Did You Know Our Retainers are Refundable?
Gone are the days when a handshake was all that was needed to secure a service that would be paid for when the work was completed. Unfortunately, some people will take advantage of a situation where they think they can get the work done and then walk away without paying. And an attorney deserves to be paid for their work. Many years of education, passing the Bar exams, setting up a practice, paying for legal costs such as filing motions and attending mediations and depositions, and completing continuing education requirements have a significant cost. So It is that the practice of charging an initial retainer is almost always standard procedure when you hire an attorney.
According to the Legal Information Institute, the definition of retainer is “A fee that the client pays up-front to an attorney before the attorney has begun work for the client.” A specific outcome for the case is not guaranteed. Rather, the retainer’s purpose is to allow the attorney to work on the client’s behalf. Once the money from the retainer is used, the attorney will require further payments to continue.
However, what happens if the case is resolved before the entire amount of the retainer is used? For example, a couple is filing for divorce. The husband has retained an attorney to litigate his position in the case. His retainer was $4.000. After the initial work of filing and preparing the case for court, the judge determines a mediation must be had before a court date can be set. Surprisingly the mediation goes well, and the couple agrees to a marital settlement which essentially is the final outcome. Now, when all is finished, the attorney has used $3,000 of the $4,000 retainer. Depending on the contract you signed with the attorney you retained will depend on whether you get back the remaining $1,000 or if the attorney keeps it. Hopefully, you will have asked the attorney their policy on returning unused retainer fees, and if not, you will have read the client contract so know if you will get the unused money back or not.
If you will need a Family Law attorney and live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Orange County, or Wahington DC or New York, there is an outstanding Family Law Lawyer, Attorney Grant Gisondo, whose practice is in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He is board-certified and DOES return any unused retainer money. Additionally, Attorney Gisondo offers a free, initial, in-office consultation so you can ask general questions, get to know him, and learn how he can help you. At this time, Attorney Gisondo will talk with you about his retainer policies and fee schedule. To make an appointment, please call his office at (561) 530-4568. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday for new clients from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.