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got disappointed by attorney/friend.

Old 08-24-2015, 08:23 AM
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Default got disappointed by attorney/friend.

I know I'm going to offend some of you attorneys out there. Please understand that if I think it logically, I know not all of you are bad, problem is to find the good ones...

All my life I was among the ones that thought that ALL the attorney/lawyers out there were a separate species on earth trying to climb on the food chain above humans, and they have their special reserved place on hell...

One good day, I find myself in the situation that have to sue over somebody to resolve a partnership relation that went wrong.
I met this attorney that would work on these type of cases, solo practice guy, that would fight with nail and teeth for us and at the same time provide a lot of the emotional support that somebody that have never go through the motions and frustrations of a lawsuit would need.
His fees would be always VERY FAIR and I NEVER contested a single charge to the point that more than once, I would pay over the amount on the invoice.
From my perspective his services and professionalism was worth more, so I would pay more than the invoice total.

Always a straight shooter... If I would call him for a legal matter that was outside of his area of expertise, he would guide me and consult for me, into screening an attorney specialized on that particular problem so I would not get screwed over.
I would happily pay for these consulting services too....

Our families relation went over the strictly professional aspect. We are both boaters, shared similar political views, his family was in the health care business same as us, etc...

I can say that at one point, we become good friends. Not like we would get together every weekend, but a really close relation. I got to fully trust in him and I'm not that easy to trust people...

I thought the guy was the exception to the rule about lawyers/attorneys. I thought that FINALLY i was proved wrong and there was hope...

Well I got really disappointed...A couple of weeks ago, I needed to have a document reviewed and I thought it would be wise to have him look over it.
It took longer than expected because he wanted to redo it rather, than revising my draft, and he just so happen to go on a long vacation trip. I knew at that point that to redo it would take a little bit more than a couple of hours, but I thought "Hey, I trust him and if he thinks it needs to be re-done, it is what it is..."

Well to make a long story short, after everything was said and done I go t hit with an astronomical invoice... Not only the amount of hours used were crazy, but the fee was waaaaaaaaaay higher than always...
I got shocked at first. Would not know if it was for real or a joke. I was still trying to get my brain to process what the heck was going on, and I receive another email out of the blue scratching 6 or 7 hundred of the total "because he knew it took longer than what I thought it would take".
Now I got really pissed off... I said I would pay the full amount and explained that I was shocked and blame myself for trusting and not specifically asked him detailed expected costs.

He emails me back almost begging me to reduce the total to whatever amount I had originally budgeted for this project or to whatever makes me happy.

I had already set the on-line payment for the original amount.
I was pissed at first, then I was sad, and now i feel disappointed....
Not because the price, because I was not expecting a those shenanigans and bargaining from a friend.

I may be wrong. I might have hold him to a standard too high, I do not know....
Justified or not, I lost my faith in attorneys again.
Old 08-24-2015, 08:27 AM
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He sounds like a good guy. You sound like you let your prejudice against him finally get the better of you.
Old 08-24-2015, 08:33 AM
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Did you sign a fee agreement with him that spells out what he charges for his time and for his para-professional's time?
If so, there should have been no sticker shock.
Old 08-24-2015, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ronn Burgandy View Post
He sounds like a good guy. You sound like you let your prejudice against him finally get the better of you.
Agree with this. Perhaps he did not review the bill closely before it went out. It is common for lawyers to cut time when they see the pre-bill, and recognize something took more time than it should have. Work gets done over a month and the time can quickly add up. Your friend tried to fix it, but you would not let him. Give him the benefit of the doubt and let him either give you your money back or a credit for your next bill.

As for the rates, some lawyers have different rates for different kinds of work. Business transaction work may be billed higher than personal injury insurance defense. Or maybe his rates went up this year across the board, and you are just getting the new rates. You and he should communicate re: rates before work gets started so there are no surprises.
Old 08-24-2015, 08:44 AM
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Why not pick up the phone and discuss prior to posting on a public forum for advice? I cut deals all the time and sometimes fail to inform my girls before hand. This doesn't have to be a deal/relationship breaker but YOU need to step up with your concern with your friend.
Old 08-24-2015, 08:50 AM
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What's the problem? He came back and voluntarily reduced the bill. Bill probably got out of the office without it being completely reviewed or whatever. With no prodding from you, he reduced it.

Why did you get pissed off?
Old 08-24-2015, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Because Boat View Post
Did you sign a fee agreement with him that spells out what he charges for his time and for his para-professional's time?
If so, there should have been no sticker shock.
Not true at all. The amount per hour is just as relevant as the time it takes to produce work content.

I currently have over 35 attorneys engaged and have had to sever relationships with a few over the years.

An example, $300 an hour attorney "bills" 4 hours for a contract review or a $500 an hour attorney "bills" 1.5 hours for the same review. Which one would you rather have?

