Divorce Clients Need to be Wary of Evergreen Retainer Arrangements

A new development in the representation of divorce clients has been the adoption of evergreen retainer arrangements. Several firms that advertise for domestic litigation, notably Cordell & Cordell, require clients to provide them with unrestricted access to a credit card that automatically renews the retainer to some arranged amount. This is known as an evergreen retainer. The danger in such an arrangement is that it grants a law firm unlimited access to funds and serves as an incentive to generate as many billable hours as possible in order to maximize the retainer. The Meehan Law Firm has been contacted by several individuals making complaints of extraordinarily large legal bills that have been generated under this arrangement.

An example cited to the Meehan Law Firm has been legal bills in excess of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) for simple divorces that do not require extensive discovery.

In these cases, the divorce clients have been charged over Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) to investigate simple cases that do not involve complex legal issues, business valuation, or any other extensive litigation. Instead, the charges typically go for reviewing the file and ordering documents that do not ordinarily need to be ordered.

If you think you have been victimized by an evergreen retainer arrangement and been overbilled by an attorney, please contact the Meehan Law Firm.