Verdict: No. Evidence of an oral agreement to cap legal fees is not valid, as parol evidence can only alter a written agreement if the agreement is ambiguous. The contract was explicit with respect to the services to be provided and how to use it to determine the price. Facts: The client has hired the lawyer as an appeal counsel on behalf of himself and the business owner. The parties signed an engagement letter, written by counsel, which contained a description of the services to be provided as well as the price of this particular case. The agreement stipulated that the normal rate, calculated by counsel, is $300 per hour, but will be $200 per hour in this case. The lawyer`s signature appears at the end of the letter and under the signature is the statement, “Your signature below shows the acceptance of the terms of this pricing agreement.” The parties then agreed to change the conservation amount from $10,000 to $5,000. The engagement letter shows that the client signed the agreement by making this change, thwarting the initial retention amount and writing the new amount on the original numbers typed in the manuscript and adding his initials next to the change. After filing the letter on behalf of the client the lawyer sent an invoice to the client and explained that, to provide excellent service, the cost is often more expensive than expected.
The lawyer then sent a second invoice for the services he provided during the preparation and filing of the response letter. The client paid only an additional $5,000 and disputed the remaining costs. The client explained that the lawyer should only verify the letter already written by his trial counsel and that it was specified that $5,000 was all he could afford to spend. Chatham puts more than 4000 caps a year. We use our volume and broad experience, work with every lender in the market and understand how to execute the process from start to finish so that your lender gets exactly what it needs when you sign up for the loan. We use our knowledge to know where your lender may be flexible in terms of structure or requirements that could reduce your costs. Our volume is similar to the competitive conditions for you and allows us to find the most competitive prices of cap suppliers. Question: Can a written agreement of legal fees be changed by the presentation of a contract justifying a fee cap? Lesson: Counsel should clearly and clearly explain the possibility of fees about the originally planned to avoid pricing disputes. Some variable rate mortgages may have interest rates that can change at any time, while others have interest rates reset at a certain time. During the period of interest of the MRA variables, a ceiling can be introduced at a certain level. Regardless of the time frame for authorized increases, the rate cannot be changed to a level above its ceiling if it has been introduced under the contractual terms of credit. If a product has a capped interest rate, the interest rate will increase with increases in the indexed interest rate until it reaches a certain ceiling.
The cap is advantageous to borrowers because it limits the amount of interest they have to pay in the context of rising interest rates.