or have other counsel speak to your counsel to straighten this out. You can also not pay, and possibly face fee arbitration and/or litigation.

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