if i paid a lawyer already and he hasnt done anything for me can i get my money back altho we had a contract?

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if i paid a lawyer already and he hasnt done anything for me can i get my money back altho we had a contract?

he never let us know what was going on,never returned calls,never knew how alot of stuff that was going on with me going on. he says the money was for my bond but his contract says money was used for him being my lawyer

Asked on April 17, 2009 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

 We don't know the facts or how much you paid but a lot of what you seem to be complaining about sounds like whining. Again we don't know all the details so you may be absolutely right and the lawyer you selected may be one of the bad lawyers who give the profession a bad name. It's just that most criminal defendants are never satisfied with their lawyers unless they are acquitted, and then think it cost too much or took too long.

If you paid the millions that OJ paid and the lawyer did very little work you would have a far better claim for a partial refund than if you paid a few hundred or a thousand dollars and expected the lawyer to be at your beck and call; it also depends on what the money was used for.

If the lawyer used some of your fee for a bail bond to get you out of jail, it won't matter what the retainer said to the extent the money was used for your benefit. If you pleaded guilty to a lesser offense my sense is that the lawyer did his job and earned his fee and you have buyer's remorse.

The best way to resolve this is to contact your local bar association. They usually have a procedure to resolve fee disputes between clients and lawyers.  Sometimes it involves fee dispute arbitration.

The good news is that if your lawyer was one of the bad bunch known for over-charging and/or under-performing it is very likely his or her colleagues will know that too, and you'll likely be pleasantly surprised by the result.

On the other hand, if you are being unreasonable or trying to weasel out of paying a fair fee, they are likely to sense that too. So would a judge were you to try to sue the lawyer for a refund.


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