Legal cases and its ups and downs can be so complicated even for the simplest cases. It’s very important to be on good terms with your lawyers regarding terms and conditions, fees, expectations etc. A legal retainer agreement will help you clarify and formalize the case. It is an outline between you and your attorney about securing the service with a payment issue.
This type of agreements is not mandatory, but it is a proper way to keep clarity with your clients. But for a client, not signing the form is your only duty, you must understand the retainer to navigate your rights and restrictions. Let us discuss some of the important parts to take notice before agreeing on signing the legal form-
Cautions before Signing Legal Retainer Agreement
Some basic rules before signing
Reading the terms and conditions
The paper will be solely written on the lawyer’s terms and with full of legal jargons. So before signing, take time, understand every rule and then sign. As the lawyers will write the paper, you should have the knowledge to discuss or negotiate the terms and money related issues.
The retainer fee is the lawyer’s charge for running the trial. There should be detailed discussion and examples of every variation that may come in the way. For example, payment management, bank papers and sometimes the client pays the money after the compensation. So, fix every money management issues beforehand.
There are some other client expenses which should be mentioned, such as case filing related expanse or travel costs. Otherwise, the dispute is very near.
There are many other matters that should be mentioned in the agreement for instance,
Damage fees in case of a dispute
Expectations, cooperation and communication with the client
Right to terminate the retainer agreement of lawyer and client etc.
How does the payment account work?
According to the agreement, you both need to open individual work account. There the client will deposit the money in the retainer account. Then when the case progresses, the attorney will withdraw a fixed amount of money and save the bills for evidence. It could be monthly or trial based; the decision is made by both of you.
Benefits of the form
A retainer is a beneficiary for both the client and the attorney. With the fixed deposited money, the attorney will have a regular payment assurance which may inspire and speed up the work. They can withdraw the money with a certain interval.
The client also gets benefits for it. It fixes the budget for all the legal expanse from day to dawn. For the limited budget, they don’t need to worry about any expanded money.
But there is one disadvantage to it. Unfortunately, if the whole case doesn’t get the favour of justice, the money cannot be refunded.
Is a retainer agreement required?
In every business relation, there is no value for oral acceptance. There should be a written and verified legal document mentioning the terms and conditions of both of the parties. In this way, it will be easy to understand and work with your attorney. For setting the terms, the plaintiff can also get idea from other lawyers just in case.
Retainer violation can occur in many ways; for example,
Trying to get away with the loophole of the agreement
Using the payment for personal issues rather than the trial
Failure by the lawyer to refund even if the retainer said so.
Generally, when the lawsuit acknowledges the violation, they will pay you remedies to help with the losses.
How to cancel a retainer agreement?
Firstly, before signing any agreement, please hold the right to cancel the form at any time. Then to cancel it, you must deliver a formal letter about the cancellation. It should be properly dated, your reason for termination (optional), give argument on the basis of your decision etc. And if your previous lawyer holds the important case files, request him to return it. Just know, you have every right to terminate your lawyer but for the proper reason.
Hire a family lawyer Saskatoon.
In the legal business, a formally written, verified, a fixed budget form can amp up the confidence for both parties. There are risks of unused payments, but that is why suggest you to counsel with other lawyers before choosing the final one. By this, you will know how to deal, negotiate and navigate your rights and restrictions instead of blindly trusting a law firm.