Can we get unearned legal fees back from the lawyer?

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Question:

Last year, my husband and I were having some problems and we separated temporarily. During this separation, he saw an attorney and started divorce procedures. He paid $800 to this attorney, had one visit, and never followed through with anything else. The attorney wrote him a letter asking what he wanted to do. There is now a credit of $692 left on his account. Is there any way of recouping this money?

Answer:

A rare breed: a simple question with a simple answer. Just ask for the money. The sum that lawyer kept was called a retainer, and the law requires him to return the unused portion of it. Your husband should explain that he's no longer interested in a divorce and no longer needs the lawyer's services.

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