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Old 26.06.2020, 09:18
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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Do not pay, he is trying to intimidate you. It looks like a fraud attempt to me, he is probably a crook.

Don't be so ridiculous. OP has been very evasive when asked for more information so people can determine the facts and offer pertinent advice, preferring to rant about a tax bill instead.

Accusing a man whose job involves a full understanding of the law of engaging in fraud with no proof is never going to end well and neither is refusing to pay.

Lawyers are not going to bill someone for an enquiry email on, for example, a gmail and a follow up phone call ascertaining costs. OP obviously gave out quite a few details regarding his case, including name and address for billing. More likely he knew the lawyer had started to work on the matter and then, when OP decided to shelf it, lawyer billed him for the work done to date. This is what the whinge is about.

I start the process to buy a house and instruct a lawyer but then I don't buy the house, it doesn't mean I don't still have to pay the lawyer for the work he did even if I don't end up with the house.

Last edited by Mr Dog; 26.06.2020 at 09:28.
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Old 26.06.2020, 09:46
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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Don't be so ridiculous. OP has been very evasive when asked for more information so people can determine the facts and offer pertinent advice, preferring to rant about a tax bill instead.

Accusing a man whose job involves a full understanding of the law of engaging in fraud with no proof is never going to end well and neither is refusing to pay.

Lawyers are not going to bill someone for an enquiry email on, for example, a gmail and a follow up phone call ascertaining costs. OP obviously gave out quite a few details regarding his case, including name and address for billing. More likely he knew the lawyer had started to work on the matter and then, when OP, decided to shelf it, lawyer billed him for the work done to date. This is what the whinge is about
You have no idea what you are talking about and just give bad advice. I know that mainstream opinion is "pay and don't ask", and as usual it is wrong

I had similar cases and never ever paid. In the worst case, which probably won't happen, you get a Zahlungbefehl for which you raise an objection (Rechtsvorschlag). With this you stop the Betreibung. Now he needs to prove you own him the money. He has nothing here.

And one more thing. People are scared of lawyers and think they are knowledgeable and always right. For most of them this is far from the truth, most of them are just trying to survive using shady business practices.
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  #43  
Old 26.06.2020, 10:14
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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I start the process to buy a house and instruct a lawyer but then I don't buy the house, it doesn't mean I don't still have to pay the lawyer for the work he did even if I don't end up with the house.
I start the process to buy a house and go to the bank to ask me if they will offer me a mortgage but then don't buy the house. The bank will not charge me for their mortgage offer even though they have done work even if I don't end up with the house.
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  #44  
Old 26.06.2020, 11:13
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

well it is cheaper, to pay the initial bill and not wait for adding the mahnung or betreibung.
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  #45  
Old 26.06.2020, 11:34
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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I start the process to buy a house and go to the bank to ask me if they will offer me a mortgage but then don't buy the house. The bank will not charge me for their mortgage offer even though they have done work even if I don't end up with the house.
That's because you already are their client and you are asking them about how to become a better/more lucrative one.

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.....I start the process to buy a house and instruct a lawyer but then I don't buy the house, it doesn't mean I don't still have to pay the lawyer for the work he did even if I don't end up with the house.
As you replied to this post of Mr Dog, do you hold the opinion s/he should not have paid the lawyer?
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  #46  
Old 26.06.2020, 11:45
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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That's because you already are their client and you are asking them about how to become a better/more lucrative one.


As you replied to this post of Mr Dog, do you hold the opinion s/he should not have paid the lawyer?
I am not the client of the bank. When i bought my house here, I got mortgage offers from a number of institutions, and only proceeded with one. The others did not charge me, even though they used their expertise to create the offer.

Look at the earlier posts for my opinion. I agree with Mr D to much of an extent - i.e. it depends on what was going on in the phone call and the email, which is exactly the same as any other tradespeople. Electricians who come round to quote for a piece of work do not charge for the creation of the quote, its their business pipeline. once you hire them, you're on the book for everything.
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Old 26.06.2020, 11:50
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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You have no idea what you are talking about and just give bad advice.

So accusing a lawyer of fraud and being a crook when YOU have not the slightest idea of the true and full facts is great advice!
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  #48  
Old 26.06.2020, 12:36
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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So accusing a lawyer of fraud and being a crook when YOU have not the slightest idea of the true and full facts is great advice!
The op said "I did not hire him". I see no mismatch between the words crook and lawyer, in this case it seems we have an adequate match. Instead of spreading fear, try and make use of your critical thinking.

