Is there a good and effective way to ask for a retainer that implies suspicion on their practice as one of the reasons we are firing them? 6 Answers as of April 24, 2013

I hired a law firm to handle a loan modification. They referred us to a per diem paralegal who I come to find is involved with another law firm as stated on her Linkdn account and after finding a plethora of complaints against that particular law firm with regard to loan mod scams. I even found a summons officially filed in NYS as they were being sued for fraud and misrepresentation by 11 individuals on one summons. We met with her twice, no papers were filed to our loan servicer, nor any financials submitted to her for submission as our financials were not in good order at the time. She spoke in circles each time we met. No answers. Told us to stop paying our mortgage and to not speak to the bank. A flake all around. Should have walked away, yes. But we thought she was just the paralegal we would meet with initially and we never got to meet the attorney we had been there to see. I paid 1500.00 towards a 2500 retainer. I want at least 1000.00 returned as she will likely bill be for the two appointments we had. Is there a good and effective way to ask for a retainer that implies suspicion on their practice as one of the reasons we are firing them? It can't possibly be as simple as asking for my money back.

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Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Just ask or a full refund due to the circumstances. If they won't cooperate, start a fee dispute with the Nevada State Bar.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/24/2013
Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
One of my favorite sayings is "If you can divorce a spouse, you can fire your attorney." It appears that you have already in your mind dismissed this paralegal, the supervising attorney whoever that may be, and the law firm. You should send a letter, preferably by certified mail, dismissing the law firm and also asking for an accounting of time spent on your case and a refund of any unearned fees. If that is not forthcoming within a reasonable period of time, I would suggest you file a bar complaint. At first blush, I would guess the firm will find a way to keep the retainer. But demand a billing statement anyway.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 4/10/2013
Stacy Joel Safion, Esq.
Stacy Joel Safion, Esq. | Stacy Joel Safion
A modification company or law firm cannot accept an advance or up front payment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Ask for your money back or tell them you will go to the attorney general. If she is not a true employee of the law firm, then she is part of fraud as well.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/9/2013
Frank Law Group, P.C.
Frank Law Group, P.C. | David E. Frank
There are a lot of scams out there. Best thing to do is call the state bar and file a complaint. David E. Frank
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2013
    Janke Legal Consulting | Bruce C. Janke
    You are entitled to a refund of your entire payment. California law very strictly prohibits anyone, even lawyers, from charging advance fees for loan modification. (Civil Code section 2945.4). Sue both lawyers and the paralegal in Small Claims Court if they refuse to refund your money. Also report the attorneys to the State Bar.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/9/2013
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