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What does this mean to you?


Senior Member
An attorney I've been working with left me a voicemail, and I won't be able to call back until Tuesday.

I paid $1000 up front for him to file a QDRO. When we first met, way back in May, he told me that he might not be able to do it (for reasons that don't matter right now), and that he would refund me the $1000 if that was the case.

Months and months have gone by since he left me a voicemail saying that, as he suspected, he wasn't going to be able to file it (NOBODY would be able to file it). I called back, and left a voicemail reminding him that he said he would refund my $1000 if that happened.

No response.

I left another message last week, and this is the voicemail I received yesterday:

"After discussing the issue with bookkeeping, we have agreed to issue you a $1000 credit."

So at first, I thought, "Finally! I'll get my money back!" But when I mentioned it to my daughter, she thinks that it means a CREDIT on my account with them, like for future services.

What do you think it means? It's literally keeping me awake at night. :(


Senior Member
I also agree with your daughter’s interpretation. Unless you have what he said in writing, he may argue he never told you that or that you misunderstood him. Be prepared for that. If all else fails and he won’t refund the entire fee, you could suggest a compromise since he did look into the matter- paying his hourly fee and his giving you a refund on the remainder. Good luck!


Senior Member
I would respond by telling him that $1000 credit would be unacceptable. Then tell him you will be by the office to pick up a check and give him an option of which day you can pick it up. Don’t back down.

Lawyers are used to negotiating to get what they want. They throw out an offer to see if it will stick. Don’t let it stick. They money was a retainer for future work which they were unable to perform. They broke the contract. They need to return the money.


Senior Member
In the worst case scenario, let him credit it to you now, then a week or so later, see if you can "close your account." In that case, most reputable businesses will refund any remaining balance to you.

If not, are there any lawyer services you need: a will, trust, living will, DNR, etc.?

Either way, I wouldn't wait too long to act or that "credit" might get lost in the paperwork. What a snake.


Senior Member
Ugh, thank you --- looks like it's unanimous, and I was wrong lol!

I'll be calling them tomorrow. I'll let you know how I make out.