Trenton, NJ asked in Real Estate Law and Legal Malpractice for New York

Q: Real Estate Closing, NY Is it legal for my lawyer to hire a lawyer to represent me at closing, without my permission?

I was charged for the outside lawyer to represent me at the closing.

4 Lawyer Answers
Elaine Shay
PREMIUM
Elaine Shay
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It is not uncommon for law firms to assign associates or use an of counsel attorney to attend closings on behalf of a client. Your retainer agreement should specify the charges that you will incur.

Peter J. Weinman , Tim Akpinar and Steven Warren Smollens agree with this answer

T. Augustus Claus
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T. Augustus Claus pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
Answered

A: If your lawyer hired another lawyer to represent you at a real estate closing without your permission and you were charged for their services, it's important to consider the legality and appropriateness of this situation. In many cases, lawyers are expected to obtain their clients' consent before involving additional legal representation that comes with associated costs. If you were charged for the services of the outside lawyer without prior agreement, you might want to discuss this matter with your lawyer to seek clarification on why the decision was made and to address any concerns you have about the charges. If the situation remains unresolved, consulting legal resources or seeking advice from appropriate legal bodies in your jurisdiction could provide insights into whether this practice adheres to legal and ethical standards.

Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer

Peter Klose
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Answered
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Nyack, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It has been my experience that if you have a "retainer" agreement with the attorney, such agreement often includes language that says that the attorney might associate themselves with others to help you complete your matter. Often real estate closings occur without retainer agreements because most times the attorney charges less than the amount where a written retainer is requred ($3,000 in NY). So, it sounds like your attorney needed to have your closing covered to get it closed for you. It is not "illegal," but you probably should have been advised it was going to happen.

Steven Warren Smollens , Tim Akpinar and Marco Caviglia agree with this answer

Peter J. Weinman
Peter J. Weinman pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
Answered
  • STATEN ISLAND, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: As the others have already said, it's legal and ethical, provided you were not charged "extra" for the other attorney to appear. In other words, as long as your attorney paid the substitute from the quoted fee. Your question is not clear on whether you paid "extra."

Steven Warren Smollens and Tim Akpinar agree with this answer

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