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Old 24.06.2020, 14:21
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Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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
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Old 24.06.2020, 14:42
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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
a lot depends on what one phone call and email were. If he gave you significant legal advice he might have a case. if he didnt, just ask him to send a copy of the contract you have with him so you can see the terms. which doesnt exist.
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Old 24.06.2020, 14:43
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

Well if you did not hire him and you just shot the breeze with him, just tell him so and let us know how it goes.
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Old 24.06.2020, 15:48
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

This comes under my second rule of being in Switzerland - "how much does it cost to ask how much it costs?" Maybe it should be the first rule.


I guess it might come down to how much legal advice/help was given in the call or whether it was limited to only "yes I could help you and it will cost xxxx"


As we know, Switzerland is a bit maverick when it comes to supplies and services. In any civilised country you could probably easily argue no contract exists.


How much was the bill for?
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Old 24.06.2020, 16:09
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

i dropped him an email , he replied that he sells his working time and could used that time for somebody else.
He can't afford not to charge every minute.
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Old 24.06.2020, 16:15
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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i dropped him an email , he replied that he sells his working time and could used that time for somebody else.
He can't afford not to charge every minute.
He'll be billing you for the time taken to answer the billing queries as well!
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Old 24.06.2020, 16:38
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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i dropped him an email , he replied that he sells his working time and could used that time for somebody else.
He can't afford not to charge every minute.
Assuming there was no mention that any work was being charged, respond saying that no charges were agreed and as such no contract exists between the two of your.

I would sign off by saying any future correspondence he sends you that you, including invalid payment requests, which you must spend time reviewing, will be charged at CHF 500 per hour or part thereof.
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Old 24.06.2020, 16:52
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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i dropped him an email , he replied that he sells his working time and could used that time for somebody else.
He can't afford not to charge every minute.
And we wonder why everyone hates lawyers...
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Old 24.06.2020, 17:04
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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And we wonder why everyone hates lawyers...
To be fair, it's not just lawyers that do that here but almost everyone from landlords to tradespeople.
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Old 24.06.2020, 17:21
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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To be fair, it's not just lawyers that do that here but almost everyone from landlords to tradespeople.
And architects, surveyors, engineers the whole lot will try and take your money unless you really push them back.
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Old 25.06.2020, 05:47
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

Sometimes lawyers, accountants and other professions who make a living out of billable hours will certainly try it on and, likely, more so in these circumstances. However, there are also people who don't seem to get that to these professions time is money, they only have so many hours in a day and their expert advice has a value and not to be given away for free.
You say he charged you to read the email you wrote to him and he then telephoned you. Was the email that you wrote to him the first contact you had ever had with him and was it just an enquiry (brief summary) asking if he would be able help and what would his charges be or had you had prior contact where he said my rate is x per hour. Was it clear on his website?

If there had been an initial contact where rates/scope of work were mentioned and he said if you want to continue put full detail in an email and you then sent a long email with complete details, then by sending those details you had agreed to use his services. He then telephoned you to discuss your situation further. How long was that phone call and did he give you professional advice? Was the phone call pre-arranged for a certain time or did he just decide to pick up the phone and call you? Did he reasonably believe that you had instructed him to do work for you or did he know that this was just an enquiry asking if he could help and at what cost.

Last edited by Mr Dog; 25.06.2020 at 06:31.
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Old 25.06.2020, 08:39
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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To be fair, it's not just lawyers that do that here but almost everyone from landlords to tradespeople.
My dog broke/chipped a tooth a while ago. We live quite a drive from the nearest vet, I wasn’t sure if it needed treatment, so I emailed her a picture to ask if we should bring him in and have it removed (answer was yes).

After he’d had the procedure to remove the tooth, I paid the bill (not small) and noticed on the invoice a charge for “email consultation”
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Old 25.06.2020, 08:47
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

Due to lockdown many vets, including mine, have charged for phone/email consults. Mine offers a paid 15 minute phone consult which I think is reasonable for them to do as their business still needs to survive and speaking on the phone with someone for 15 minutes is time that they are not seeing other doggie patients. I have not been charged for emails. @Island Monkey. How much did they charge for the email
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Old 25.06.2020, 10:51
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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And architects, surveyors, engineers the whole lot will try and take your money unless you really push them back.
It is actually very simple: professional people charge for their services, don’t contact them unless you are willing to pay for their time. Why should anyone be expected work say a day week working for free when they could be working for a paying client.

You would not be very happy if your employer started paying you for four days a week instead of five. Don’t expect others to do what you would not do!
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Old 25.06.2020, 11:06
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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Due to lockdown many vets, including mine, have charged for phone/email consults. Mine offers a paid 15 minute phone consult which I think is reasonable for them to do as their business still needs to survive and speaking on the phone with someone for 15 minutes is time that they are not seeing other doggie patients. I have not been charged for emails. @Island Monkey. How much did they charge for the email
This was last summer, pre-corona. Just a quick query to see if I should drive him down. Was 30 francs, so couldn’t be bothered to argue it
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Old 25.06.2020, 11:08
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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You would not be very happy if your employer started paying you for four days a week instead of five. Don’t expect others to do what you would not do!
Perhaps your employer ought to pay you for four days instead of five for the amount of time you spend on this forum instead of working?
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Old 25.06.2020, 14:11
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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My dog broke/chipped a tooth a while ago. We live quite a drive from the nearest vet, I wasn’t sure if it needed treatment, so I emailed her a picture to ask if we should bring him in and have it removed (answer was yes).

After he’d had the procedure to remove the tooth, I paid the bill (not small) and noticed on the invoice a charge for “email consultation”
If my doctor did not charge for emails, he would make hardly any money with me. (Well, he still doesn't. LOL).

Vet had to study the photo, make his guesses and write the email - which was probably free.

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And we wonder why everyone hates lawyers...
And yet they are contacted for every little BS.
To keep stuff like "is my neighbour allowed to pick his nose on the balcony next to me" and "my neighbours actually talk to each other, I hate hearing it" is by charging every blooming second wasted on it.

Last edited by curley; 25.06.2020 at 14:50. Reason: typo
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Old 25.06.2020, 14:21
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

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Perhaps your employer ought to pay you for four days instead of five for the amount of time you spend on this forum instead of working?
Pathetic, that is the best you can come up with.... Oh and nobody is paying me for my time on the forum. Guess I just struck a nerve with a free loader.
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Old 25.06.2020, 15:20
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

My lawyer in Scotland who is handling the subsidence problems with my house back there charges me £100 for every email he sends me. Thankfully I have insurance cover for legal fees as our dealings with him have been going on since March 2016.


Wouldn't mind, but it's not as if he's in a city and the offices the partners work from are falling apart and haven't been decorated since about 1970!
I'd say lawyers are the same the world over
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Old 25.06.2020, 15:43
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Re: Lawyer Bill for reading my email/phone conversation

I think it is unjust to charge before some kind of contract has been clearly established between two parties. So any engagement needs to immediately start with "before I read this email / continue this conversation, please accept that the cost will be CHFxxx per minute...and so on:

The onus should on the professional to introduce this to the (prospective)client at the very point they wish to start charging, and allow time for said client the opportunity to consider it.
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