Attorneys have an obligation to bill in reasonable proportion to the amount in dispute. Specifically, under the Rule of Professional Conduct (RPC) 1.5, attorney's fees are tightly regulated - and MUST be reasonable in relationship to the issues at hand. Just because a client has identifiable assets, does NOT render those as targets for acquisition by your attorney or your soon-to-be ex-spouse's attorney.
There is also a duty to communicate with their clients. In other words, a reasonable litigation budget should be agreed upon, communicated and established. If not, the attorney may have committed legal malpractice and may be subject to a legal malpractice lawsuit.
It is well known to divorce attorneys that overworking one side of the case usually leads to inflating the bills on the other side. It has become known as the "Divorce Industry," but the problem is truly rooted in callous attorney malpractice - also known as legal malpractice.
As one of the largest legal industries in the country, websites and support groups abound, trying to provide support to those whose lives have been destroyed by the Divorce Industry. As recent film, narrated by Dr. Drew, Divorce Corp, highlights the dramatic injustices endured by families - from an industry that often unjustly makes certain attorneys far too much wealth.
When your ex-spouse's lawyer litigates issues that you would have voluntarily agreed upon, the family loses and the lawyer profits. When your ex-spouse's lawyer refuses to negotiate or mediate and only after collecting tens of thousands of dollars in litigation fees - takes the same offer that you would have agreed to without those expenses, there may be billing abuse. Worse, you often end up paying that lawyer back for their excessive fees even after having to pay your own lawyer for responding to your over-litigious adversary.
Attorneys must let their clients know what strategies will cost - and must also work to counsel their clients as to what is realistic and what is not...especially in cases as emotionally charged as divorce. It is not enough for an attorney to say that their client caused the bills to escalate to the level that families are literally destroyed. They must counsel their clients - both personally and in writing. It is their job. A failure to do so, may be indication of attorney malpractice.
Unless purely client-driven (in a way that the attorneys simply cannot get under control and have proof in writing that they tried to get under control), when combined attorneys fees exceed 50% of the value of the entire marital estate, something is very wrong and may be actionable. Many have characterized this as an unfortunate byproduct of the Divorce Industry.
While most divorce attorneys communicate and bill responsibly, this is not always the case. Excessive billing not only harms that attorney's client, but typically the other spouse.
If you feel that you have been the victim of predatory, dishonest and disproportionate billing from you ex-spouse's attorney, redress may be available through a legal malpractice attorney.
We conduct analytic investigations of attorney billing abuse at no cost to our clients. Should there be indications of such abuse, we will review litigation options.
With over 50% of all families eventually experiencing divorce, issues surrounding divorce attorney billing are widespread.
The children of divorce rarely ask for it and certainly have not signed retainers with their parents' attorneys. Yet, these same children often hear from either or both parents that by the time they are ready to attend college and need help paying... "I have nothing left - It all went to the attorneys."
If you are a young adult and have been told by either of your parents that the lawyers over-litigated their divorce and extinguished all of the family's money, you may also be the victim of divorce attorney billing abuse. If so, you may have an affirmative claim.
We conduct analytic investigations of the impact of divorce attorney billing abuse on behalf of young adults at no cost. As with the parents, should there be indications of such abuse, we will review all litigation options.
All too often, acrimony, stress and outright destruction of the divorced family unit is driven by attorneys, rather than pacified by them. When this occurs, it is often driven by the incredible profitability of divorce litigation (with billable rates of $300-$600 dollars an hour) - in what is often referred to as the Divorce Industry.
The over-litigation of divorce cases often unnecessarily depletes family funds, alienates parents from children, leads to bankruptcy, causes depression, interferes with careers - and can lead to severe diagnosed overwhelming anxiety.
Separate and apart from purely financial harms, divorce attorney fee abuse can lead to non-economic harms to the entire divorced family unit.
If you feel that you have been harmed by divorce attorney billing abuse, we will conduct an analytic investigation at no cost to you.
Should there appear to be such abuse, we will review all litigation options with you.