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Q: Attorney Problem ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Attorney Problem
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: regino-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 08 Nov 2006 09:32 PST
Expires: 08 Dec 2006 09:32 PST
Question ID: 781079
I live in Texas and just had a run in with a lawyer.  I contacted him
for advice on setting up an Estate Plan and he mailed me a
questionaire to complete and told me over the phone that there would
not be a charge for the initial one hour consultation.  I never
completed the forms but we did have a one hour meeting.  After our
meeting I got a call from his secretary about setting up the next
meeting and told her that due to all the uncertenties with the new
Congress I wanted to waite so she sent me an invoice for $295. and
said it would be deducted from our next meeting.  I feel like I've
been ripped off - do I have any recourse?
Subject: Re: Attorney Problem
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 08 Nov 2006 12:36 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear regino-ga;

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question.
Certainly if you believe you are being charged irrisposibly or
unfairly you do have recourse. As one of the posts below pointed out
it appears that you have not established a formal attorney/client
relationship. In addition, you were merely taking advantage of a
complimentary information gathering consultation that was verbally
represented to you as a gratis offering.

Indeed it may be a good idea to POLITELY and PROFESSIONALLY respond to
the attorney in writing.  In your very non-confrontational letter the
initial position you should take is that you have notice an error in
their billing that is probably the result of an unfortunate oversight.
Briefly explain the circumstances. This should convey, but not
necessarily state outright, that you are, in no uncertain terms,
refusing to pay the bill.

Be sure you send your letter registered mail and make a copy of both
the letter and the return receipt (the return receipt will also have a
tracking number on it). You may need these documents if the attorney
responds negatively.

If he persists you still have a viable option at your disposal - one
that will almost certainly ?call off the dogs? if in fact the attorney
is acting unprofessionally. In the event you are not relieved of this
financial obligation you may have cause file a misconduct complaint
that may in turn stimulate an investigation and perhaps even
disciplinary action by the Office of the General Counsel State Bar of
Texas. If you continue to receive invoices, calls or find that your
credit has been negatively affected due to nonpayment of this supposed
obligation you should contact them here. Be prepared to provide dates
and times of the complimentary consultations or subsequent phone calls
as well as copies of all correspondences including a copy of the

Office of the General Counsel State Bar of Texas
P.O. Box 12487 
Austin, Texas 78711-2487 
(512) 463-1463 
1-800-932-1900 (toll-free)

?The Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar of Texas
distributes a brochure titled "Attorney Complaint Information" which
is designed to answer some common questions about the State Bar's
disciplinary process. The Texas Ethics Reporter publishes opinions
about attorney ethics and disciplinary actions to facilitate
understanding in this area.

"All lawyers in Texas have an obligation to maintain a high standard
of ethical conduct toward their clients and others. To enforce this
standard, the State Bar of Texas investigates and prosecutes
complaints of professional misconduct against attorneys licensed in
Texas." -- From the first page of the brochure "Attorney Complaint
Information." Below are set forth the Questions and Answers from the
brochure. Any references in the answers to "our" are references to the
State Bar of Texas authorities. If you have any further questions
about this process, please call the Office of the General Counsel of
the State Bar of Texas at 1-800-932-1900 toll-free.?

Be sure you read this article from the State Bar that explain the
procedure that should be followed with regard to fee disputes:


You will find the grievance form and instructions on this page

Here is the State Bar of Texas Grievance Hotline: toll-free (800)932-1900.

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher






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regino-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Excellent work.  Thank you for your help and thank you for the
comments as well.  I am so glad I found this site, it is a wonderful
way to help one another out.

Subject: Re: Attorney Problem
From: nelson-ga on 08 Nov 2006 10:52 PST
You haven't been ripped off until you actually lose any money.  Write
a letter to the attorney.  Make a copy and send it registered mail. 
Tell him that you have not established a client-attorney relationship
and that you will not be paying him, since you only had the free
initial consultation.
Subject: Re: Attorney Problem
From: ubiquity-ga on 08 Nov 2006 11:52 PST
I agree with the person above in large.

However, an attorney-client relationship was formed!  Which is to say,
anything you told the attorney is confidential.

I would write a letter to the attorney, as stated above, and inform
him that if he continue to request an invoice, your next letter will
be to the bar association.

If he continue, write a letter to the bar association and cc a copy to
him.  If you have anything in writing, an advertisement or whatever
that sayd the consultation was free, include a copy of that.

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