Don't pay is great advice. Understanding how this works, you'll see you have nothing to fear. You don't need to be a sheep by default.
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Old 26.06.2020, 12:57
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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The op said "I did not hire him". I see no mismatch between the words crook and lawyer, in this case it seems we have an adequate match. Instead of spreading fear, try and make use of your critical thinking.

Don't pay is great advice. Understanding how this works, you'll see you have nothing to fear. You don't need to be a sheep by default.
While I agree that we shouldn't just pay when some is asking us, as we still do not know if the OP has received professional advice from the lawyer after 3 pages on this thread and since he insists on not clarifying this even though he returned to post here several times, one is safe to assume that there is more to the story.

I would like to be proven wrong by the OP.
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Old 26.06.2020, 13:29
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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The op said "I did not hire him". I see no mismatch between the words crook and lawyer, in this case it seems we have an adequate match. Instead of spreading fear, try and make use of your critical thinking.

Don't pay is great advice. Understanding how this works, you'll see you have nothing to fear. You don't need to be a sheep by default.
Be careful you don't fall off...
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  #51  
Old 26.06.2020, 13:42
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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While I agree that we shouldn't just pay when some is asking us, as we still do not know if the OP has received professional advice from the lawyer after 3 pages on this thread and since he insists on not clarifying this even though he returned to post here several times, one is safe to assume that there is more to the story.

I would like to be proven wrong by the OP.

Absolutely, thank you. For work I needed to do some investigation on some very complex multi jurisdiction tax structuring and obtained quotes from several international tax lawyers.

In each case I was quoted for preliminary work which covered them doing some research, putting together a report and then having a phone call to discuss. I was quoted X amount for X hours prelim work and also a full costing if I then wanted to hire them to implement the tax structure they proposed.
Given OP's silence, he is most likely being charged for preliminary work that he agreed the lawyer should do on his behalf.
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  #52  
Old 26.06.2020, 13:52
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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While I agree that we shouldn't just pay when some is asking us, as we still do not know if the OP has received professional advice from the lawyer after 3 pages on this thread and since he insists on not clarifying this even though he returned to post here several times, one is safe to assume that there is more to the story.

I would like to be proven wrong by the OP.
It's less important what the lawyer told him or wrote. More important is that there was no agreement to get into a business relationship. I've had a look at some elaborate frauds on internet. The kind you pay 500 for the first discussion 5k for let's say the follow-up and 50k for the end result. They tell you in advance what it costs so it's up to you if you decide to play or not. It requires skill and preparation.

The lawyer fraud (feel free to replace lawyer with something else like chimney sweeper, carpenter, electrician) is an ambush fraud and is based on frightening you. The crook acts like an amateur fraudster, but probably some despair combined with some results make the fraud stay alive.
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Old 26.06.2020, 14:02
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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It's less important what the lawyer told him or wrote. More important is that there was no agreement to get into a business relationship. I've had a look at some elaborate frauds on internet. The kind you pay 500 for the first discussion 5k for let's say the follow-up and 50k for the end result. They tell you in advance what it costs so it's up to you if you decide to play or not. It requires skill and preparation.

The lawyer fraud (feel free to replace lawyer with something else like chimney sweeper, carpenter, electrician) is an ambush fraud and is based on frightening you. The crook acts like an amateur fraudster, but probably some despair combined with some results make the fraud stay alive.

Bit hot for the tin foil hat isn't it.
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  #54  
Old 26.06.2020, 16:26
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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Bit hot for the tin foil hat isn't it.
Whatever. I am glad we agree on the point that you shouldn't promote fraud or God forbid be part of it.
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  #55  
Old 26.06.2020, 17:09
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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I got a bill from a lawyer, he charges me for reading my email and doing one
phone call with me.

I did not hired him, because the current situation in my workfield is very bad since march (covid), to become his client , he wanted more then 1000 sfr.

Now i got a bill for nothing.......
it sucks
It may suck, but you sent him an email which he read and then had a phone call, presumably to discuss the email? So in a way you did hire him.

I think he has a case against you. Maybe you should have asked for his fee in advance, but you did engage him. Rather like going to a garage to fix your car and not asking for an estimate first.

If he does make a case, you can object, and it then goes to a reconciliation hearing. However if he rejects any reconciliation, it will go to court case + all his costs, and you will need a lawyer to defend you. I'd offer him half in full settlement, explain you did not know etc, and maybe he'll accept.
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Old 26.06.2020, 20:16
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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It may suck, but you sent him an email which he read and then had a phone call, presumably to discuss the email? So in a way you did hire him.

I think he has a case against you. Maybe you should have asked for his fee in advance, but you did engage him. Rather like going to a garage to fix your car and not asking for an estimate first.

