East Providence, RI asked in Contracts, Tax Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Massachusetts

Q: Hired Tax attorney in Massachusetts. How can we avoid paying more than 8K due to engagement letter not followed by him.

engagement doc signed & advance 8kpaid in Apr. He didn’t send monthly invoices as per engagement doc. Didn’t tell us when the cost of services exceeded 8k. He sent invoice of 23k in Aug. Engagement doc excerepts - The firm’s charges are hourly.Invoices will be sent on monthly basis for services rendered . You’ll pay amounts due within 15 day. If firm incurs expenses to collect amount owed, you’ll be liable for costs. If the dispute can’t be resolved the matter will be placed before Fee Arbitration Board Mass, or other dispute body. You’ll be responsible for costs of arbitration, including firm costs.

Our regular practice is to ask for advance against our future billings. For your matter we have requested advance of $8k. advanced funds will be placed in office’s non-interest client escrow account & will be applied toward our services, but only after a statement has been sent to you. At such time as balance of advance has been substantially reduced, we’ll ask you to replenish fund.

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Arbitration & Mediation Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX

A: You can dispute whether the attorney actually performed the services described in the invoice and whether they are reasonable and necessary with the Fee Arbitration Board.

Nothing you quoted requires the attorney to receive prior approval by you to exceed the initial retainer of $8k. Nothing you quoted deprives the attorney of the right to compensation if he fails to bill you monthly. IMO those are not valid defenses to not paying the invoice.

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