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Fee Furor

Your lawyer wants you to pay what?!

This story appears in the February 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Face it: You will occasionally--and sometimes frequently--need to consult an attorney in the course of running your business. It's simply a way of life in business today. But what happens when the attorney's bill arrives and you disagree with the charges?

The best way to deal with such a dispute is to avoid it in the first place, says Gene Kazlow, a principal of New York City law firm Kazlow & Kazlow. That means reaching a clear agreement ahead of time about what the attorney is going to do and how much it will cost. But if you fail to do that, or if the bill just isn't what you expected, call the attorney and voice your concerns. "The lawyer should be prepared to itemize the services that were rendered," says Kazlow.

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