Alexandria, VA asked in Contracts for Virginia

Q: Had a trial Nol Prossed the day before trial. What do I owe?

I had a legal services contract totaling $20k. $10k Base legal services. Additional 10k if the charge went to jury trial. It ended up going to jury trial and i paid the extra cost. The day before we go to trial the case was Nol Prossed. What do i owe my lawyer?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy R Johnson
Timothy R Johnson
  • Berryville, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: It comes down to the very specific language of the retainer agreement. It may be interpreted that once preparation for jury trial commenced in anticipation of a jury trial, the attorney would earn the extra $10,000; but it may also be interpreted that only once the jury trial COMMENCED would the attorney have earned his $10,000.

Additionally, there are ethics rules concerning whether an attorney's fee is "reasonable," under the circumstances that may affect whether your lawyer would be willing to refund you some or all of the extra charges.

I would suggest you first try to resolve any fee disputes with your attorney before seeking outside intervention. If it cannot be resolved amicably, then you may want to consider contacting the Virginia State Bar's Fee Dispute Resolution Program.

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