Petrelli Previtera Reviews (%countItem)
A stop-work was issued after initial retainer was exhausted. Once retainer was reached in full, services continued to be performed (and billed), including admin fees even though the case no longer existed. The case went to collection for two months. After I disputed the charges, the firm simply charged the credit card they had on file without my approval. I subsequently disputed the charge and attempted to talk to the firm on 5 different occasions. After repeated inquiries, the firm finally got back to me 1.5 months later, only to admit that yes, they did charge my card without my approval, and there's really nothing I can do about it. They made no effort to resolve this dispute.
To Whome it may Concern:
Concern on Bill: Service 06/14/2018 Hearing: Semi-protracted 3 hours): Attend support master's hearing 1.00 $2,500.00
I was represented by Diana S in child support. The contract did not have a flat rate for court appearances. It specifically states that all work will be billed at an hourly rate.
6.. HOURLY RATE.. Client understands that during the course of this representation, the Lawyer’s time will be kept at the firm’s prevailing hourly rate for the timekeeper performing the service with minimum charges of 1/6 of an hour or (.17). These services include, but are not limited to depositions, discovery, research, negotiations, investigation, letters, phone calls, emails, drafting, hearings, preparation, conferences with myself, witnesses, staff at my attorney’s office and others, and all other work performed on your behalf.
I have been represented by two other attorneys who did not charge a flat fee - I would never retained this firm if I knew this was the practice.
After a hearing in March, I was flat rate billed 1500 for an appearance. It was discussed and fixed on my bill, and I was told I would be billed hourly (like the contract states) moving forward.
I was again billed a flat rate of $2500 for a hearing in June. This did not include prep, which was charged seperately. I disputed this immediately on my bill. I was informed on July 30 by the CFO
":With regard to the hearing in June, you are correct that the fee agreement you received did not include our standard language concerning a fixed fee for attendance at a hearing. Therefore I will credit back the difference between the hourly rate of $325/hr x 3.5 hours and the $2,500 that was invoiced to you previously."
It has still not been fixed on my bill. And it seems unless I agree to a global settlement (other disputes are ongoing relating to a motion that I was charged over 1400 to draft, that was never filed correctly etc) they will not fix this part of the bill. I was told by the CFO that if I don't agree or to come in and discuss billing disputes in person, they will be sending the full amount to collections. This despite the clear admittance that I was billed incorrectly for the June hearing.
With regard to the above referenced complaint our fee agreement specifically states that in terms of billing " Any semi-protracted and protracted hearings will be determined based on their status as listed by the court in advance of the hearing. Fees may be adjusted at the discretion of the Lawyer based upon the length and difficulty of the hearing" . As is the case with many firms we charge a premium above the normal hourly rate for attendance at hearings for a number of reasons. *** understood this, signed the fee agreement and indeed she initialed the very paragraph that I quoted to confirm her understanding.As a client accommodation we credited back the difference between standard hourly rates for the March hearing and the flat fee amount charged, while simultaneously reaffirming the validity of the fee agreement.Again in July *** disputed our flat fee charge for a June hearing.This time however she disputed over twenty additional line items from the invoice. While we present detailed invoices to clients she was not satisfied with that so I specifically answered each point she raised regarding the invoice and offered to again discount the hearing cost PLUS give an additional courtesy discount of $1,000 to resolve the matter (total credits/discounts amounted to 31% of the invoiced amount). ***'s response to my detailed replies was consistently "I dispute this on time spent and will submit to the Fee Dispute Committee per the Fee Agreement" The only portion of the numerous emails that *** agreed to was that I would again be accommodating and reduce the fee for the hearing as the fee agreement did not specifically state Flat Fee of $2,500 but left it up to the discretion of the attorney. In summary, our billing has always been consistent with the fee agreement that *** signed and initialed. I have provided discounts and I have offered further discounts in an attempt to arrive at an amicable settlement. In response I have received repeated refusals to speak to me, to meet with me, or to pay any portion of the invoice whatsoever. I want a global settlement in place as I do not wish to spend the next several months responding to a succession of individual complaints.
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The Fee Agreement does not state 2500 flat rate for hearing. It also does not leave it discretionary to an attorney. It clearly states hearings will be charged at the hourly rate.
I am asking for this specific charge to be resolved on my bill, as we have no disagreement that the firm was engaged in over-billing.
The other issues regarding billing are separate from this complaint. (I was charged$ 1400 for a motion to be drafted that filed incorrectly, amongst other issues that are more appropriate for the fee dispute committee ) . Therefore, A global settlement is not appropriate.
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Address: 1845 Walnut St Fl 19, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19103-4720
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