Legal procedures question. NOT a legal question.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Mapsmith, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Not having really been that much involved with lawyers over the years, a question has come up that hopefully one of the legal minds here can provide an answer to. (and I know different legalities occur in different localities)

    When retaining an attorney, does the retainer become part of the pay for the lawyer's services?

    Case in point, we have retained an attorney to deal with the courts on my Mother's estate. The attorney asked for a nominal retainer. And the retainer contract identified a fee for opening and representing the Estate as well as allowing for "additional costs". When the Estate is closed, and the Attorney's fee is to be paid, does the retainer become part of that attorney's fee?
    gregm, MX and Sweet Willie like this.
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    The purpose of a retainer agreement is to specify what fees you'll have to pay, and the services to be delivered in return. It's definitely to your advantage that the agreement is crystal clear and leaves no room for alternative interpretations. One thing I know is that you can't ammend or clarify a written contract with a verbal comment. ;) I suggest that you write down how you'd like the agreement to read, then ask your attorney to insert that language into your contract. Don't be shy about negotiating with your attorney. The time to do it is before any services are delivered.
    Also, it your attorney responds to you with a written clarification, but balks at ammending the contract -- that can work too.
    gregm likes this.
  3. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    I would think the retainer would serve as a "down payment", no? (Credited to all fees once the total was finalized.)

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