The problem is, in most cases, you have to work with the attorney to learn how they bill and to learn how efficient they are or in this case are not. In OPs case it appears there may have been a bait and switch.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:03 AM
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Exactly what is the problem? Seems you (the customer) and he (the vendor) had a billing dispute and he bent over backwards to try to resolve it and you wanted no part of it.

actually, post up his contact info, sounds like a great guy and good attorney, some in Fl may want to use his services.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Because Boat View Post
Did you sign a fee agreement with him that spells out what he charges for his time and for his para-professional's time?
If so, there should have been no sticker shock.
I do not need to sign agreements or contracts with friends, I shake hands and give my word. I take care of my friends as much as I can.

You want to imply I misjudged the relation and the friendship was not reciprocal, FINE... I can give you that.... and I would agree with you.

Now if you are my friend, and you happen to be in need of whatever I do for a living and I can't give it for free, I will try to do my best not to screw you and take advantage of you.
I'll charge you my cost and MAYBE the most minimum profit I would be willing to accept in any occasion, but I can assure you that I would give you my lowest acceptable # from the get go... I would not throw a crazy # to start and then go fishing for the most you would be willing to pay.

I do not know... just the way I was raised
Old 08-24-2015, 09:16 AM
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Doing business with friends is a sure way to be let down. I often see friends as patients for free knowing full well it probably wouldn't be reciprocated.

Face it, you ****** up. He did nothing wrong.

Not only did he do nothing wrong but he is bending over backwards to correct a fee that he would normally charge anyone else. If you're pissed you have issues.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenner 23 View Post
Why not pick up the phone and discuss prior to posting on a public forum for advice? I cut deals all the time and sometimes fail to inform my girls before hand. This doesn't have to be a deal/relationship breaker but YOU need to step up with your concern with your friend.
Really was not looking for advice, more like venting... Anyway you look at it, the blame is on me. It won't happen again.
The only extraordinary fact about this story from my perspective is that I thought that I had find the Blue Unicorn in the attorney/lawyers realm...

This is a solo practice guy that writes and sends the invoice himself. There was really not much room to blame somebody else.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Shiphascomein View Post
You and he should communicate re: rates before work gets started so there are no surprises.
The bane of every attorney is the fee dispute. 99% of the time it occurs as a result of poor communication. It is incumbent upon the attorney to make sure that doesn't happen. He failed, but recognizes his problem and strives to to correct it. I recommend that you do not allow your inherent bias to compound his error by refusing his generous offer.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Ronn Burgandy View Post
He sounds like a good guy. You sound like you let your prejudice against him finally get the better of you.
I was so confident on him being the exception to the rule that I can probably find at least 5 of my posts in this forum, on threads about people generalizing and bitching about lawyers, where I go to the extent of saying I was on the same boat as those generalizing until I met this guy.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:24 AM
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Doesn't sound like much of a friendship. My friends and I don't charge each other for help, I've paid friends who were professionals but most give a good deal as do I. He sounds greedy especially seeing how you've always paid him in the past. I've seen lawyers on this website offer their services for free to people they don't know.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:27 AM
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You violated a basic rule and that is never to do business with friends because sometimes unforseen issues arise due to no fault of either party.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
You violated a basic rule and that is never to do business with friends because sometimes unforseen issues arise due to no fault of either party.

Is that legal advice?
Old 08-24-2015, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by emudryj View Post
I was so confident on him being the exception to the rule that I can probably find at least 5 of my posts in this forum, on threads about people generalizing and bitching about lawyers, where I go to the extent of saying I was on the same boat as those generalizing until I met this guy.
I already established that you were prejudiced against him. No need to further argument my position.

You mentioned you work in healthcare. I sure hope you're not a doctor bitching about the rates of a lawyer.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rival1 View Post
Doesn't sound like much of a friendship. My friends and I don't charge each other for help, I've paid friends who were professionals but most give a good deal as do I. He sounds greedy especially seeing how you've always paid him in the past. I've seen lawyers on this website offer their services for free to people they don't know.
I agree with you 100%, but people have to pay bills and feed their families... I understand that and applaud that.

I've had friends requiring my services during times where my business was not doing stellar, and every penny counted.... During those times I could not have given my services for free because it would mean a loss and dig me further in the hole.
But you can be DAMN sure that, even though times were rough, I did not make a penny on top of the cost. I ask them to pay what my vendors where charging me AND THAT WAS IT!

When times got better, not even that.. the cost of helping a friend was easily diluted and I felt happy being able to lend a hand.

I'm not disappointed because he charged me. I was not expecting his services to be for free. I was disappointed because the amount of hours to do the job was way out of the normal, his fee per hour was higher than ever, and on top of that, what you guys call "correcting the error" I call it bargaining.
Old 08-24-2015, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
You violated a basic rule and that is never to do business with friends because sometimes unforseen issues arise due to no fault of either party.
So if we were doing business first and because of that we become friends.... how do we solve that?

The more I think it, the more I realize It was my fault for misjudging the relation and expecting others to act the way I would do it...
Old 08-24-2015, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Corndog38 View Post
What's the problem? He came back and voluntarily reduced the bill. Bill probably got out of the office without it being completely reviewed or whatever. With no prodding from you, he reduced it.

Why did you get pissed off?
x2.....step back and take a breath. ;?

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