Person A went through a ridiculous situation and now, almost a year later, the Person B who didn't bother representing her at the court is asking for the money.


  • Person A - client
  • Person B - Lawyer

Around a year ago Person A was in a legal dispute with another party.

At this moment Person A decided they need a lawyer, and consulted Person B (Lawyer). The first thing the Person B asked was an insurance number and afterwards, didn't do much. Person A visited Person B a couple more times. Once more when they received first contact from opposite side and once more when they had some additional questions regarding the situation.

The whole time B seemed uninterested in the case, but as he was getting paid Person A expected Person B to at least do something. For example during on of the visit they had to ask Person B what did he do till that point since a couple of weeks have passed, for Person B to say that now he was going to let the opposition know that he is representing Person B. I'm not even sure if Person B did it.

The final straw was when Person A received the court's decision in which they not represented by anyone has lost and has to pay a hefty amount to the party they were in dispute with. At this point they decided they don't want to have anything to do with this Person B again and contacted their insurance company, letting them know Person B didn't do anything for its case, providing all the papers they received from the court. (In which it's clearly stated A wasn't represented by anyone.)

Now the Person B who didn't do anything is asking for payment, I'm guessing it's because they couldn't make the insurance pay him since they didn't do anything for its client (Person A) and Person B is looking for different ways to get its "hard-earned" money.

What legal services can Person B bill for in this case?

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    Speaking to a lawyer is usually an advisorial meeting, which can be billed. Check the contract and bill of the lawyer and tell us what he bills for.
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 9:08
  • @IñakiViggers The bill is not a bill where the lawyer stats what is to be paid, but simply a letter in which he states the sum to be paid to him. The closest he comes to an explanation is stating that he is to be paid for the precautions against further actions from their side. Which is on one side something we weren't interested in nor asked him to do and on another after the initial decision from the court, my mother was forced to pay similar amount on two other occasions. Therefore making his "service" undesirable and ineffective. Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 11:50
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    @Philipp Unless the OP includes enough context, the type of question you suggest would be closed anyway as overly broad. And the rest of us who don't rush to close users' questions would be unable to gather what exactly the OP needs to know. Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 11:56
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    Information the original author needs to deliver: What services exactly is Person B demanding money for? Is there an itemized bill?
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 12:09
  • 1
    So B is asking for payment but not what that payment is actually for? That's hard to believe...
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


Now the Person B who didn't do anything is asking for payment [...] What legal services can Person B bill for in this case?

Fictitious "benefits" which the client did not even request do not entitle the lawyer to compensation therefor.

Knowing the terms of the contract entered by the parties is crucial for assessing either's entitlement (if any). Absent an explicit contract between the lawyer and his client, the question is whether their acts constitute an implied contract or lead to outcomes such as unjust enrichment.

According to your comment, the lawyer merely alleges that he is billing the client "for the precautions against further actions from their side". Your post does not indicate how else (if at all) the lawyer tries to justify the bill. The lawyer's bare allegation would have merit only if he dissuaded the adversary (i.e., the fitness studio) from pursuing unrelated claims against the client which have been neither filed in court, nor decided by it, nor potentially meritorious of prospective litigation.

Even if the lawyer truly prompted the adversary to waive other claims, there is no indication that the lawyer gave to the client any deliverables/documents with which the client can prove in court the adversary's waiver of said claims. Your mention that "I'm not even sure if [the lawyer] did it", in reference to the lawyer informing the adversary about representing the client, suggests that the lawyer's explanation for the bill might be false altogether.

And if the adversary did not have any other actual or potential claims against the client, then the lawyer's pretext is devoid of merit insofar as the court decided the only controversy between the client and the adversary. Furthermore, the lawyer's conduct is fraudulent (rather than only incompetent and negligent) because he knew or should have known --per his alleged "efforts" to procure said "precautions"-- that the underlying lawsuit had run its course already, and yet he intends the client to rely upon the lawyer's statements and to the client's detriment.

In the event that the client and the lawyer signed a contract, the client should ascertain how the terms and the parties' conduct fare under German contract law (see Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch at § 145 et seq). Example: Suppose the lawyer says "The nature of my profession allows me to secure precautions against adversary's further actions without having to wait for my client's approval or acceptance of that service in particular". That allegation would not survive section § 151, since preempting claims that are already decided in court or purely imaginary is not a [lawful] common practice in litigation. To be clear, many lawyers indulge in dishonorable conduct frequently enough that defrauding others could be considered common practice, but notions such as common practice (or, in the BGB, Verkehrssitte) refer to lawful acts & acceptable standards.

Depending on your fluency in German, you might want to study the BGB in tandem with the Restatement (Second) of Contracts, upon which courts in the US often premise their decisions in contract disputes. The principles of contract law are roughly similar among "modern" jurisdictions, thereby making it easier to identify parallelisms as well as comparisons.

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