What Is A Retainer And Why Do Attorneys Require Them?
With most, if not all other professional service industries, customers typically do not pay for services prior to those services being rendered.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you paid your doctor or psychiatrist’s a lump sum of money prior to visiting their office? Your answer is likely never.
The legal industry is different. Unlike psychiatrist’s, doctors, accountants, and other professional service industries, law firms typically require clients to pay a retainer into a client trust account at the initiation of the client’s representation.
what is a trust account?
A trust account is a highly regulated banking account which attorneys place client’s funds into. The fact that the funds deposited are “client funds” is crucial to understand. Even though you might give your attorney two thousand dollars on Monday, if said deposit was a retainer, that money is still yours.
Until the law firm bills against the amount deposited, the lawyer has NO right to said funds. Although it would likely harm your case, in theory, you could change your mind on Tuesday and demand your retainer back the day after you paid it to your attorney.
Unless the lawyer had performed billable work on the case since the deposit, most if not all of the client’s retainer must be returned to the client.
Why do attorneys require retainers?
At first, the requirement that a client pay a lump sum retainer to his or her attorney might appear to be an unreasonable burden. However, doing so is in the best interest of the client.
Litigating a client’s case requires numerous expenses. The cost of depositions, investigators, mailing, filing fees, costs for conducting service upon opposing parties quickly add up to sizable amounts.
Depending upon its length, a deposition can cost anywhere between five hundred or more dollars. Having the firm’s process server conduct service of complaints and other documents upon opposing can cost fifty to one hundred dollars. Experts typically charge several hundred an hour depending upon the expertise of said witness.
Having a lump sum of money on hand that the lawyer knows he or she can draw upon to employ experts or sending out needed subpoenas, assures that your case will not be delayed by lack of funds.
Contact The Lockwood Legal Group, LLC today!
If you think you might have a case, it is crucial you contact a qualified attorney right away. We understand litigation is often daunting to those who are not attorneys. but rest assured, we will be here for you all throughout the process. No one fights harder for their clients then attorneys of The Lockwood Legal Group, LLC.
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