Q: I thought I was one step from hiring an attorney. I simply asked how much he was charging so I could pay him up front and get things going. I haven’t heard back from him after I sent an email asking about meeting or faxing info to him. I wanted to pay him up front and deal with him on the 1st step as he had already put some time in talking to me and if things went further had already let me know I would be referred to someone else for further action, which I was fine with as I felt he deserved something for his time. After my email to confirm a payment amount I never heard back. Is it wrong to ask for pricing? I’m not someone who can just say bill whatever amount and be in debt to an attorney for $10,000 for a ten-minute conversation. Just want to know how to approach asking how to pay for their services please?
A: Of course, an agreement of potential fees should be discussed before any work commences. Likewise, any consultation fee should be communicated to you by the attorney before you start the consultation. Certain types of legal work require fees to be included in a written fee agreement signed by the attorney and the client. Ask the attorney and if you can’t reach an agreement, find another attorney. If you are sent a bill for a consultation and you never agreed to such billing, you may have a defense to not paying it.