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.
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.
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.
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.
Marco Caviglia agrees with this answer
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."
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