If he does make a case, you can object, and it then goes to a reconciliation hearing. However if he rejects any reconciliation, it will go to court case + all his costs, and you will need a lawyer to defend you. I'd offer him half in full settlement, explain you did not know etc, and maybe he'll accept.
He doesn't need a lawyer for such a simple case. Probably the guy will try a betreibung at a maximum and give up. Been there, done that. His risks is quite high to go to a court, he has every chance to lose the case and pay up for the incident. Additionally he'll make a fool of himself.
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Old 26.06.2020, 20:53
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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I am not the client of the bank. When i bought my house here, I got mortgage offers from a number of institutions, and only proceeded with one. The others did not charge me, even though they used their expertise to create the offer.

Look at the earlier posts for my opinion. I agree with Mr D to much of an extent - i.e. it depends on what was going on in the phone call and the email, which is exactly the same as any other tradespeople. Electricians who come round to quote for a piece of work do not charge for the creation of the quote, its their business pipeline. once you hire them, you're on the book for everything.
I think these examples are not all of the same kind of relationship.

A mortgage is a product that the bank seeks to sell. You asked for the details of the product, and then decided to buy elsewhere. This is similar to going to view a car in a salesyard, or a hifi in Medimarkt, and asking all about what it included, and what it would involve to get it up to your specifications. Or to asking an insurance broker to provide you with an offer of a life insurance policy you might like to buy from him. In these cases, the cost of having conversations and providing documentation about the product are, indeed,in their business plan and budget. If the customer does not buy, then they recycle that information to build into part of the answers for the next potential buyer.

Tradespeople, such as electricians, carpenters and plumbers, are more like lawyers, in that every minute is money. Many tradespeople do, indeed, specify that they will come to the site to give a quote only for a fee, x Francs flat-rate, or y Rappen per hour or per km, etc. An electrician told me it would costs Fr. 50 to come by especially to quote, but that if I could wait until he had another client in the area, he might be able to do the job right away. Fair enough. I see no reason to expect him to guide me through the process, for free, on the phone, nor for a lawyer so to do.

When dealings with lawyers, google as much as one can about them beforehand. In a first mail contact, include a precise, brief (as in one or max. two sentences, each with one, max, two subclauses) description of the area in which legal advice is needed, and the question whether they currently have time to work on this, and ask for a schedule of their tariffs. After their reply, if there is any further contact at all, it is fair to assume that it is running at their declared rates.
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  #58  
Old 26.06.2020, 21:58
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

"There is a very big difference between staff charging their time on their timesheet and what actually gets billed to clients. I know this because back in the 90s I used to do the accounts and tax returns for a few well known solicitors firms.

I also know it because I used to lead a team of six at a big four firm of accountants and every month I used to go through the billing records and write off time that would not be charged, usually between two and four weeks of time, depending on the time of the year."


Not disputing what you say, but those of us who handled the timesheet calculations had a deadline to meet by close of business Wednesdays. We had to ring solicitors up if they hadn't submitted anything, esp if they were in the habit of this. The ladies who did the billing would put the timesheet calculations through the system on Thursdays and the bills were sent out on Fridays.

I worked at Norton Rose for a year.
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Old 27.06.2020, 00:06
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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I think he has a case against you. Maybe you should have asked for his fee in advance, but you did engage him. Rather like going to a garage to fix your car and not asking for an estimate first.
If you bring your car to a garage for a job that's a few thousand, say, and request a detailed estimate (Kostenvoranschlag) in writing, you need to expect to be billed for it if you take your business elsewhere afterwards.

I guess that's what happened. OP was asking for an assessment of his case, the equivalent of an estimate, and decided to walk.
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The op said "I did not hire him". I see no mismatch between the words crook and lawyer, in this case it seems we have an adequate match. Instead of spreading fear, try and make use of your critical thinking.

Don't pay is great advice. Understanding how this works, you'll see you have nothing to fear. You don't need to be a sheep by default.
How much is the bill?
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Old 27.06.2020, 00:17
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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You have no idea what you are talking about and just give bad advice. I know that mainstream opinion is "pay and don't ask", and as usual it is wrong

I had similar cases and never ever paid. In the worst case, which probably won't happen, you get a Zahlungbefehl for which you raise an objection (Rechtsvorschlag). With this you stop the Betreibung. Now he needs to prove you own him the money. He has nothing here.

And one more thing. People are scared of lawyers and think they are knowledgeable and always right. For most of them this is far from the truth, most of them are just trying to survive using shady business practices.
Careful now careful, you are very close to the edge of that little soap box.
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