It seems that the majority of my readers are seeking an attorney refund, so I thought it was important that I highlight an essential step. I hear countless stories of people who are trying to recoup $5,000 to $10,000 in legal fees because of a negligent attorney. Much like me, they are in a situation where they cannot afford to hire an attorney to help since the cost of the attorney fees exceed the amount they are trying to recover. You can discover more about this topic in Attorney Negligence And The Reality For The Average Consumer but read on if this sounds familiar.
In How To Dispute Attorney Fees – Part 2, I stressed that one must first build their justification for a refund around unearned attorney fees. Many people often make the mistake of trying to include damages, but this is a hopeless cause if you are going the route of your State Bar’s grievance process. They will only consider refunding actual fees paid to an attorney. Providing that your attorney sent you billing statements, another critical step is to scrutinize your bills. Some State Bar investigators might help you do this if you have advanced to the investigation stage, but I would take this action beforehand since they are often overburdened and cannot invest the time to do a thorough job.
In my e-book, Dispute It – A Layman’s Guide on How to Get an Attorney Refund & File a Bar Grievance, I provide a process that one should follow when writing a State Bar grievance against an attorney. In Chapter 2, I give an exhaustive list of actions you can take including how to interrogate your bill. Chapter 11 provides an example of my grievance filing and my line-by-line interrogation findings. However, a consistent theme throughout my e-book is to seek the help of professionals, and that leads me to the recommendation of companies that provide attorney bill auditing services. Had I known of AttorneyFeeAudit.com, I would have used them since they are very affordable. A recent reader of Dispute It wrote me with this is say, “First, I engaged http://www.attorneyfeeaudit.com/ to audit my bills. Any experience with them? So far, they have reviewed my largest invoice, and have pointed to many questionable billing practices. They only charge $25 per invoice, so for them to analyze all of my invoices it will be like $100.”
Now, many firms provide attorney bill auditing services, and a simple Google search will present you with options if you decided to shop around. Some cater to individuals and small businesses while others to large corporations.
In closing, interrogating your billing statement might not be possible if you never received a billing statement from your attorney. If this is the case for you, then do not be dismayed. I went the route of a fee dispute arbitration with the Houston Bar Association, and one of my complaints was that my attorney never provided a billing statement over several months of her representation. Despite not having this level of detail, I was awared a refund. If you are in a similar situation, read Dispute It and learn more about how I accomplished this.
Kenneth R. Gilley is the President of Kenneth R. Gilley & Co., LLC, a small digital marketing company. He is the author of the e-book, Dispute It – A Layman’s Guide on How to Get an Attorney Refund & File a Bar Grievance, and regularly contributes to his blog, MyLegalLessons.com. Ken holds a B.S. in Marketing from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, and lives in The Woodlands, TX.