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If my attorney has not filed anything with the court concerning my case, can I get my deposit back?

Asked by user in California.

I gave my attorney a deposit of $500.00 and then decided to fire him.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

Under California Rule of Professional Conduct 3-700(D)(2), an attorney is prohibited from keeping an unearned fee. Rather, upon termination, an attorney must promptly refund any part of a fee paid in advance that has not been earned.

This begs the question: Did your attorney earn the $500 that you paid him?

It's impossible for me to know the answer to this question without knowing the work your attorney has done on your case.

However, California law requires attorneys to provide their clients with an accounting that explains any charges made against an advanced payment. Accordingly, I would recommend asking your attorney for an accounting. If you're not satisfied by the accounting, you should request that your attorney return your $500 deposit.

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