What should I do before I file a fee dispute?

Before you file a fee dispute, you should try to resolve the fee dispute directly with the lawyer. The lawyer has likely performed work of which you were unaware. For example, the lawyer may have investigated the facts of the case, researched the law of the case, and drafted various documents related to the case. In the event you are unable to speak with the lawyer, you should make a written request to the lawyer in which you ask him or her to provide a written report of work performed on the case. Your request should include a deadline by which the lawyer should respond - usually within week or ten days of the date the lawyer received the request. Send your request by certified mail, return receipt requested or by other means that will demonstrate the date and time the lawyer actually received the request (federal express and UPS offer such a service, for example).