What Does Retained Mean in Law

What Does Retained Mean in Law? Exploring the Concept and Its Implications

In the legal realm, the term “retained” holds significant importance. It refers to the act of hiring and formally engaging an attorney to provide legal representation. Understanding what it means to retain an attorney is crucial for individuals seeking legal assistance. In this article, we will delve into the concept of “retained” in law, its implications, and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Retaining an attorney involves entering into a formal agreement, often in the form of a contract, where the attorney agrees to represent and provide legal services to the client. This agreement establishes a professional relationship between the client and the attorney, outlining the scope of legal services, fees, and other terms.


1. Why is it important to retain an attorney?
Retaining an attorney ensures that you have legal counsel and representation during legal proceedings. They have the expertise and knowledge to navigate complex legal matters and protect your rights.

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2. How does one retain an attorney?
To retain an attorney, you typically need to contact them directly or through their law firm. They will guide you through the process, including signing a formal agreement and discussing fees.

3. What are the implications of retaining an attorney?
By retaining an attorney, you acquire their legal expertise and representation. They act as your advocate, providing advice, negotiating on your behalf, and representing you in court if necessary.

4. Can I retain more than one attorney?
Yes, it is possible to retain multiple attorneys for different legal matters. However, it’s important to ensure that the attorneys are aware of each other’s involvement to avoid conflicts of interest.

5. What are the fees associated with retaining an attorney?
Attorney fees vary based on factors such as experience, complexity of the case, and geographical location. Fees can be charged hourly, on a flat fee basis, or as a percentage of a settlement or judgment.

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6. Do I need to retain an attorney for every legal issue?
While it is not mandatory to retain an attorney for every legal issue, having legal representation can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome, especially in complex or high-stakes cases.

7. Can I terminate the attorney-client relationship after retaining an attorney?
Yes, you have the right to terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time. However, it is important to review the terms of the agreement to understand any potential obligations or consequences.

8. What happens if I choose not to retain an attorney?
If you choose not to retain an attorney, you can represent yourself, known as “pro se” representation. However, it is important to note that navigating the legal system without legal expertise can be challenging and may negatively impact your case.

9. Can I change attorneys after retaining one?
Yes, you have the right to change attorneys if you are dissatisfied with their services or if your circumstances change. However, it is essential to consider any legal and financial implications before making such a decision.

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In conclusion, retaining an attorney is a critical step in obtaining legal representation and guidance. Understanding the implications and responsibilities associated with retaining an attorney empowers individuals seeking legal assistance to make informed decisions. By addressing these frequently asked questions, individuals can navigate the complexities of the legal system with greater confidence.