If I pay my attorney up front and then I am awarded court costs from my case, do I get my money back? 17 Answers as of May 20, 2013

If my lawyer says he will represent me for $5000 and I pay him $5000, then in court my case wins and I am awarded court costs, do I get my $5000 back that I paid?

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
Maybe, but you will not get it back from the attorney. You will get it back from the other side.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/20/2013
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
If reasonable attorney fees are part of the court costs then yes otherwise no.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/20/2013
Law Office of John G. Galasso | John George Galasso
Court costs are what the fees the court charges, such as filing fees; The only way to get your attorney fees back is if there is a court ordering the other side to pay attorney fees.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/17/2013
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
No, you can only recover the court costs, such as filing fees, service of process fees, deposition fees, etc. In order to get the money you paid you attorney, the judge would have to had specifically granted you attorney fees.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/16/2013
IT Forensics, Inc.
IT Forensics, Inc. | Christopher K. Steuart
This is a contracts issue. The retainer agreement should address this issue, retainers are generally held against future billing, but you could have done a flat rate contract-retainer. There are many ways this agreement could have been set up and states have different restrictions on retainer agreements. Start by reading the contract-retainer agreement.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/16/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    No, you get the $124 the attorney paid to start the case, the cost of depositions, etc. But you only get it if the other party pays it.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Kunin &Carman | Ishi Kunin
    That depends on your fee agreement. But it certainly sounds like you should be reimbursed if the court awards you fees in addition to the amount you and your attorney agreed upon.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Mavrides Law
    Mavrides Law | Marcia Mavrides
    That depends on whether you incurred fees in excess of $ 5,000.00 and the language of your fee agreement with your attorney is for hourly service charges. If your agreement was for "Flat Fee" service, then you should get the reimbursed amount. If it was an hourly rate arrangement, then you may owe your attorney the excess of your original retainer, if additional legal services were performed on your behalf that expensed more than your original retainer. You need to read your fee agreement and get an itemized bill from your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Not necessarily. Costs are different from fees. If he advanced your costs then he is entitled to be reimbursed for costs as well as his earned fees.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Shimberg and Crohn, P.C. | Jonathan Shimberg
    Costs are not attorneys fees. They are the filing fees.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    No.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Leonard J. Levenson Attorney At Law | Leonard J. Levenson
    OF COURSE NOT. WHO WOULD REIMBURSE YOU?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    There is a difference between court cost and legal fees, so I am a little confused, but if you paid your attorney 5k, and you went into court and the judge determined for what ever reason you were entitled to reimbursement of your legal fees then yes you get it back, but lets be clear not the money you already paid your attorney that is theirs, the other party owes you not your attorney, all that means is that the other side must pay you back for what you paid to your attorney, if they don't then your attorney can take them back into court on a contempt motion and the 5k now could turn into 6,500, 5k for you and 1,500 for your attorney to have to go back in to get the money for you that they should have paid in the first place.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    No. The opposing party will owe you the court costs that you paid to file your claim. Presumably, you hired an attorney to get the best possible outcome for your case. It sounds like he did that, so it was money well spent. There wouldn't be much incentive for lawyers to work hard on cases if they got $5000 for losing a case, but had to return the money if they won.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If he is paid by the hour, and the $5000 is the total then you should get that money back.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    That depends heavily upon what type of case you have, but in all reality, the appropriate answer is in the vast majority of cases, NO. You should definitely discuss this with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2013
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    Yes, once the other side pays it.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/16/2013
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