Q: Is the fee reasonable? I paid a lawyer who states he charges $299 an hour, $7500 for representation on my first call.
Without doing my due diligence first, the lawyer called and found the case to be closed four years prior. He refunded me $2500 and I started arbitration. He then later offered a refund of $2500 and is desperately trying to justify 7-8 hours of work he has done to find out that my case was closed. He says he knows arbitration will give me some refund, but to not have the headache of a case upcoming he beleives, $2500 is justified price for his offices printing papers and calling arresting officer. He challenged me to ask other lawyers if this was fair in the world of lawyers. Mind you, the first refund offer was $1500, then after me filing he added another thousand. Knowing I wouldn't get the full $5000 back, would a refund of $2500 be fair in comparison to what I might receive from arbitration or is he trying to low ball me knowing if I accept he may have saved hundreds by not getting a decision from the arbitrator? Should I accept a $5000 refund or continue arbitration for more?
A: The answer that you don't want to hear is that it would be necessary to review all of the case documents to give you a proper answer. Maybe you can retain an attorney to do that for a negotiated flat fee up front, like 2 hours work. You certainly don't want to get into the same hole again, with a different attorney. 7-8 hours to find out the case was closed does seem a little unreasonable, but it might not be. Cannot really give you an answer on this public forum based on the facts you provided.
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