California  |  Family Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 7/29/03, 1:52 pm

Lawyer taking me to court/arbitration after questioning his billing practice

I had a lawyer represent me in a Child custody modification hearing filed by my ex-wife. This took only one court appearance. My lawyer billed me over 37 hours. When I received his bill, I wrote him & requested him going through the bill again because I thought the charge was excessive. However, I went along & sent him some installment payment. He replied days later, angry & threatening that I had violated my agreement with him & included a form which he had filled & signed requesting me to contact the ABA branch for Arbitration. He threatened putting a lien on my house, having it sold to get the remnants of the money I was owing him; he also announced he was dropping off my case etc. I do not see why my question should generate this outburst. I NEVER threaten not to pay him what ever he was charging. All I asked was for him to review his billing.

This lawyer had always used a threatening tactics in dealing with me. Anytime I questioned whatever he intended doing, he will immediately threaten not to represent me any more if he did not have his way.

How best should I go with him? Are there other arbitrators I should go with or should I stick with the one he is throwing at me? If yes, I will appreciate some names.

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