Using Credit Cards to Pay Legal Fees

Accepting credit cards for payment is, I believe, important. We need to make it easy for clients to pay for legal services … and not change the lawyers’ profession, i.e., to that of banker.

However, be careful. Be sure you understand the rules of the credit card companies.

Remember, that one of the benefits of paying with credit cards is that there is roughly a six month window in which to raise a dispute and request the credit card company reverse the charge … at worst, the customer/client has the amount placed in a suspended account … at best, the credit card company reverses the charge, credits the customer and debits the law firm.

However, you can prevent this from happening when you get the client to agree that no dispute with the law firm will be raised with or adjudicated by the credit card company. In other words, the client agrees that the charge is non-refundable! The credit card company, when shown the client’s agreement, will not credit the client nor debit the law firm.

Any dispute between the client and the law firm, then, will be adjudicated in the right forum: the State Bar disciplinary system or the court for a malpractice/negligence action.

Check with your credit card company to be clear as to their policies relating to disputes with your clients/their customers.


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