If my attorney quits and he's on a contingency, can he still charge me? - Accident Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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If my attorney quits and he's on a contingency, can he still charge me?

My lawyer quit and he's on a contingency basis. He sent me a letter stating that I owe him 18,000 dollars. My question is: If he quits, can he still charge me if its a contingency basis?

Answer By David Hoines
David Hoines Law
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Read your written agreement with lawyer, but ordinarily not.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/14/2013

Answer By Ray Critchett
E. Ray Critchett, LLC
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He or she may be entitled to quantum meruit.

Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/9/2013

Robert R. Goldstein, Attorney at Law
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It depends largely on what your written fee statement says. If there is no written fee statement, then it will depend on how much work the attorney actually did before the attorney-client relationship was ended.

Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/7/2013

Answer By John Russo

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They put a lean on the file and if you settle they get paid.

Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 12/7/2013

Answer By Robert C. Slim
Robert C. Slim - Attorney at Law
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Under Texas law, he can if you failed to cooperate with him in the investigation and prosecution of the claim, or if you did something to thwart his efforts in representing you.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/7/2013

Answer By George H. Shers

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You have a binding contract with him and the only right he has is to impose a lien on any settlement or judgment in the case. So he has to wait until the case is resolved and then he can claim a part of the attorney fees payable, which again is on a contingency fee basis. Be sure that he gives you fairly soon all of your file, including his notes and research. You may be able to argue that he should get less than his demand because he quit and it was not you who fired him; your new attorney may make that argument because he will be sharing the fee with the old attorney. It will, however, be more difficult to find a new attorney as a new attorney will feel that the first $18,000 of his fee will be paid to someone else. If you can not find a new attorney you might contact the local bar association and see if this is something that can be handled by its fee arbitration panel.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/6/2013

Answer By Edwin K. Niles

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As a general rule, if you discharge the lawyer he is entitled to be paid hourly. On the other hand, if he discontinues the representation he is not entitled to be paid.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/6/2013


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He is entitled to get paid for the costs he has paid or become obligated to pay. He may be entitled to place a lien on the file for the time he invested in taking the case to that point.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/6/2013

Answer By Thomas E. Gates

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You need to see the terms of your Contingency Agreement.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 12/6/2013

Answer By Pius Joseph

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If it is pure contingency he cannot charge you any fees. As to costs it depends on how your agreement is framed.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/6/2013

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