Often when hiring an attorney, you will be asked to pay a lump sum up front. This sum is called a retainer. Your attorney will bill their hourly rate, and they will use the money in this retainer to pay it instead of sending you a bill.

What Happens If I Paid More Than my Lawyer Earned?

However, what if the total amount billed by your attorney does not exhaust the retainer fee? This could happen if you decide to stop pursuing legal action, or your case ends unexpectedly through a settlement or other means. The good news is that you should be able to receive a refund on the money that is leftover after covering all of the legal fees. Simply contact your lawyer and ask for a final accounting and a refund for any unearned legal fees.

Avoid Overpaying Legal Fees

It is very important to get your attorney’s fee structure in writing. That way, you fully understand the fees being charged, and you eliminate the risk of any miscommunication about what fees you are responsible for.