Beware of Lawyers Who Want Non-Refundable Retainers!

When facing the daunting task of not only getting divorced; but, having to hire a lawyer, most people don’t know the “lay of the land”. Perhaps this will even be the first time the person has hired a lawyer. Unfortunately, in this geographic area (Manatee County) we know of lawyers who require family law/divorce clients to provide a “non-refundable retainer”.

Mackey Law Group has been successfully representing clients in family law and divorce matters for over 30 years. In our opinion, no one should ever pay a lawyer a non-refundable retainer in a divorce case. Here’s what we have experienced over the years: Quite a few clients have some to us, totally frustrated and even mad, because they went to a local divorce lawyer who demanded a “$5,000 non-refundable retainer”. Not knowing right from wrong, the client paid such and fairly quickly experienced: (i) lack of good lawyer services; and (ii) failure by the lawyer to communicate to the client about the status of his/her case. Then, when the client goes to the lawyer and questions what is happening in his/her case or voices an intent to change lawyers, the first lawyer says “no problem but you don’t get any of your $5,000 back, it was non-refundable”. Amazingly, when we have then been retained by such clients and look into this, which in our opinion is a veritable scam, we find out that non-refundable retainers are approved by the Florida Bar! So, don’t expect to get any help from the Bar as to getting your money back.

The lesson to be learned: There are lots of good lawyers out there in our geographic area. And, the vast majority of such lawyers would never ask a person in need for a “non-refundable retainer”. Beware of such opportunistic conduct; and do not succumb to those predatory tactics. Find a good lawyer that you trust and hire him/her on an hourly basis. We at Mackey Law Group would never act in such a manner as to demand a non-refundable retainer……and you shouldn’t ever pay one to a lawyer either. We have 5 very experienced family law/divorce lawyers at Mackey Law Group and any one of them will welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

Peter J. Mackey

Peter J. Mackey

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