Q: Can a lawyer invoice you without a representation agreement?
My mom has a legal issue. She's not technically inclined. I found an attorney who might be able to help her and filled out the contact form on their website. The attorney responded back and asked me to explain the issue. Once I did, they said she should come in for a free consult. She met with their firm, felt disrespected, and told them she'd be in touch if she wanted to move forward. That was in November of last year.
Last week they sent her an itemized invoice for $2k. It included $1k for the emails they sent me before meeting her, $500 for "research", $500 for "review of and preliminary preparation for document related to case", and a $0 charge for the consult. I never signed anything with them. She only signed a check-in sheet when she arrived for the appointment. They never even presented a representation agreement, SOW, or list of fees. Do they have a right to invoice her when she's not their client and what can they do if she doesn't pay them?
A lawyer is entitled to charge a reasonable fee for legal services performed at a person’s request.
Some lawyers agree to review documents sent to them via email before an initial consultation, and may even agree to perform some preliminary research. It sounds like this happened in this case. These are legal services for which compensation would normally be expected.
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