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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:01 PM
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Default Trial Retainer

Pre-trial conference is coming up and retainer has been given to the lawyer to cover pre-trial conference and a bit more, check cashed no problem.

Now lawyer is demanding another retainer for $xx,000.00 up front for a trial (and before the upcoming trial management conference) that will most likely take place in November or otherwise won't represent.

Can s/he demand it?

Thanks

Last edited by Mother; 04-07-2014 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:24 PM
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Depends upon what was written in the original agreement you signed when you first retained the lawyer.

Does your lawyer require this of everyone they represent through trial or are you acting as this lawyer's banker?

Large or small firm?
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:52 PM
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I think most of the time the initial retainer doesn't cover going to trial. I know my lawyer stated that if it went to trial she would need another larger retainer.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:14 PM
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Can't remember for sure what the agreement says, need to review it but I don't recall it says anything about paying $xx,000.00 up front and especially before trial management conference. Why would anyone pay up front before the TMC if the outcome is not known yet. What if the case is settled right then and there? It doesn't make any sense but again, I don't remember for sure.

As to what and how this lawyer charges the other clients - that's totally unknown. The list of the clients was not advertised as you can imagine.

Oh the size of the firm hmmm about 8 lawyers and it is outside of Toronto.4 locations across GTA. So is it a large firm? Doesn't looke like.

Last edited by Mother; 04-07-2014 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:19 PM
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I think it is pretty standard to pay up front. If you end up settling, you will receive a final bill and your deposit will be returned, its not like they keep it even if you settle. Because court is expensive, the lawyer wants to make sure their fees are covered. They certainly are not going to represent in hopes that they will one day get paid. I don't know of many lawyers that will go to court without a large retainer. Unfortunately, this is the reality of lawyers and court.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berner_Faith View Post
I think it is pretty standard to pay up front. If you end up settling, you will receive a final bill and your deposit will be returned, its not like they keep it even if you settle. Because court is expensive, the lawyer wants to make sure their fees are covered. They certainly are not going to represent in hopes that they will one day get paid. I don't know of many lawyers that will go to court without a large retainer. Unfortunately, this is the reality of lawyers and court.
Well, there is no expectation that any lawyer will work in hopes to get paid one day but to demand an amount to cover the whole trial is a bit excessive in my view.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:41 PM
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I suspect they ask for the entire amount up front, because they can't withdraw as counsel in the midst of trial if your funds run out. Which seems fair to me, I don’t find that contingency request excessive.

Ask them to confirm their trial rate (a different rate could apply) and if they would consider a payment plan for a portion of their requested retainer if you can't pull the entire amount together.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:56 PM
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Most matters don't go to trial.

I would review the original agreement you signed. Find out how many other retainers you might be required to post. I know some firms want expert witness fees and other large disbursements in advance.

Makes you want to settle doesn't it?
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:13 AM
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What happens if you don't go to trial? Why should you pay now???? I paid my lawyer a retainer as we went to pretrial. I expected to go to trial....and by some miracle of events---we settled at pretrial. I might ask your lawyer, why isn't he trying to help you avoid trial.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mememe View Post
What happens if you don't go to trial? Why should you pay now???? I paid my lawyer a retainer as we went to pretrial. I expected to go to trial....and by some miracle of events---we settled at pretrial. I might ask your lawyer, why isn't he trying to help you avoid trial.
My point presizely.
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