Can I get my retainer back from a law firm?

Q: I recently hired a law firm, but the attorney that I spoke to transferred my case to one of his partners without my consent. I paid the firm $3,500 for the retainer. However, since they changed my attorney without my consent or prior knowledge I no longer wish to do business with this firm. (The initial attorney told me that I would be working with him exclusively and then threw in partners and paralegals after payment was made) I did not sign anything (they do have a form). The “contract” is oral. Since firm has done no work for me yet (initial consultation was free), can I ask for my $3,500 back? Since there is no signed contract another attorney who is a friend told me to contact my credit card company to process a charge back if they don’t comply with my request. (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: If you have no signed contract, and work has not begun, you have a good chance in getting your retainer back. You need to act as soon as possible before they can bill for work. I would call first thing in the morning, send an email and hand deliver a letter to the firm, or if not overnight it with some sort of confirmation. You could also call your credit card company and stop payment or file a dispute, but you need to do that asap.

View Attorney Profile

William R. Pelger

Licensed since 1987

Member at firm Pelger Law

AWARDS

Champion Badge Silver

RECENT POSTS

William R. Pelger

Licensed since 1987

Member at firm Pelger Law

AWARDS

Champion Badge Silver

RECENT POSTS