Can I Reclaim a Retainer Fee?

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‘How do I get a retainer fee back when I no longer need an attorney’s services?’

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If in fact you are confident that you have retainer funds left (i.e. all work completed has already been billed against the retainer, etc.) and you have requested that the remaining funds be returned and they have not, your next step should be to contact your state’s bar association to find out what your rights are with respect to the retainer funds. Then contact the attorney and advise them that if they do not return your retainer funds within the specified period of time, you will report them to the bar association.

In most states, retainer funds are required to be kept in a separate trust account, and to not be withdrawn until earned. Violation of this requirement is considered to be very serious by most state bar associations.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.