If my attorney quits and he's on a contingency, can he still charge me? 19 Answers as of December 19, 2013

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?

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David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Read your written agreement with lawyer, but ordinarily not.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/19/2013
E. Ray Critchett, LLC
E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
He or she may be entitled to quantum meruit.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/10/2013
Robert R. Goldstein, Attorney at Law
Robert R. Goldstein, Attorney at Law | Robert R. Goldstein
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: 12/10/2013
John Russo | John Russo
They put a lean on the file and if you settle they get paid.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 12/10/2013
Robert C. Slim, Attorney at Law
Robert C. Slim, Attorney at Law | Robert C. Slim
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: 12/10/2013
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    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
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    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
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    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
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You need to see the terms of your Contingency Agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
    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
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    You need to read the Agreement you and the attorney made @ the outset of the representation as it's terms will more than likely control. Typically Michigan attorneys will agree to a contingent fee in a personal injury case wherein you owe no attorney fees if the case is not successful; however, most attorney Agreements, and the Michigan Court Rules, require you to remain responsible for the costs of the case (these are not attorney fees, but monies advanced by the attorney to 3rd parties, such as experts, doctors, court reporters, the court, etc.).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    Lewis B. Kaplan | Lewis B. Kaplan
    Look at your written fee agreement which I must assume you have for terms regarding fees .
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Read your contract. If he quits because you have been uncooperative and failed to follow his advice he would be entitled to be paid normally on some hourly or flat fee basis. The question is" what does your contract say? and why does he want out. normally a lawyer will not want out unless his client is misbehaving or not following his advice.if the fault is yours pay him.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    He can receive what is called quantum meruit, or the value of the services provided, once the case resolves, but not before.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
    The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
    You haven't posted enough information for a definitive answer, but if the lawyer got you a settlement offer and you refused it and he quit, he may have a claim for his contingency fee based on the offer he got you. Your question illustrates the importance of signing up with a lawyer you can trust.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    Ricks & Associates | Kenneth R. Ricks
    If your contingency lawyer quits he is only entitled to his reasonable costs and nothing else. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    David P. Slater, esq.
    David P. Slater, esq. | David P. Slater
    Not without a court order. Why did he Quit?
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    He probably won't charge a fee but may look to get his costs and expenses back. Check your contract with him to see if he has that right. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/6/2013
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    Whether he quits or is fired, he still must be paid. If your contract does not address the issue, a judge may have to determine the amount he gets. He gets nothing until your matter is settled or tried.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/6/2013
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