ABA Journal


Law Scribbler Podcast

How Can You Make Sure Your Client Pays You What You’re Owed?

Apr 16, 2012, 01:30 pm CDT


Sometimes you are best to save your time and let them go.  If they do not have a roof over their head and cannot keep the wolf from the door, suing to obtain your fees is an exercise in futility.  In addition, this often leads to malpractice suits (which leads to more possible regulatory investigations) with you being personally bad mouthed and lack of respect for the legal profession. 
The best thing to do is if you can come to an agreement for your services, let them know your fees are discounted and have them pay you a fixed amount each month.  They should cover your actual costs.  Also, let them know that you are giving of your time and best efforts and cannot do so for free.  There are expenses that need to be met.  Many in the general public have the impression that ALL lawyers are rich.  Show them respect.  If they stiff you, then withdraw to cut your losses and do not represent them again.

By Pacific on 2012 04 16, 7:40 pm CDT


By NoleLaw on 2012 04 17, 1:02 pm CDT

In California, the statute of limitations on a legal malpractice claim is generally one year.  The statute of limitations on an attorney’s fee claim based on a written agreement is generally four years.  If an attorney feels compelled to pursue collections against a former client, it pays to wait a year until after the representation terminates.

By Jonathan Starre on 2012 04 24, 10:11 pm CDT

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