lawyers are crooks

Old 12-04-2007, 07:49 AM
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lawyers are crooks

i got an email today from my lawyer i used to 6 weeks this summer..he says i owe him another 5,000!! i paid him $10,000 already...this is crazy!!! $15,000 for 6 weeks...what exactly did he do that he is charging that kind of money...that is insane....what am i going to do??? i dont have another $5000--i didnt even have the $10,000--i just put it on my charge...

Lawyers are absolute crooks....!!
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:53 AM
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yep, ask him for an itemized statement, if theres thing listed he billed for and you dont believe he did, circle them and file them with the bar grievance commitee, ASAP.

Although if his hourly rate is $300, then 50 hours of work does sound reasonable
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:57 AM
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You may want to make sure that your hubby wasn't calling him on your nickle. Given the fact that he is also an attorney, I imagine they could get the call through easier.
I know we all have to make a living, but I can't imagine anything I could be so brilliant at to "earn" $300/hour.
I'm in the wrong business.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:59 AM
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They will nickel and dime you to death. They are required to give you an itemized statement of their services. There are some good ones out there, but few and far between.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:21 AM
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It's not uncommon for a lawyer to have a $300 hrly rate. But let's face it...he not spending 7-8 hrs a day on your're not his only client. Cinder had a good idea...ask for a detailed invoice. That will show you every minute and every hour he spent on your case and what he spent it doing. Once you look over the invoice then see what you can work out from there. If it's all on the up and up then you can work out a payment plan with him. You wouldn't be the first who couldn't pay a bill in one lump sum.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:58 AM
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Reading through your posts regarding your conversations with your attorney and the hearings and the crap your AH pulled, Id say 50 hours in 6 weeks would be extremely easy to run up. Id still ask for the bill though, and 200 to 300 an hour for a family law attorney is average nationwide
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:06 AM
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I agree with Cinder----if you have a case that there is no hope in settleing or it takes a long time to settle those hours are reasonable. And $200-300 is not out of the ordinary, its actually very common for an established attorney with a good track record.
I do agree though, there are still some crooked attys out there so get an itemized statement and dispute what you don't agree with.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:09 AM
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Hey, hey, now!! I'm a lawyer! I worked really hard to be one, too. I know that there are some bad lawyers out there just like there are bad apples in every profession but please try not to judge them all so harshly!!

By all means, get an itemized statement. Also, take a look at your retainer agreement. It will spell out if your attorney charges a flat or hourly fee for the service you hired him to perform.

I don't practice family law. People going thru a divorce are often very emotional. They aren't always thinking straight. Their decisions and actions can be driven by alot of things/factors other than logic and common sense. Just keep in mind that if you didn't follow your lawyer's advice, than you might as well have taken your money and thrown it out the window! ITs like seeing a doctor and refusing to take tests that he ordered because you know better! I seem to recall alot of posts about how you were ambivilent about the divorce...Can you honestly say that you followed your attorney's advice or did you chose to do things your way thereby causing additional expense and time for the attorney you hired? Its possible that you drove the bill up by your own decisions. Its also possible that he overcharged you. Please look into it but keep your own side of the street clean on this issue too!!!
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:18 AM
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ask for the bill like the others suggested............

as I have mentioned before we went thru a custody battle for 5 years........SO boy do I know how the bills add up...........not to mention how they double and triple when we got to the appeals case...........But I was surprized to find that even the calls to the legal assistant were billed and when he ( the lawyer) called me and asked me to fax something to him...............I was billed for the call and his time in reviewing the fax.........
but thats his job and thats how he gets paid...................I can also honestly say that many times that he talked to me or my husband or when he set time aside to reach the child psychologist during her lunch break.....he never charged us at all.

hang in there............and call and ask about payments........that may help.

PS>>>>your husband is an attorney right? so you may already know this stuff and are just venting from the shock of the amount.............its ok vent if you need to
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cece1960 View Post
I know we all have to make a living, but I can't imagine anything I could be so brilliant at to "earn" $300/hour.
I'm in the wrong business.
FWIW when I was in the wedding photography business I earned $300 an hour. Fact is there were times when I earned more than that.

Prices have been watered down by digital over night wonders for sure, but it is still possible to earn $300 an hour as a photographer....

...and a lawyer has a lot more education and overhead to maintain....

However, price needs to be discussed with any professional prior to hiring that professional to do any job. Matters not if it is plumbing or lawyering or even doctoring. Get an estimate.

BTW that is a LOT of money.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:39 PM
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A law degree is a licensed to steal. I have always thought that I got screwed in my marriage and F..... in the divorce by the family law atty.
It is called "pumping the file" to find reasons to bill you.
You can negotioate that fee. Then you don't have to pay in full.
Make small payments. Don't get taken.
Every single family law atty. I have dealt with or anyone I know takes major $$$$$ advantage.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:07 PM
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I am not a lawyer, I have been in need of their services on several occasions.

I am glad they took care of the stuff they took care of. It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it.

I can't imagine the dirt a divorce lawyer must have to deal with... I am sure a good one (lawyer) is worth every penny.

I think if I was a lawyer I would charge more if someone did not take my advice but that's just me.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:29 PM
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I've spent a great deal of time with my attorney and my bill wasn't anywhere near that amount. However, mine charges $150/hour and I think I currently owe him approximately $2200. This is from our divorce (which was initiated exactly two years ago today) and issues I've been trying to resolve after-the-fact.

I'd do as the others suggested and ask for an itemized statement. Mine always has a breakdown of how much time he spent on each "issue". Luckily, mine is very patient with my piddly amounts I sent him every other month.

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Old 12-05-2007, 04:49 AM
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I work in the law field and honestly everyones gotten so suspiscious that the ones that do fluff up their bills get caught and go to Federal Prison. Theres a lot of work that goes into everything a lawyer and their assistant do, drafting a motion on your behalf for an example can take several hours between research and stuff, and there are usually several drafts.

At my firm we bill for everything we do but before the bill is sent out the attorneys scratch off half of it.

Just ask for the statement and even if it seems extensive analyze each thing, you and your husband were back and forth thats a sticky situation that requires lots of paperwork and calls if he was trying to help you.

and remember the lawyers dont get that money, theres computer costs office costs secretary costs courier costs postage copies etc.
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:27 AM
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I think it's odd the lawyer didn't send you an itemized statement, but maybe I was spoiled? My lawyer was awesome ~ in fact after the divorce was final I told her I'd never tell another lawyer joke! She knew I was broke, and made sure she advised me the least expensive route to go on all points of the divorce. Her hourly rate was $250, but she took $25/hour off because of my finances and situation. The divorce ended up costing me around $3500 start to finish. I was lucky in that XAH didn't get a lawyer ~ he depended on me to take care of things right to the end ~ so we didn't have to run up money fighting over "stuff". She also gave me a lot of "free" advice, which has been a godsend.
Your bill doesn't sound unrealistic, but for sure get an itemized statement.
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