Can my attorney file a motion to withdraw due to non-payment when they failed to bill? 1 Answers as of June 29, 2015

My attorney sent me an invoice 14 months after I paid my initial retainer. It was a divorce case and we were not in court for a six month period but somehow there are charges for "work completed on my case". I had no idea that my retainer had run out nor was I aware that I was accruing a balance. I received the first invoice two months ago and now my attorney wants to withdraw from my case for lack of payment. After I received the invoice, I was told by the receptionist that a payment plan was no problem and she would talk to the owner and get back to me. When I didn't hear from her, I called back where she then stated that a payment plan was out of the question and they were putting in a motion to withdraw. I told her I had no problem paying the bill. I just needed some assistance since they took over a year to send me an invoice. I have paid them an additional $1000 on the $5000 balance and plan on having it paid off soon. I was one court date away from having my divorce finalized. Can attorneys just abandon their clients due to their poor billing practice?

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Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
The attorney can file a motion to withdraw. You can oppose it, or ask the court to determine what you owe. An attorney does have an obligation to inform the client of what is happening in a case and account for charges to the client. Do you really want to be represented by an attorney who wants to get out of the case? You may be better off finding other counsel and asking the court to determine what their fee should be.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/29/2015
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